Books about Early Music of Interest to the Classical Guitarist: An Annotated Bibliography

Performing Baroque Music on the Classical guitar: a practical handbook based on historical sources by Peter Croton, 240 pages (English)

As we go further into the 21st century, more and more classical guitarists wish to play baroque and galant music in a manner reflecting stylistic understanding of those eras. We will never know precisely how the music was played then, but can come closer to understanding the priorities of the time. The common denominator of music in our chosen period is rhetorical expression. Historical Performance Practice, by bringing us closer to the essence of the music, gives us not only more understanding but - above all - more possibilities for moving our listeners. While striving to play in a stylistic manner, we must never forget the goal of performance: to communicate passions and elevate the lives of our listeners. It is with this in mind that the present book has been written. Author: Peter Croton, early music performer, and teacher at the world-renowned Schola Cantorum Basiliensis as well as at the Conservatories of Basel and Bern.

Peter Croton grew up in the USA, lives in Switzerland and is an active performer and recording artist on various lutes and romantic guitar. He teaches lute and continuo at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, as well as lute, historical performance practice and guitar continuo at the Conservatories of Basel and Bern.

At twelve he began classical guitar with Leon Atkinson, and later played guitar in various jazz ensembles. Starting in 1979 he studied lute and classical guitar with Dr. Loris Chobanian (Oberlin Conservatory of Music), and Eugen Dombois and Hopkinson Smith (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis). He won first prize at the Erwin Bodky Competition for Early Music in Cambridge MA (1984) and has also won prizes at other international competitions. He has recorded numerous CDs in various styles (renaissance, baroque, romantic & crossover) and has appeared on television and radio as soloist and chamber musician.

Figured Bass on the Classical Guitar: a practical approach based on historical principles by Peter Croton     

This tutor, written by an experienced performer and teacher (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Basel Conservatory of Music, Bern Conservatory of Music), presents the classical guitarist with the tools to understand standard harmonization and style in the Baroque period. Its purpose is to help guitarists develop the resources to play continuo in a manner that is expressive, effective and stylistic.  Konrad Ragossnig writes: "This publication presents a practical course in the most important fundamentals of continuo playing on the guitar: a valuable contribution not only to the practice of playing thoroughbass in baroque chamber music on the classical guitar, but above all to the expansion of knowledge of musical practice in a fundamental period in Western music - a guide for all guitarists, for teachers and students, for educational and professional purposes.

The Guitar and its Music by James Tyler and Paul Sparks

Following James Tyler's earlier introduction to the history, repertory, and playing techniques of the four- and five-course guitar, The Early Guitar (OUP, 1980), this new book, written in collaboration with Paul Sparks and incorporating the latest ideas and research, is an authoritative guide to the history and repertory of the guitar from the Renaissance to the dawn of the Classical era.

"Not only does [this book] offer a detailed guide to the sources, it integrates recent work from the fields of organology and iconography, archival and patronage studies, performance practice, and the analogous area of lute music, resulting in a coverage that is impressively inclusive in the best sense of the word. ...with its detailed discussions of the sources, clear explanations of performance issues, and the extension of the coverage into the eighteenth century, all formed upon a solid musicological base, this book will surely be a cornerstone of future research and performance of early guitar repertories. important and essential study."--Renaissance Quarterly

Bach's Lute Works from the Guitarist's Perspective Vol. 1 w/CD BWV 995 & 996 by Tillman Hoppstock

First part of a three-volume series, Vol. 1 Suites BWV 995 & 996. Individual aspects such as harmony, melody, movement structure, polyphony, tempo, articulation, questions concerning arrangements, fingering problems and much more are discussed in greater detail (with the aid of over 500 musical graphics). The book investigates the history and structure of a variety of movement forms and their varying types. The author devotes an entire chapter to the topic of ornamentation. A wealth of concepts and theories are illustrated aurally with the help of the 99 musical extracts on the accompanying CD. 330 pages, cloth bound.

- with 500 music examples in print + CD with 99 tracks
- the new discovered Gerber manuscript as facsimile
- Preface by Gustav Leonhardt

Bach's Lute Works from the Guitarist's Perspective Vol. 2 w/CD BWV 998/999/1000 by Tilman Hoppstock

As in Volume I, the author investigates Bach's lute works from multifaceted and frequently unconventional aspects, not merely limiting his attention to the instruments guitar and lute. Beside many individual aspects the volume has a special focus on the topic of polyphony, including sections on concealed fugue themes and virtual polyphony, and beginning with a short introduction on the history of the fugue. The author serves up a humorous delicacy in a separate chapter to round off the book). - with 500 music examples in print + CD with 99 tracks - Preface by Hopkinson Smith.

Unaccompanied Bach: Performing the Solo Works by David Ledbetter

This pioneering book by an acclaimed expert is the first to discuss all of Bachs unaccompanied pieces in one volume, including an examination of crucial issues of style and composition type and the options open to interpretation and performance. David Ledbetter, a leading expert on Bach, provides the historical background to Bachs instrumental works, as well as detailed commentaries on each work. Ledbetter argues that Bachs unaccompanied worksthe six suites for solo cello, six sonatas and partitas for solo violin, seven works for lute, and the suite for solo fluteshould be considered together to enable one piece to elucidate another. This illuminating and significant book is essential for professionals, performers, students, or anybody who wishes to learn more about Bachs music. David Ledbetter is Associate Research Fellow at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. He is the author of Bachs Well-Tempered Clavier: The 48 Preludes and Fugues. Yale University Press, 288 pp.

Bach's Works for Solo Violin, Style, Structure & Performance by Joel Lester.

J.S. Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin have had a central place in the repertoire since the mid-18th century. This engaging introduction to these works is the first comprehensive exploration of their place within Bach's music, focusing on their structural and stylistic features as they have been perceived over time. Combining an analytical study, a historical guide, and an insightful introduction to Bach's style, the book will help violinists, classical guitarists, scholars, and listeners develop a deeper personal involvement with many aspects of these wonderful pieces.

The Worlds of J.S. Bach by Raymind Erickson

This work offers both traditional and new perspectives on the life and work of the man who is arguably the central figure in Western musical tradition. It appears at a time when, because of the fall of the Iron Curtain, extraordinary new discoveries are being made about Bach and his family at an increasing rate. As a result, this book incorporates important information and images not available even in the recent anniversary year of 2000. After making the case for the universality of Bach's art as an epitome of Western civilization, The Worlds of J.S. Bach considers in broad terms the composer's social, political, and artistic environment, its influence on him, and his interaction with it. Renowned specialists in history, religion, architecture, literature, theater, and dance offer the perspectives of these disciplines as they relate to Bach's milieu, while leading Bach specialists from both the U.S. and Germany focus on the man himself. This book is an outgrowth of the "celebrated" (Boston Globe) multidisciplinary Academies sponsored by the Aston Magna Foundation for Music and the Humanities with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It Makes accessible in English much recent German-language scholarship on Bach, iIncorporates the latest important discoveries concerning Bach, including, with illustrations, an unknown aria and the oldest known autograph manuscript (by the composer at age 15), contains biographical information not found in any of the standard reference works and other biographies. Over 200 black-and-white and color illustrations with detailed captions both support and extend the content of the essays.

Dance and the Music of J.S. Bach
by Meredith Little and Natalie Jenne

Stylized dance music and music based on dance rhythms pervade Bach's compositions. Although the music of this very special genre has long been a part of every serious musician's repertoire, little has been written about it. The original edition of this addressed works that bore the names of dances - a considerable corpus. In this expanded version of their practical and insightful study, Meredith Little and Natalie Jenne apply the same principals to the study of a great number of Bach's works that use identifiable dance rhythms but do not bear dance-specific titles. Part I describes French dance practices in the cities and courts most familiar to Bach. The terminology and analytical tools necessary for discussing dance music of Bach's time are laid out. Part II presents the dance forms that Bach used, annotating all of his named dances. Little and Jenne draw on choreographies, harmony, theorists' writings, and the music of many seventeenth- and eighteenth-century composers in order to arrive at a model for each dance type. In Appendix A all of Bach's named dances are listed in convenient tabular form; included are the BWV number for each piece, the date of composition, the larger work in which it appears, the instrumentation, and the meter. Appendix B supplies the same data for pieces recognizable as dance types but not named as such. 352 pages

J. S. Bach's Ornaments by Walter Emery

This book deals with the ornaments that Bach indicated by signs; not with the inaccurate rhythmical notation that was common in the eighteenth century. Using eighteenth-century evidence, W. Emery points out ambiguities in Bach's notation, discusses mordents, auxiliary-notes, passing-notes, turns, from a number of musical examples taken from the Well tempered Clavier, the Italian Concerto, and French Overture.

Meter in Music, 1600-1800 by George HouleThe notation of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music is often a puzzle to performers. The symbols look familiar, but their meanings of some have evolved dramatically. The period between 1600 and 1800 witnessed a transition both in notation and in the treatment of meter in performance. Merely transcribing earlier works into modern notation can actually mislead the performer. When performed according to the conventions of its own time, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music conveys a paradoxical mixture of precision and flexibility that has an enchanting lilt, grace, and vitality. Illustrating his presentation with generous quotations and musical examples from theoretical treatises and instruction manuals of the period, George Houle provides a practical guide to the performance of Baroque and early Classical music, including discussions of notes inegales, fingerings, woodwind tonguings, and string bowings.

Continuo Playing on the Lute, Archlute and Theorbo: A Comprehensive Guide for Performers by Nigel North

In this extraordinarily broad survey, Nigel North discusses the history of the lute, the archlute, and the theorbo and gives practical advice on technique, the choice of instrument for particular music, and the preparation of scores. Hard cover.

18th Century Continuo Playing by Jesper Christensen

Drawing upon 18th century manuals by Dandrieu, St. Lambert, Heinichen, Telemann and others, Christensen shows how to create stylistically accurate figured bass realizations. Christiensen has also added comments and written examples of his own.

Editing Early Music 2nd Ed. by John Caldwell

Editing Early Music is designed as a guide to editorial procedures suitable for music written from the Middle Ages to about 1830. Some of the suggestions are relevant to the editing of any music no longer in copyright. There is an introductory chapter on the principles of editing and transcribing, followed by three chronologically arranged chapters devoted to medieval and early renaissance music, the Renaissance, and baroque and classical music. The final chapter deals with the preparation of copy and other practical matters. Some of the technicalities are presented in the form of tables and appendices; there are musical illustrations and sample score-layouts, and a bibliography. While the book does not aim to descript early notations in detail, some of the basic information is conveyed, particularly through the extensive discussion of such matters as reduced time values and the treatment of accidentals. For this revised edition, the author has incorporated a number of corrections, brought the bibliography up to date, and added a Postscript on stemmatics and textual criticism.

John Dowland: The Collected Lute Works edited by Diane Pulton & Basil Lam

During his lifetime John Dowland was one of the few English composers whose fame spread throughout Europe. He has never been entirely forgotten although his music was almost completely ignored during the whole of the eighteenth century and most of the nineteenth. The early twentieth century saw a dawning recognition among scholars and specialists of the rare quality of his work. This work is a comprehensive and exhaustive collection of Dowland's compositions for the Lute, with critical commentaries, lists of sources and biographical notes, as thoroughly compiled and edited by Diana Poulton and Basil Lam. The music is presented in both keyboard notation and Lute tablature.

The End of Early Music: A Period Performer's History of Music for the Twenty-First Century by Bruce Haynes

Part history, part explanation of early music, this book also plays devil's advocate, criticizing current practices and urging experimentation. Haynes, a veteran of the early music movement, describes a vision of the future that involves improvisation, rhetorical expression, and composition. This work is written for musicians and non-musicians alike. 304 pages

Francesco da Milano: Complete Works for Lute Vol. 1 edited by Ruggero. Chiesa

Original works for lute by Francesco Da Milano and transcribed into modern notation (treble clef) by Ruggero Chiesa.

Francesco da Milano: Complete Works for Lute Vol. 2. edited by Ruggero Chiesa

Vocal works arranged by Francesco Da Milano for solo lute and transcrbed into modern notation (treble clef) by Ruggero Chiesa.

Sylvius Leopold Weiss: Intavolatura di Liuto edited by Ruggero Chiesa

Drawing primarily upon manuscripts in the British and Dresden Museums, Ruggero Chiesa presents here transcriptions of Weiss works in modern notation.

Luis Milan on Sixteenth Century Performance Practice by Luis Gasser

Luis Milán (1536-1561) was a lutenist, singer, composer, and poet. His collection of lute tablatures, El Maestro, is the first book of instrumental music known to have been printed in Spain. Luis Gásser discusses Milán's attention to modality, his use of meter, and the ornamentation in his songs and fantasías. Luis Gasser, Professor at the University of Barcelona, holds degrees from Barcelona Conservatory, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, and Stanford University. Like his subject, he is active as a composer, writer and performer on guitar and lute.