Thursday, March 04, 2010


The guitar is the most beautiful instrument.

I have had many musician friends who who scratch their heads in puzzlement over that statement. Maybe they don't get the rather small sound, or the repertoire of mostly short concert pieces and etudes. Maybe it's the whole rock music electric thing that throws them off; violinists and pianists are found among rock musicians, but it's a guitar-based style for sure. For me, since I was a teenager, it had been the classical guitar.

It's like holding an orchestra in your arms, it's so colorful. The instrument that seems closest in ability to express different colors is to me the oboe, on which every note seems to have its own distinct vowel sound. I've always liked that, and I could never understand why anyone would want to even out that difference between each note on their instrument, as many are instructed to try to do.

The guitar is, fortunately, a contrapuntal instrument. Like a piano, but without that instrument's incredible ability to generate different lines in music. And the guitar has a huge repertoire, if you include all the lute music from the Renaissance and Baroque period that can be made to fit under the player's fingers. Having said that, we guitarists are always stealing music from other instruments' repertoires. I've played Chopin piano pieces, Bach solo violin music, and Mozart opera arias transcribed for the guitar, and I must say these things sound beautiful on the instrument.


wunelle said...
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習慣一人 said...