A network for historic guitars and vihuelas
Ok, here goes. I've been playing the ren lute for a decade and a half, and baroque archlute continuo for about a decade now, and have been itching to try out baroque guitar for ages. I tried to use a ukulele once as a sort of baroque guitar substitute once, but alas it didn't quite go down well with the other ensemble players even though they were on modern instruments...
Thanks Olav! Would love to see the First Part of that book...
Hi Edward, I guess a chordbook could be useful to get some initial familiarity with guitar-style fretboard harmony. Or probably better, make your own personal notebook of the most useful sequences, in 2 or 3 positions.
I have the opposite problem. It is no problem on lute to read the tablature. But I think in guitaristic terms, so my notional string 1 is an E . If I were asked to play a C chord that is really a C then I would struggle. And f course the shapes are different due to the semitone difference on string 3
Olav - thanks for the very useful Matteis link. It will be really helpful
One guitar chord book I use is written by Gaspar Sanz. In his Regla Sexta, Para Componerse (6th rule for composition, roughly translated) he points out that his labyrinth includes, for each chord of the alfabeto, three other chord forms up the neck to produce the same harmony (as it were). If my rough translation is correct, you can choose any of the alternatives arbitrarily, and in this way you can produce many "diferencias" -- so many that you can't count them "without much arithmetic".
This labyrinth is also useful because he groups the major/minor chords together, something the alfabeto doesn't do. He also kind of groups them in 4ths... E/A/D, G/C/F, etc. I suspect that because chords were a fairly new concept, there was still room for innovation concerning the ways to group and categorize them for discussion.
I got it here:
I believe there are places where you can find images of the actual pages online. As I recall, there was a site in Spain that had it. But since I got the facsimile, I have lost all those links.
this was explained to me by a friend and BG BC player that when doing BC on BG in ensemble:
'don't apply polyphonic thinking to baroque guitar (already lute with its octaves is a big mess). don't listen to it with analytical or musicological ears... For the bass line there are other instruments that whould be part of the ensemble - guitar is ONLY for rythm and harmony - or you must be able to accept A LOT OF compromise :)'
i am officially mind-blown, really!
The challenge is to choose which compromises to accept and which to avoid.
For the moment I'm trying to figure out how to play the continuo part in a Telemann sonata for traverso and BC. BG and cello will be used for the continuo.
One problem is that the bass line some places is so high voiced that the ordinary chord shapes for the first positions will place some of the tones on the BG below the bass line (I use diapason on the 4th course) Is that one of the compromises that's acceptable, or should I be careful not to come below the bass line?
I try to vary between more melodic sequences and arpeggios that are plucked and chords that are strummed.
As I am rather new to baroque guitar I have to arrange an write down the BC voice – A rather time consuming job in other words............
Is there anybody out there who knows about how common it was to use BG for BC only supplied with a bass instrument?