Play Eine Kleine Nacht­musik for solo gui­tar

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In this In­stall­ment of our on­go­ing Clas­si­cal se­ries, we re­turn (as, not sur­pris­ingly, we have so of­ten) to the work of that mu­si­cal ge­nius Wolf­gang amadeus mozart (1756 – 1791). this time we are go­ing to adapt one of his best known pieces: the first move­ment from his ser­e­nade no.13 For strings In G ma­jor K525, more com­monly known as eine Kleine nacht­musik.

Com­pleted in 1787, this piece was not pub­lished un­til decades af­ter his death, and why or for whom it was writ­ten is not known. De­spite the un­cer­tainty of its ori­gin, eine Kleine nacht­musik is un­doubt­edly one of the best known pieces in the en­tire clas­si­cal reper­toire, and still very much em­bed­ded within popular cul­ture. In fact there is not a year in re­cent his­tory when it hasn’t been used in both film and TV scores.

at the time of its com­po­si­tion, mozart had al­ready writ­ten an amaz­ing body of work. this in­cluded: 38 sym­phonies, 37 con­certi for one, two and three pi­anos, bas­soon, vi­o­lin, flute, harp and horn; 17 op­eras and hun­dreds of other works – so his tech­ni­cal prow­ess, com­mand of or­ches­tra­tion and cre­ative force were all clearly es­tab­lished.

Orig­i­nally writ­ten for a string quar­tet, with an op­tional dou­ble bass, eine Kleine nacht­musik is now most of­ten per­formed by string orches­tras. to make the mul­ti­ple parts playable on the gui­tar, I’ve trans­posed the orig­i­nal key of G ma­jor down a 4th to D ma­jor, and edited some of the or­na­men­ta­tions and in­ner voices. even hav­ing done that, this ar­range­ment will nonethe­less present some­thing of a chal­lenge so be pa­tient, break it up into sec­tions for prac­tice, and re­fer to the tab cap­tions to guide you through some of the trick­ier pas­sages. hope you en­joy learn­ing and play­ing this master­piece of the clas­si­cal reper­toire, and see you next month.

To make all the parts playable on the gui­tar the orig­i­nal’s key of G ma­jor has been trans­posed down a 4th to d.

NEXT MONTH: Brid­get ar­ranges and tran­scribe’s Strauss’s fa­mous waltz, Blue Danube

Mozart: pro­lific and prodi­gious in equal mea­sure

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