Music Pack | November 2017

november-2017-music-pack

This month's music pack consists of two pieces that often get overlooked by amateur and professional guitarists. Each one has its share of difficulties and areas of focus. The two pieces are Op. 60 No. 1 by Matteo Carcassi and Op. 6 No. 1 by Fernando Sor.

I want to make special note about the fingering for the Carcassi piece. In the editing and typesetting of the piece, Carcassi's intended fingering are indicated. The writing of Op. 60 was preceded by the writing of Op. 59 (1836). In Op. 59, his method on playing the guitar, Carcassi gives specific direction to the fingering of scalar passages by using the thumb almost entirely when playing on strings 4, 5, and 6. Also, the indication "staccato" has been removed from the beginning of the piece. This, in Carcassi's day, indicated that the scales were not to be slurred. This is contrary to our current understanding of seeing "staccato" markings or indications in modern compositions¹.

Looking at the original publication of Op. 60, Carcassi did not indicate the fingerings as most modern editions indicate. He actually, as many nineteenth century composers did, intended the student to study Op. 59 and apply the lessons learned to Op. 60. This, of course, would include choices in fingering. In no way am I suggesting that playing the piece with alternate fingerings is better or worse necessarily. However, in this case, I believe that Carcassi's fingerings are best for this study.

Citations:

  1. Christopher, B. (2016). Scale Exercises and Studies. The Classical Guitar Companion: Volume One (p. 59). Columbia: Orpheus On Fire Publications.

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