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  Guitar  ricnog at 00:30 on 26 April 2007

Hello everyone,

I'm a guitarist and my main interest in music is what is made nowadays, so it's pretty obvious that I should try to combine both. In that frame of mind I'd like to ask all composers out there what you think about the guitar?
Are you affraid of writting for it? Do you think it is still an unknown instrument for most composers and not approached enough in school?

Please share



P.S.- I'm thinking about all kinds of guitar

  Re: Guitar  Team Gaughan at 10:28 on 26 April 2007

I think the guitar is great!

When I was a student a guitarist approached me for a piece and played lots of new stuff including the Britten 'Nocturnal' and Michael Tippetts 'The Blue Guitar' as well as pinpointing me to works written for Julian Bream (Henze, Max Davies, Takemitsu).

My first attempt proved difficult but playable. Since then I have enjoyed using the 'classical guitar' in a number of scores. I think it is a fasinating instrument with great sonorities. I have started using the elex bass guitar in some scores too.

Maybe our next workshop could be for guitar?

I read that when William Walton wrote a piece for Bream that he had a finger chart layed out in front of him!

  Re: Guitar  DDaSilva at 19:31 on 28 April 2007

I'm surprised that there isn't more written for the instrument! Or perhaps there's sadly just not performed or recorded. There is certainly no shortage of guitarists out there.
It's a great instrument to write for, an entire orchestra at your fingertips, with a huge range and with the 7 string guitar so popular in Brazilian music, an even greater versatility!
I completely understand Walton's use of a chart. I love to have an instrument on hand or if that's not possible a chart as I used for a mandolin part that I recently wrote for. It saved me so much time!
I wouldn't mind seeing a workshop for guitar writing; but since I play the guitar I'd rather something else: Harp anyone?


Douglas DaSilva

  Re: Guitar  Team Gaughan at 09:34 on 30 April 2007

I agree.

The guitar is like a chamber orchestra in its own right. I was very impressed by the amount of sounds Henze used in the Royal Shakespeare Music.
When I wrote my first piece I had a guitar with me and tried out things myself- and found interesting chords with my basic technique.

I have recently written for Mandolin & Harp- a different challenge. The Mandolin is a wonderful instrument. I learnt to play the harp- very basic grade 3, so I got a basic understanding of the pedals. Many 'great' composers write very bad harp parts! Which usually end up needing 2 players.

Britten (again) is a good composer to check out excellent harp writing- his suite for solo harp, and the chamber operas too.