Music of the Renaissance for classical guitar (1536 to 1637)

In 1501, in Venice, the printer Ottavio Petrucci was the first to use typography in the production of music. The pages were printed in three stages: first, the staves, then the notes and finally the text and the page numbers. This new process replaced the old practice of handwritten scores and, for the first time, the very rich lute repertory could be widely disseminated.

In 1536, that is to say a hundred years after the appearance of printing in Europe, Don Luys Milán, a gentleman at the court of the king of Portugal and of the Islands, published in Valencia, under the title of El Maestro, a collection of music which contains instrumental pieces for vihuela, as well as songs with vihuela accompaniment. Two years later, in 1538, Luys de Narváez published in Valladolid "Los seys libros del Delphin de musica" which introduced into Spain the idea of Variations on a Theme. In 1546 “Tres Libros de Musica para Vihuela" by Alonso Mudarra appeared in Seville. In the third book are published for the first time small pieces written for the four string guitar.

During the sixteenth century, a score of books for guitar were published, mainly in Paris. In 1549 Adrian Le Roy, together with his cousin, Robert Ballard, founded an important publishing house which was given the royal seal of approval. Between 1551 and 1556 they published 5 books of guitar tablatures.

Round about 1570, the sonority and register of the guitar were increased with the addition of a fifth string. This innovation, together with the introduction of the flat back from about 1650, heralded the birth of the “Spanish guitar".


Baroque Music for classical guitar (1670 to 1750)

In 1674, the Spaniard Gaspar Sanz published his "Instruccion de musica sobre la guitarra española".

In France, in 1670, Francesco Corbetta printed in Paris "la guitarre Royalle".

Robert de Visée, successor of Francesco Corbetta as musician at the court of the King of France, had his "Livre de guittarre dédié au Roy" printed in Paris (1682).

In 1703, François Campion was given the title of professor of theorbo and guitar at the Royal Academy of Paris by king Louis XIV. He published his "Nouvelles Découvertes sur la guitare" in Paris in 1705 as well as a treaty on accompaniment which includes the first fugues for guitar ever written.

In 1692 the Italian Ludovico Roncalli published a collection of music for guitar.

In addition, works for the baroque lute from Johann Sebastian Bach and Sylvius Léopold Weiss and the many sonatas for harpsichord of Domenico Scarlatti adapt marvelously well to the guitar.


Classical period music for classical guitar (1750 to 1840)

During this time the Italian guitarists travelled through all of Europe. Paris, Vienna and London accommodated these musicians in turn.

From 1800 to 1820, the Italian virtuoso Mauro Giuliani (1780-1840), composed the first concertos for guitar and orchestra in Vienna. The Austrian capital also had excellent guitarists such as Wenzeslaus Matiegka (1773-1830), Anton Diabelli (1781-1858) and Leonhard von Call (1768-1815).

From 1810 to 1840, Paris became the principal home of the guitar. Virtuosos like the Italians Matteo Carcassi (1792-1853) and Ferdinando Carulli (1770-1841) settled there, as well as the Spaniards Dionisio Aguado (1784-1849) and Fernando Sor (1778-1839).

Romantic Music for classical guitar (1840 to 1920)

Guitarists travelled widely in Europe and Latin America.

From 1860 to 1910 Barcelona replaced Paris as the hub of guitar music with Julian Arcas (1832-1882), José Ferrer y Esteve (1835-1916), Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909), Antonio Jiménez Manjón (1866-1919) and Miguel Llobet all being active.

From 1890 to 1940 Buenos Aires took over thanks to the arrival there of Antonio Jiménez Manjón and Miguel Llobet.


Modern Music for classical guitar (1900 to 1950)

South America boasted talents such as: Miguel Llobet (1878-1938), Julio Salvador Sagreras (1879-1942), Joao Guimarães (Pernambuco) (1883-1947), Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885-1944) and Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959).

In the 1930s, Spain again became the center of the guitar with the composers Manuel de Falla (1886-1946), Joaquin Turina (1882-1949) and Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999), who wrote for the guitar without being guitarists themselves.

Manuel de Falla was the first non-guitarist composer to write for the guitar, he opened the way to many composers who subsequently wrote for the guitar. These include:
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) :
Suite populaire Brésilienne (1912 - 1923). Max Eschig, Paris
Chôros n° 1 (1920). Max Eschig, Paris
12 études(1929). Max Eschig, Paris
5 Préludes (1940). Max Eschig, Paris

Manuel de Falla (1886-1946)
Homenaje a Debussy (1920). J. & W. Chester, London

Albert Roussel (1869-1937)
Segovia opus 29 (1925) Durand, Paris

Emilio Pujol (1886-1980)
Trois morceaux espagnols : Tonadilla, Tango, Guarija (1926?). Max Eschig, Paris

Joaquin Turina (1882-1949)
Sevillana (1923). Columbia Music & Co, Washington
Fandanguillo (1925). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Rafaga opus 53 (1930). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Sonata opus 61 (1932). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Hommage a Tárrega opus 69 (1932). Schott's Söhne, Mainz

Federico Moreno Torroba (1891-1982)
Nocturno (1926?). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Suite Castellana (1926?). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Pièces caractéristiques (1931?) . Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Madroños. Associated Music Publishers, USA
Sonatina (1965?). Editorial Cadencia, Madrid
Castillos de España (1970?) . Editorial Cadencia, Madrid

Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999)
Zarabanda lejana (1926). Joaquin Rodrigo, Madrid
En los trigales (1938). Joaquin Rodrigo, Madrid
Concierto de Aranjuez (1939). Joaquin Rodrigo, Madrid
Tiento antiguo (1947). Joaquin Rodrigo, Madrid

Manuel Maria Ponce (1882-1948)
Tres canciones popular mexicanas. Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Thème varié et final (1928). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Sonatina meridional (1932). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Variations sur Folia de España et Fugue (1932). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Concerto del Sul ( 1941). Peer international corporation, USA

Franck Martin (1890-1974)
Quatre pièces brèves (1933). Universal Edition, Zürich

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968)
Capriccio diabolico opus 85 (1935). Ricordi, Milano
Tarentella opus 87b. Ricordi, Milano
Sonata opus 77. Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Primo Concerto in D opus 99. Schott's Söhne, Mainz


Contemporary music for classical guitar (post 1950)

Numerous composers have written for the guitar:
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) :
Concerto pour guitare et petit orchestre (1951). Max Eschig, Paris

Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999)
Concerto "Fantasía para un gentilhombre" (1954). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Tres piezas españolas (1954). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Entre olivares (1956). Joaquin Rodrigo, Madrid
Invocación y danza (1961). Joaquin Rodrigo, Madrid

Maurice Ohana (1914-1992)
Tiento (1955). Billaudot, Paris
Si le jour paraît (1963). Billaudot, Paris

Reginald Smith-Brindle (1917-2003)
El polifemo de oro (1956). Schott, London
Variations "Ile de France" (1980).

Léo Brouwer (1939)
Danza caracteristica (1957). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Micro piezas pour deux guitares (1958). Max Eschig, Paris
Tres apuntes (1959). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Elogio de la danza (1964). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Canticum (1968). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
La espiral Eterna (1971). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
El Decameron negro (1981). Editions Musicales Transatlantiques, Paris

Hans Werner Henze (1926)
Drei tentos "Kammermusik 1958". Schott's Söhne, Mainz

Francis Poulenc (1889-1963)
Sarabande (1960). Ricordi, Milano

Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986)
Danza Pomposa (1961?). Schott's Söhne, Mainz
Suite "in modo polonico (1968). Max Eschig, Paris
Variations sur un thème de Scriabine (1972). Max Eschig, Paris

Federico Monpou (1893-1987)
Suite Compostelana (1962). Salabert, Paris

Stephen Dodgson (1924)
Partita for guitar (1963). Oxford university press, Oxford

Guido Santórsola (1904-1994)
Preludio de la Suite Antigua. Ricordi, São Paulo

André Jolivet (1905-1974)
Deux études de concert (1963). Boosey & Hawkes, London

Vicente Asencio (1908-1979)
Suite de Homenajes : Sonatina, Elegía, Tango de la casada infiel. Schott Frère, Bruxelles

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
Nocturnal opus 70. Faber music limited, London

Antonio Lauro (1917-1986)
4 valses vénézuéliennes. Broekmans & van Poppel, Amsterdam

John W. Duarte (1919)
English Suite, Opus 31 (1967?). Editions Novello, England
Sua cosa opus 52 (1972). Edizioni musicali Bèrben, Ancona

William Walton (1902-1983)
Five Bagatelles (1972). Oxford university press, Oxford

Abel Carlevaro (1918-2001)
Campo (n°3 de "Preludios Americanos"). Barry Editorial, Buenos Aires

Antonio Ruiz-Pipo (1934-1997)
Cancion y Danza n°1. Ediciones Musicales, Madrid

Nikita Koshkin (1956)
The Prince's Toys (1980). Gendai Guitar, Tokyo

Astor Piazolla (1921-1992)
Cinco piezas (1981?). Edizioni musicali Bèrben, Ancona

Štěpán Rak (1945)
Temptation of the Renaissance (1984?). Chorus publication, Helsinki

Nuccio d'Angelo (1955)
Due canzoni lidie (1984). Max Eschig, Paris

Roland Dyens (1957)
Saudade n°3 (1980). Editions musicales Hortensia, Paris.
Tango en Skaï (1985). Henry Lemoine, Paris

Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996)
In the woods (1995). Schott Japan