Guitar Music from Tres Libros de Musica

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In 1546, forty-four years after the final voyage of Christopher Columbus and while the Spanish Conquistadors swept through the Americas, Alonso Mudarra published his Tres libros de musica (Three Books of Music). These books, devoted primarily to music for the vihuela, voice and harp also contain six pieces that are described by The New Harvard Dictionary of Music as "the earliest printed music" for the guitar. In this case- that would be the 4-course Renaissance guitar.

In Guitar Music from Tres libros de musica, George Washington University guitar instructor Eric Waters has transcribed and edited these six selections from the original 16th century tablature. Each piece is presented both in standard musical notation and in a modern adaptation of the original tablature (with mensural rhythms printed above). Tablature and music are printed separately to eliminate page turns.

The companion online audio for this book was recorded on a 1995 Jose Ramirez 1-A traditional concert guitar (650 mm string length), with a capo at the third fret to better approximate the range of the Renaissance guitar and facilitate use of the original fingering. While the Renaissance guitar was tuned proportionately the same as the first four strings of the modern guitar (D-G-B-E low to high), the 1st piece in the book is tuned like a 4-string version of dropped-D tuning (C-G-B-E). These arrangements judiciously avoid the use of the 5th and 6th strings of the modern guitar to better emulate the original Renaissance model." Includes access to online audio.