Classical Guitar in modern era
by, 09-19-2011 at 02:41 PM (951 Views)
In this era many technological innovations, such as radio, television, and the gramophone have had wide ranging effects on the world of classical guitar music and the musical world in general.
Previous musical eras featured major composers who also worked as recitalists, often confining their repertoires to their own compositions. Concert tours were a means of promoting their own sheet music publications. In classical guitar history a growing trend in more recent decades has been a specialization in either composition or performance. With the advent of recorded music, concert tours have now been more of a promotion of recorded material by the performer, with a promotion of sheet music being secondary.
The 20th century saw recitalists performing in venues accommodating very much larger audiences. This is in contrast to the intimate venues frequented by musicians who were in the employ of aristocratic and royal patrons. Guitar constructors thus took this need into account and sound volume became a priority in guitar design.
The first classical guitarist to take advantage of these new technologies, and to satisfy the demands of modern audiences, was the Spaniard Andrés Segovia. Not being a major composer himself, through his mastery of the instrument he was able to persuade contemporary composers to write dedicated guitar works.
An attempt is made to include the important art of transcription, indeed many composers of Classical Guitar music like Francisco Tarrega made equal contributions as transcribers. Added to this, particularly in the more recent history, guitarists more known for their performance prowess such as Andres Segovia and John Williams also made transcriptions which they included in their performances, thereby promoting the original composition and the Classical Guitar repertory.
This instrument has a special role in the ensemble setting : it is able to provide harmony as a piano does (without having to cart around a heavy instrument!), and provide interplay with the melody-only instruments, such as violas, violins, clarinets and flutes. It is also effective when combined with bass instruments like the cello where it is freed from the bass duties and can provide more complex interplay, or indeed team up with the bass instrument to induce some chair-vibrating sonority.
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