The Gavotte en Rondeau by J.S. Bach (1685-1750) is undeniably a little masterpiece, and as guitarists we are lucky enough to have a version (possibly arranged for lute) that we can call our own.

I was listening to a recording of Bill Evans (1929-1980) accompanying Tony Bennett (b. 1926) and thought how wonderful it would be if I could back up a vocalist like he does, but of course using the guitar.

Federico Moreno Torroba’s (1891-1982) Sonatina in A major is certainly a staple in the repertory for classical guitar. Although a twentieth century composition, the harmonic language is more characteristic of late nineteenth century and as a consequence lends itself nicely to traditional harmonic analysis.

The bridge from the tune “Girl from Ipanema” by Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927-1994) has long been a source of discussion concerning the workings of the harmony. I have often wondered myself about how it works and decided to take a crack at an explanation.

In an effort to look into some less demanding music that still displays interesting harmony, I will now turn my attention to two of the best known little pieces written for the guitar; namely Lágrima and Adelita by Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909).

As promised, a follow-up on the recent article concerning 7th chord inversions. This time the inversions and root position voicings are put into the context of ii-V-I progressions in both major and minor keys implementing the closest possible voice-leading according to the following procedure:

Study 22 from Fernando Sor's Op. 29 set of studies for guitar (study 18 in the Segovia collection) is unusual in that it is in the key of E-flat major.

This was a project that was long overdue for me; a chart showing the five basic seventh chords in root position and in three inversions.

Matteo Carcassi’s Study 22 from his Op. 60 set of studies for guitar is another good example of a single line of music with strong harmonic implications. Also of interest here is how Carcassi uses melodic motives for development and unification.

Las Abejas (The Bees) by Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885-1944) is another well known and widely performed work in the repertory of the classical guitar. Once again my intention is to gain insight into this work through analysis. In many ways this composition is similar to the Bach minuets for solo ‘cello discussed earlier in that we have a single line, for the most part, that has strong harmonic and contrapuntal implications.


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John Hall

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