All the books in this series are intended to serve a variety of players, including both student and professional ensembles. It may assist in the development of musicianship, including music reading skills, as well as in the preparation of public performances.
There is nothing quite comparable to the experience of musicians creating music with other musicians. In the realm of musicianship development, music ensemble study and performance involves many of the same technical and artistic issues that accompany the study of solo music. These include considerations of balance, dynamics, tone, etc., all of which are relevant to the performance of solo music. To cultivate these and other skills, students are enriched musically by having access to a variety of musical material.
Some of the criteria used in the selection of music for this collection include: rhythmic vitality; rhythmic challenge; variety of meter; familiarity of material, and overall musical quality. To take full advantage of the instrument’s range, many first parts are arranged in the higher positions. In student ensemble situations these parts may be played by a teacher or experienced player. In most of the pieces (with a few exceptions) the other parts lie within the first or second positions. All of the arrangements are presented in keys that are idiomatic to the guitar.
In general, metronome marks, dynamics, and phrase marks are editorial. Additionally, some of the Italian (and three in French) tempo and character indications are editorial. Metronome markings should be taken only as broad suggestions with actual performance tempi determined by the performers. Fingering has been provided for most parts that extend beyond first position, as it is assumed that players will have, at least, a working knowledge of the first four frets. Players are encouraged to explore other fingerings, especially when the same music is repeated. Repeating the same music on different strings can assist in opening the ears to new timbres and expressiveness, and also expand or solidify knowledge of the entire fingerboard. Additionally, it is recommended that students of the guitar do not rely too heavily on fingerings.
Over the last few years there have been several fine performers and professors of music who have lent their assistance in this continuing project. They are: Clare Callahan (University of Cincinnati); Frank Koonce (Arizona State University); Jason Supplee; and Dr. Enric Madriguera (University of Texas at Dallas).