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Twenty Studies for Classical Guitar by Fernando Sor

The Spaniard Fernando Sor (1778-1839) was one of the greatest of the composers for the classical guitar. In addition to many "serious" works for one or two guitars, he composed a large number of studies intended for players of lesser virtuosity. Untold numbers of students have worked their way through these studies, which satisfy the elusive goal of providing memorable pieces that, at the same time, enhance the skill and knowledge of the practitioner. Andres Segovia selected a set of twenty of those studies, each emphasizing a particular aspect of technique, and these are now some of the best known of Sor's works.

Presented here are versions of those studies, reworked and edited for the MIDI format.

The studies are presented in the original key. I mention this last point as I have seen several MIDI renditions of Sor studies that have been transposed up or down for the purpose of improving the sound on inexpensive sound cards.

It is interesting, if unremarkable, that all of the limitations of performance on the classical guitar are equally encountered in the sequencing process. Having sequenced many classical pieces, I would say that those for guitar are among the most troublesome to render with any degree of expression. From a performance aspect, it is extremely difficult to interpret a piece when one is constantly manipulating mathematical ratios, tempo maps, and velocity series. Hopefully this situation will improve as sequencing software evolves into more usable formats.

All of the MIDIs are in MIDI format 1, and reference the GM (General MIDI) instrument convention. The guitar is patch number 25 by this standard. I have also cross-referenced the Sor opus numbers in the MIDIs. For those without sequencers I reproduce them here: 


Study No.1 - Op.6, No.8
Study No.2 - Op.35, No.13
Study No.3 - Op.6, No.2
Study No.4 - Op.6, No.1
Study No.5 - Op.35, No.22
Study No.6 - Op.35, No.17
Study No.7 - Op.31, No.21
Study No.8 - Op.31, No.16
Study No.9 - Op.31, No.20
Study No.10 - Op.31, No.19
Study No.11 - Op.6, No.3
Study No.12 - Op.6, No.6
Study No.13 - Op.6, No.9
Study No.14 - Op.6, No.12
Study No.15 - Op.35, No.16
Study No.16 - Op.29, No.23
Study No.17 - Op.6, No.11
Study No.18 - Op.29, No.22
Study No.19 - Op.29, No.13
Study No.20 - Op.29, No.17


A final word of warning: these are not meant to be ideal models of performance for guitar students, who should by no means strive to imitate them. Rather they are intended as a diversion, to be played and hopefully enjoyed in the same spirit.

Any comments, corrections, or words of praise however faint, will be appreciated and should be addressed to me at the email address shown below. Complaints should be directed elsewhere.

All the MIDIs on this page are: Copyright © 1996 Ray Izumi.

Ray Izumi, izumirm@sprynet.com

November 10, 1996


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