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Tim McTigue

Classical Guitar/Violin duets?

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I'm not sure if very many folks here will be familiar enough with classical guitar repertoire to really know what I'm talking about, but here goes:

I'm a longtime classical guitarist (not an expert, but I've received compliments), and I'm looking forward to taking violin lessons for the first time this year, once I finish making my first violin. At any rate, I've been playing in my mind with possibilities for guitar/violin duets that might be offered by some of the standard classical guitar repertoire, and I'm wondering if anyone has done much of this. Some of the pieces I've played are, for instance, "Capricho Arabe" and "Requerdos de la Alhambra" by Francisco Tarrega, as well as Milan pavanas, and various other pieces by Fernando Sor and others. I'm thinking in particualr that Capricho Arabe, and some of the Sor pieces would sound really nice as guitar/violin duets. Not that I expect to be able to approach this anytime soon, I have to learn the basics first, but I'm wondering what experience anyone has relating to this sort of thing?

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Tim, if and when you start making these arrangements, I'd be very interested in trying them out!

Are you looking for published repertoire as well? In that case I can put some lists online here.

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I'll probably get to where I can create an arrangement long before I'll be able to play it, since I'm starting from scratch with the violin. I should probably take a stab at it soon, so I can see if what's in my head relates at all to reality. I'd be very interested in published repertoire as well - I haven't listened to much violin music at all, but I'm starting to, and I haven't been aware of anyone pairing these two instruments - from what I've seen (and heard), the violin seems most often to be paired with piano...

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I'll probably get to where I can create an arrangement long before I'll be able to play it, since I'm starting from scratch with the violin. I should probably take a stab at it soon, so I can see if what's in my head relates at all to reality. I'd be very interested in published repertoire as well - I haven't listened to much violin music at all, but I'm starting to, and I haven't been aware of anyone pairing these two instruments - from what I've seen (and heard), the violin seems most often to be paired with piano...

FWIW, there's lots of guitar music here: http://beststudentviolins.com/guitars.html#guitarbooks including free guitar music and pedagogical materials, and there is also a Suzuki book for guitar and violin, which is lovely:

21 Pieces for Suzuki Violin & Guitar

I studied guitar for a while, with the intension of making it a fourth instrument for me, but found that the callouses I was developing interfered with the fine intonation issues on the violin, so I had to quit, unfortunately. And this despite all the recommendations that one could do both, Paganini was a guitarist, etc.

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Tim

I've been following your building threads with great interest. I have more experience in the playing the violin but find myself spending most of my time lately with my classical guitar so I will be following this thread too.

With your patience and ingenuity, I am sure you have already figured this out but I am particularly interested in how you will play both instruments during your first live performance. Pictures please!! :)

Joe

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With your patience and ingenuity, I am sure you have already figured this out but I am particularly interested in how you will play both instruments during your first live performance. Pictures please!! :)

Good one, Joe! Ah, modern (recording) technology is wonderful! There's a classical guitar forum I've hung out on in the past, and someone there actually posted self-duet videos... :)

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I studied guitar for a while, with the intension of making it a fourth instrument for me, but found that the callouses I was developing interfered with the fine intonation issues on the violin, so I had to quit, unfortunately. And this despite all the recommendations that one could do both, Paganini was a guitarist, etc.

Violinists don't get callouses?? I find that surprising! I would have very much expected otherwise. I wonder why that would be so? Thanks for the heads-up, it'll help to manage my expectations about what level I might ultimately reach on the violin, without giving up guitar... :)

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>> Violinists don't get callouses??

No; violinists get callouses. They're just smaller and in a different shape. The shape of a player's fingertips is very individualistic. You may be fine. Guitar playing, for me, was making the callouses much too broad. But I'm a female with tapered fingers.

What do they say? Your mileage may vary?

YMMV

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Violinists don't get callouses?? I find that surprising! I would have very much expected otherwise. I wonder why that would be so? Thanks for the heads-up, it'll help to manage my expectations about what level I might ultimately reach on the violin, without giving up guitar... :)

Tim

I'm playing the classical guitar about an hour a day when I can spare the time. This has zero effect on my violin playing. I think that it would take considerable time on my classical on a daily basis to have any effect on my violin playing.

If I was playing my acoustic pretty heavily, there might be some effect but not sure how much. Just my personal experience.

Unless you have more time to spare than I have, I don't think you will have any issues.

Joe

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Good one, Joe! Ah, modern (recording) technology is wonderful! There's a classical guitar forum I've hung out on in the past, and someone there actually posted self-duet videos... :)

I was going to say the same thing.

isn't guitar, but I do love it.

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If I was playing my acoustic pretty heavily, there might be some effect but not sure how much. Just my personal experience.

Well, I guess I'll just have to see. I've been playing guitar for about 40 years, and while I don't play classical very often, I do play the acoustic twice a week for about an hour (at choir practice, and Mass on Sunday), but I tend to have fairly pronounced callouses on my fingertips most of the time. If I were studying piano, I know the teacher would comment about the clacking on the keys (from both my left-hand callouses, and my right-hand nails). Guess I'll see what happens...

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Well, I guess I'll just have to see. I've been playing guitar for about 40 years, and while I don't play classical very often, I do play the acoustic twice a week for about an hour (at choir practice, and Mass on Sunday), but I tend to have fairly pronounced callouses on my fingertips most of the time. If I were studying piano, I know the teacher would comment about the clacking on the keys (from both my left-hand callouses, and my right-hand nails). Guess I'll see what happens...

Hi Tim, how about starting to file your callouses a little bit every couple of days so that you are preparing your fingertips for the violin and also allowing you to get used to the sensation on guitar.

Bet you can't wait to get started :)

Sharron

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I was going to say the same thing.
isn't guitar, but I do love it.

Beautiful playing on that odd video. I was wondering about this: I wrote an essay on the Beethoven Violin concerto when I was in grad school at North Texas, and I put it online, with links to music and videos. People seem to like it; it gets a lot of hits, anyway.

In the first paragraph I have the following oft repeated remark:

He [Franz Clement] performed the Beethoven Concerto by sight-reading (though there is some dispute about this) with an unrehearsed orchestra, and he divided the work up, inserting a sonata of his own after the first movement, playing his sonata with the violin up-side-down, and on one string.

I've often wondered: what does it mean, "playing the violin up-side-down"? How can you play the violin up-side-down??

Thanks,

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There is a Gragnani violin guitar duet, probably slightly easier than the Paganini ones that is quite nice. The Paganini ones are nothing like the Paganini Caprices... they are much much easier. I would guess that they are appropriate for advanced intermediate to beginning advanced players

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Here's a list of pieces for viola and guitar:

Gitarre und Viola

Kont, Paul. Ballade für Viola und Gitarre. Wien: Doblinger, c1988.

Meijering, Chiel, 1954-. Nini: voor altviool en gitaar: 1986 / Chiel Meijering. Amsterdam: Donemus, c1986.

Paganini, Nicolo. Sonata per la gran viola e chitarra / Nicolo Paganini; hrsg. Paul Bulatoff. Frankfurt: Zimmermann, 1985.

Schmidt, Hartmut. Musik fur Saiteninstrumente und Gitarre / [H. Schmidt]. [s.l.: s.n., 1982?]

Whettam, Graham. Serenade (1981) for viola (or clarinet) & guitar / Graham Whettam. Ingatestone, Essex, England: Meriden, 1984.

Gitarre und Viola (arr.)

Holewa, Hans, 1905-. Duettino nr. 3, (viola-guitar) / Hans Holewa. [stockholm: Stim, 1985].

Marais, Marin. Cinque antiche danze francesi / Marin Marais; realizzazione per viola e chitarra di Giovanni Antonioni e Carlo Carfagna. Ancona, Italy: Berben, 1979.

Rust, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1739-1796. Sonata fur Viola und Gitarre / Friedrich Wilhelm Rust. Nach dem Autograph erstmalig herausgegeben von Wolfgang Sawodny. Munchen-Grafelfing: W. Wollenweber, c1981.

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Here's a list of pieces for viola and guitar:

Gitarre und Viola

Kont, Paul. Ballade für Viola und Gitarre. Wien: Doblinger, c1988.

Meijering, Chiel, 1954-. Nini: voor altviool en gitaar: 1986 / Chiel Meijering. Amsterdam: Donemus, c1986.

Paganini, Nicolo. Sonata per la gran viola e chitarra / Nicolo Paganini; hrsg. Paul Bulatoff. Frankfurt: Zimmermann, 1985.

Schmidt, Hartmut. Musik fur Saiteninstrumente und Gitarre / [H. Schmidt]. [s.l.: s.n., 1982?]

Whettam, Graham. Serenade (1981) for viola (or clarinet) & guitar / Graham Whettam. Ingatestone, Essex, England: Meriden, 1984.

Gitarre und Viola (arr.)

Holewa, Hans, 1905-. Duettino nr. 3, (viola-guitar) / Hans Holewa. [stockholm: Stim, 1985].

Marais, Marin. Cinque antiche danze francesi / Marin Marais; realizzazione per viola e chitarra di Giovanni Antonioni e Carlo Carfagna. Ancona, Italy: Berben, 1979.

Rust, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1739-1796. Sonata fur Viola und Gitarre / Friedrich Wilhelm Rust. Nach dem Autograph erstmalig herausgegeben von Wolfgang Sawodny. Munchen-Grafelfing: W. Wollenweber, c1981.

That's a beautiful list, Amanda! Where did you get it?

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It's here -- and it's part of a loooooooong list! :-)

http://music.lib.byu.edu/piva/ZeyringerNP2.htm

They need to update their source code, but that's a very nice page.

So that's a combination of the Prof. Franz Zeyringer archive and the Primrose archive? That's a real find; if I had time, I'd go through and try to find all the music. But I have to PRACTICE.

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It may be important to note that some of the Paganini works for guitar and violin were written for the composer to play the guitar part - so the violin part is not the Paganini you would expect - a good deal easier as stated previously. I played one of these in college with a classical guitarist friend many years ago and was pleasantly suprised when I read the part with him the first time :)

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If you're just looking for nice sight-reading music (or for something to play in less concert-like settings), the big collection of instrumental parts from Taizé could be very useful. Each song has harmonies and at least one "composed" accompaniment or solo part for the guitar, often more, and then there are lots and lots of different parts for treble C instruments. The concept is like La Follia but less explosive. Many of the melodies are very, very beautiful. You can add on more instruments if you like, and play duos/trios/quartets/canons or take turns.

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