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Mel Bay

Composer's Desk Reference for the Classic Guitar

Composer's Desk Reference for the Classic Guitar


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Traditionally the classic guitar has been either excluded or inadequately represented in orchestration textbooks, resulting in much misinformation about its technique, its practicality in various performance contexts, and its character. The guitar's unique tuning, broad timbral variety and intimate nature pose a formidable challenge to non-guitarist composers, for whom an extensive amount of time would be required to gain even a minimal hands-on acquaintance. For most composers this is an unrealistic expectation, leading to time-consuming consultations and extensive drafting or rewriting. The purpose of this book is to provide the non-guitarist composer with the fundamental tools needed to write idiomatically for the guitar. The first of its kind for the guitar, the reference was written in consultation with dozens of composers and conceived with three types of end users in mind: • Experienced composers with a concern for writing idiomatically for the guitar. • Guitarists who are commissioning a work from a composer who has never written for the instrument. • Libraries that wish to add this essential sourcebook to their music reference section. The very structure of the book reflects the composer's own intuition by addressing such questions as: • How is the guitar constructed? • What does successful guitar music look like? • How is the guitar played? • How does the guitarist interpret music and express emotion? • Which musical elements and gestures are most effective? • How do these elements combine to create an effective pacing of idioms? By examining the parameters of successfully written pieces, The Composer’s Desk Reference for the Classic Guitar provides an expedient resource of ideas and illustrations contributing to the fluency of both first-time and seasoned guitar composers.

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