• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Evolution of The Classical Guitar

Extracts from this document...


Zach McCullough Prof. Duchesne December 10, 2001 Intro to Music in World Cultures The Evolution of The Classical Guitar The concert stage is empty except for an ordinary piano stool and a footstool just under five inches high. About three minutes after the scheduled starting time, a plump, mils-looking septuagenarian dressed in white tie and tails ambles on, carrying a beautiful wooden guitar. He settles himself comfortably on the piano stool, places his left foot on the smaller stool and looks out at the audience with an expression of benign indulgence. The murmur of conversations subsides, and when total silence has lasted perhaps twenty seconds, his well-muscled fingers being to move across the strings. From that moment on, listeners experience a unique and unforgettable enchantment. For this is Andres Segovia, the greatest classical guitarist in the world. - Noel Busch, Reader's Digest, October 1972 This image is one of the more significant moments in the history of the classical guitar. The path the instrument has traveled from the early renaissance to its present day status was by no means a trail marked by public recognition and respect. Andres Segovia is by far the most well known classical guitarist in the world, and he is often credited with bringing the classical guitar into the forefront as a respected musical instrument worthy of composition and solo performance. While he certainly helped push the guitar into the spotlight and advanced its repertoire significantly, Andres Segovia certainly cannot take all of the credit for the respect the guitar commands in today's musical world. ...read more.


As court musician he wrote his first piece of music entitled Guitarra Espanol y Sus Defferencias de Sonos. Corbetta next found himself as the court musician for the now infamous Louis XIV of France. These appointments lead to his working for Charles II of England. Charles II was famous for his immature nature as a ruler. One historian called him "the disgrace of the country and the ridicule of foreigners - the King and his courtiers were entirely given up to gambling and love making." (p. 81 Bone) It was in this atmosphere that Corbetta flourished and did a great deal in garnering respect for the guitar while Charles II did a great deal in garnering disrespect for England. Sir Walter Scott best describes Corbetta's influence in his Memoirs of the Court of Grammont: There was a certain foreigner at court, famous for the guitar, he had a genius for music, and he was the only man who could make anything of the guitar. This Francesco had composed a saraband which either charmed or infatuated every person; for the whole guitarery at court were trying at it, and God knows what a universal strumming there was. The Duke declared it was played to perfection. (p. 81-82 Bone) Francesco Corbetta was instrumental in instilling in the aristocracy the belief that the guitar was capable of performing respectable music. Corbetta's greatest accomplishment, however, was convincing the aristocracy and social elite that the guitar was worthy of commissioning compositions for. ...read more.


And while this on achievement is more than most players hope to accomplish in a lifetime, Segovia's other contributions made him a veritable legend in his own time. (p. 236 Menn) The most important of the "other contributions" that Ferguson is referring to is the impact Segovia had on the repertoire of the guitar. Segovia's talent and sheer technical skill aroused interest from some of the world's greatest composers. As a result world-renowned composers began to write for the guitar and a serious solo instrument. Segovia's collaboration with composers like Manuel Ponce, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Alexander Tansman, Federico Moreno Torroba, Joaquin Turina, Joaquin Rodrigo and Heitor Villa-Lobos improved the repertoire for the guitar exponentially. On top of this, Segovia was also and incredible teacher. His teaching has fostered some of the greatest guitar players of present day. His disciples include Christopher Parkening, Julian Bream, John Williams, George Sakellariou, Alexander Lagoya and Elliot Fisk. (p. 7 Tosone) The most well known classical guitarist currently performing is Julian Bream, a Segovia student. The London Daily Telegraph has that Bream has "established himself as a player and interpreter of the first rank and his guitar as an elegant and expressive instrument." (p. 59 Bone) He and many other contemporary classical guitarists hope to build upon the rich history of the guitar and its artists and to continue to establish it among the ranks of serious concert quality instruments. 1 Francesco Corbetta composed for the five-course guitar. While the five-course guitar of the baroque era is similar to modern guitars it is not identical, however the music is easily translated 2 Also known as Francesco Corbera and Francis Corbet 3 The city of Saragossa is currently known as Zaragossa. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Music section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Music essays

  1. Dance Assignment Study Christopher Bruce Christopher Bruce was born in Scarborough in 1946. As ...

    For starters she called her article 'this ballet is simply torture' and then continued to say, "Whenever Christopher Bruce's 'Swansong' is on the bill, amnesty is there." Amnesty means a general pardon, so what jenny is saying is that when you see this dance, there has to be a pardon for it being terrible.

  2. Compare and contrast ‘Ghost Dances’ and ‘Rooster’ by Christopher Bruce.

    At one point in 'Rooster' the audience view early court dance steps like the minuet, (which are repeated in several sections) jiving and slow dancing. Similarly, in 'Ghost Dances' we see the same pattern when large groups are dancing; the use of duets also feature in 'Not fade Away' 'Play with Fire', and 'Ghost Dances'.

  1. Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Concerto for Trombone, composed in 1878. The work is one that I ...

    Lindberg opens at B with a dynamic of mezzo-piano, increasing the volume throughout the following six bars, reaching a fortissimo climax on the F at seventh bar of B. This is very impressive and works well as it builds-up the phrase, increasing the suspense and power of the climax in the section to come.

  2. How did jazz influence mainstream music in Europe in the 20s and 30s? Refer ...

    Jazz hit the top of Parisian political agenda, in the hope of developing a more accessible, small scale music tradition, and aiming to avoid pomposity. African singer and dancer had a hit show called 'La Reve Negre', which opened in 1925.

  1. Renaissance Music, music of Europe during the period known as the Renaissance. In musical ...

    in entertaining the nobility, using the arts to articulate and display the social cohesion and distinction of an elite. Meanwhile, the burgeoning mercantile classes created a new market for music for voices and/or instrument(s) for popular consumption. All this had a significant effect on the employment possibilities for, and the

  2. What is musical genius?

    intellectually stimulating exercises within their works, creating an overlap in fields of study. This Pi 'enigma' is not the only example of a composer showing polymathic tendencies. Iannis Xenakis, a Greek avant-garde composer was not only a music theorist and composer, but also a mathematician and engineer.

  1. Performance Investigation: Bolling Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio: Baroque and Blue

    When judging accuracy, it has been in reference to the score published by Hal Leonard. This is been the only major publication of this suite. Zucker's recording has a number of discrepancies. The piano solos are altered: like at E the solo is embellished with grace notes and a different

  2. Crunchie as bone replacement

    accurate, as when cutting the Crunchies my hands may melt the chocolate which will affect the results. Method 1. Cut the Crunchie into pieces as stated above, I need to make sure all the crunchie pieces have the same cross sectional area.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work