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Baird Guitar Studio Publications - Solo Guitar

Early and Baroque Music
Classical & Romantic, Late 19th - 20th Century
Contemporary
Folk Music
Holiday Music

guitar iconGreensleeves by AnonymousQueen Elizabeth playing the lute

Greensleeves is one of the best known melodies in Western culture. Because of its roots in Elizabethan lute music, it has a special place for guitarists. In the Renaissance tradition, this version uses the ground bass to include 2 variations.

The original authorship of this ancient music is unknown. The 1580 license belonged to Richard Jones. Christmas anthologies include this melody under the title of What Child is This? first appearing in 1865 with words by poet/theologian William Chatterton Dix.

 
Greensleeves [ Preview score ]

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guitar iconWhen I Am Laid In Earth by Henry Purcell (1658 - 1695)Henry Purcell
Transcribed for solo guitar by James Baird

The Englishman Henry Purcell wrote the opera Dido and Aeneas in 1680, when he was 22 years old. It contains Purcell's best known and one of the most pathetic songs ever composed. The famous aria "When I Am Laid in Earth", better known as "Dido's Lament", unfolds above a descending chromatic ground bass. Johann Sebastian Bach later used this ground bass in his Crucifixus from the Mass in Bm..
PDFFull score of aria "When I Am Laid in Earth"

The lyrics:
When I am laid, am laid in earth, may my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in, in thy breast;
Remember me, remember me, but ah!
Forget my fate.

When I Am Laid In Earth
by Henry Purcell
[ Score Preview ]

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Ballo Tedesco Novo de L'Autore by Giovanni Antonio Terzi (1580 - 1620)
Edited for solo guitar by James Baird

Orazio Gentileschi's Young Lutenist, painted ca 1626Giovanni Antonio Terzi was a lutenist, singer and composer of the Venetian school. Two surviving books of lute music from 1593 and 1599 contain lute solos, duets, quartets and vocal accompaniments. The Ballo Tedesco Novo de L'Autore (New German Dance by the Author) is a processional-like dance. In the compositional style of the period, Terzi presents musical material, then embellishes it.

Cite: Wikipedia, Naxos

Ballo Tedesco Novo de L'Autore
by Giovanni Terzi
[ Score Preview ]

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Fantasia X by Alonso de Mudarra (c. 1510 - 1580)
Edited for solo guitar by James Baird

Spanish LuteMudarra studied in Spain. He traveled to Italy with patrons and later served as canonista at the cathedral in Seville. His music appears in Tres libros de musica en cifras para vihuela (Three Music Books on Tablature for Vihuela). These books contain music for vihuela, including the earliest examples of music for the 4-course guitarra.

Fantasia X, Que Contrahaze La Harpa en La Manera de Ludivico, is perhaps Mudarra's most famous composition. Its remarkable innovative chromaticism excites even our modern, post-serial-composition ears. This version utilizes cross-string arpeggiation of scale passages.

Cite: Wikipedia, Answers, Classical Composers Database

Fantasia X by Alonso de Mudarra [ Score Preview ]

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Johann Sebastian BachArioso by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

This elegant piece is perhaps one of the most memorable melodies ever written. It is perfect for processionals and prelude music before the wedding ceremony. The Arioso is from Cantata "Ich steh mit einem Fuss im Grabe" BWV#156.

Arioso by Johann Sebastian Bach [ Score Preview ]

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Johann Sebastian BachPrelude in G by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
from the Suite in G major for Cello BWV 1007

This beautiful prelude comes from the first of Bach's six suites for cello, BWV 1007. This transcription for guitar is in the original key of G major. The source is facsimile copy of the manuscript. It is believed to be in the hand of Bach's second wife, Anna Magdalena.

Besides the prelude's obvious beauty, it also makes an excellent right hand arpeggio study.

Prelude, Suite G major BWV 1007
by Johann Sebastian Bach
[ Score Preview ]

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Johann Sebastian BachSarabande & Double in Bm by
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Transcribed for solo guitar by James Baird

The Sarabande from the Partita No. 1 in Bm for solo violin, BWV 1002 is ideal for reflective moments in the wedding ceremony. For example, the music enhances a candle lighting ceremony or a pause before the wedding vows. The Double is a quick moving arpeggiated "variation" of the Sarabande. Together they are suitable for ambient performance of recital. These transcriptions are comfortable on guitar.

Sarabande in Bm, BWV 1002
by Johann Sebastian Bach
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Double in Bm, BWV 1002
by Johann Sebastian Bach
[ Score Preview ]

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Johann Sebastian BachGavotte I & II in D
by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
from the Suite in D major for Cello BWV 1012

The Gavotte in D comes from the sixth of Bach's six suites for cello, BWV 1012. The transcription for guitar is in its original key of D major. The source is a facsimile of the manuscript, believed to be made by Bach's second wife Anna Magdalena.

Bach's tuning directions at the top of the first manuscript page imply he composed this suite for a 5-string instrument; the viola pomposa or the violoncello piccolo.

Besides the gavotte's obvious beauty, it functions well as a wedding processional.

Gavotte I, Suite D BWV 1012
by Johann Sebastian Bach
[ Score Preview ]
Gavotte II, Suite D BWV 1012
by Johann Sebastian Bach
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guitar iconAir from Royal Water Music by George Fredric Handel (1685 - 1759)George Fredric Hande
Transcribed for solo guitar by James Baird

George Frideric Händel was born in Germany, studied in Italy and settled in England. He is one of the most influential composers of the Baroque Era. The Air from the Royal Water Music is part of the orchestral suite in F, HWV 348, written for King George I. 

The Air is moderately paced, often heard at weddings and other festive functions. The guitar transcription is in A major and captures Händel's exquisite German polyphonic style.

Air from Water Music
by George Fredric Handel
[ Score Preview ]

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Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel (1653 - 1706)Johann Pachelbel
Transcribed for solo guitar by James Baird

The Canon in D is perhaps the most popular wedding processional of all time. This version for solo guitar works very well on the instrument. .

 

Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel [ Score Preview ]

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Fantasy Em by Sylvius Leopold Weiss (1687 - 1750)Sylvius Leopold Weiss
Transcribed for solo guitar by James Baird

This Fantasy in Em is a beautifull lyrical piece composed of a free-flowing introduction followed by a fugue that builds to a satisfying climax.

Sylvius Leopold Weiss, German composer and lutenist, was the son of a lutenist. He was an important, prolific composer for the lute and one of the best known and accomplished of his day. Weiss is particularly known for his legendary improvisational skill. Around 600 compositions, grouped into sonatas and suites, have survived to this day.

Weiss met J.S. Bach in Dresden, through his son Wilhelm Friedemann. Weiss was a member of the court chapel. J.F. Reichardt describes an account where Weiss challenged Bach at "playing fantasies and fugues". Weiss and Bach died in the same year.

Cite: Wikipedia, Naxos

Fantasy in Em
by Sylvius Leopold Weiss
[ Score Preview ]

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Ave Verum Corpus K618 by Wolfgang Amadeus MozartWolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart composed the "Ave verum" at the end of his life, in 1791. In this short spiritual piece, only forty-six measures long, Mozart demonstrates remarkable juxtaposition of modality, beauty of line and voice leading. Originally scored for chorus, strings and organ, this transcription fits onto the guitar.

 

 
Ave Verum Corpus
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
[ Score Preview ]

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5 Russian Songs by Mikhail Glinka (1804 - 1857) Mikhail Glinka

Best known for his operas and orchestral works, Glinka is regarded as the founder of Russian nationalism. His music synthesizes orchestral form with Russian traditional melody. These songs are romantic in nature and reminiscent of Franz Schubert Lieder.

Do Not Tempt Me Needlessly [ Score Preview ]
Where are the Roses? No audio [ Score Preview ]
The Storm is Roaring in the Field [ Score Preview ]
Uncle No audio [ Score Preview ]
Oh My Beautiful, My Precious One No audio [ Score Preview ]

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5 Russian Folk Songs - Traditional

Russian folk music is distinct, characterized by strong rhythms, rigorous dance movement and national pride. The plaintive melodies are set in minor modes. The rhythms are infectious.

Katyusha [ Score Preview ]
Dark Eyes [ Score Preview ]
Russia, Sacred Country - National Anthem [ Score Preview ]
Volga Boatman No audio [ Score Preview ]
Folk Song No audio [ Score Preview ]

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BalalaikaTum Balalaika - Traditional Jewish-Russian
Arranged for solo guitar with variation by James Baird

Tum Balalaika is a traditional Russian Jewish folk song about love. A young man expresses his love in a classic riddle: what grows without rain, burns forever and cries without tears? The young girl of his affection answers: a stone, love and the heart. The refrain: strum bala, strum bala, strum balalaika.

Cite: Wikipedia, Hebrew Songs

Tum Balalaika
- Traditional Russian Folk Song
[ Score Preview ]

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Erik Satie

Gymnopédie No 1 by Erik Satie

Erik Satie (1866-1925) was a French composer and pianist, an influential character in early 20th century Paris. His most famous compositions are the melancholy Gymnopédies, published in the 1880s. Written for piano in D but transposed into E, this transcription of Gymnopédie No. 1 takes advantage of the open strings. The guitar captures the mood of the original, preserving the rich harmonic voicing and the melodic contours.

Cite: Wikipedia, Naxos

 
Gymnopédie No. 1 by Erik Satie [ Score Preview ]

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James Baird6 Entr'actes for solo guitar by James Baird

This group of short pieces are entr'actes, music for a staged production of poetry of Edgar Allen Poe. The central poem, the Masque of the Red Death, reminisces of Boccaccio's Decameron. Here the wealthy gather together and revel in vain, to avoid the dangers of the black plague.

 
Waltz by James Baird [ Score Preview ]
Ballade by James Baird [ Score Preview ]
Nocturne by James Baird [ Score Preview ]
Barcarole by James Baird [ Score Preview ]
Drinking Song by James Baird [ Score Preview ]
Waltz Finale by James Baird [ Score Preview ]

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*All transcriptions are copyright Baird Communications

 

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