A Guide to Playing the Baroque Guitar
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More About This Title A Guide to Playing the Baroque Guitar


James Tyler offers a practical manual to aid guitar players and lutenists in transitioning from modern stringed instruments to the baroque guitar. He begins with the physical aspects of the instrument, addressing tuning and stringing arrangements and technique before considering the fundamentals of baroque guitar tablature. In the second part of the book Tyler provides an anthology of representative works from the repertoire. Each piece is introduced with an explanation of the idiosyncrasies of the particular manuscript or source and information regarding any performance practice issues related to the piece itself—represented in both tablature and staff notation. Tyler’s thorough yet practical approach facilitates access to this complex body of work.


James Tyler (1940-2010) was Professor Emeritus of Music History and Literature and served as Director of the Early Music Program and of the Thornton Baroque Sinfonia at the University of Southern California. He is author (with Paul Sparks) of The Guitar and Its Music and The Early Mandolin.



Part 1. The Basics
1. The Instrument
2. Tuning and Stringing
3. Technique
4. Reading Tablature Notation
Italian Tablature
French Tablature
5.The Fundamentals of Battuto (Strumming) Technique
Simple Strokes
Rhythmic Ornamentation
6. Reading Mixed Tablature Notation
Performance Markings
Ornament Signs
More about Alfabeto
7. Idioms Unique to the Baroque Guitar
"Inversionless" Chords
The Selective Playing of Bourdons
8. A Note on Basso Continuo

Part 2. An Anthology of Music for Baroque Guitar
Introduction to the Anthology
9. Pieces Suitable for Stringing A
Pavanas por la D / Gaspar Sanz (1675)
Suite of English Tunes / Elizabeth Cromwell's Manuscript (ca. 1684)
Corrente nona / Ferdinando Valdambrini (1646)
AllemandeSarabande / Antoine Carré (1671)
10. Pieces suitable for Stringing B
Prelud[io]Chiacona / Francesco Corbetta (1648)
AlemandaCorrenteSarabandaGiga / Giovanni Battista Granata (1674)
Passacaille dite Mariona / Lelio Colista (ca. 1675)
Prelude / Angelo Michele Bartolotti (ca. 1655)
Allemande "La Furieuse" / François Campion (1705)
Folies d'Espagne / François Le Cocq (ca. 1700)
11. Pieces Suitable for Stringing C
Pavaniglia con parti variate / Giovanni Paolo Foscarini (ca. 1630)
Aria di Fiorenza / Anonymous/Carlo Calvi (1646)
CapriccioSarabandaCapriccio / Francesco Asioli (1676)
Jacaras / Francisco Guerau (1694)
12. Pieces for Guitar and Basso Continuo
Sinfonia a 2 / Francesco Corbetta (1643)
Sinfonia à dui / Giovanni Battista Granata (1651)
Follià: Sonata 12 de Coreli [sic] / Arcangelo Corelli/Anonymous (ca. 172530)

Selected Bibliography