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Gavotta

"Gavotta - Old French dance form..."

This excellent little piece by Brescianello gives you the chance to consolidate the earlier technique (Lesson 2 Greensleeves)of playing slurs with the "weaker" fingers i.e. fingers 3 and 4 of the left hand. Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello was an Italian composer from Venice who found fame in Germany mostly as the court Kapellmeister at the court of Duke Eberhard Ludwig in Stuttgart. 


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The Gavotta is admirably suited to the guitar even though not specifically written for it. It was actually written for an instrument called a colascione which, in relation to Guitar History, is a now defunct member of the lute family.

Indeed, the colascione was tuned exactly the same as a modern guitar and music written for it can be played on the guitar with little or no changes at all. This piece by Brescianello is written in what was called the "Gallant" style which was popular during the late Baroque period.

In this period, the Gavotte was the fastest of the dances in duple time, and as such you should play it in a lively manner. You can feel the "drive" of the piece always moving forward with purpose (see video below). Other than the slurs in the recurring theme, there are trills you should be careful of to make sure they are played cleanly and crisply. They can be found in bars 15 and 31. A chord roll, as in Lesson 3 - Green Sleeve, again gives you the chance to consolidate previously learned techniques.

Here is a video of the complete piece...

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As always, practice your pieces slowly and work the speed up. This piece is quite lively so take the time to master it properly. When you've mastered it, play it at a speed of 104 = 1 Crotchet Beat.

Here are a few related resources in which you may be interested...

More than Gavotta...

Partitas of Giuseppi Antonio Brescianello

Brescianello Partite per chitarra classica

Here's some of what Wikipedia says about a gavotte...

"The gavotte (also gavot or gavote) is a French dance, taking its name from a folk dance of the Gavot, the people of the Pays de Gap region of Dauphiné in the southeast of France, where the dance originated according to one source.[1] According to another reference, however, the word "gavotte" is a generic term for a variety of French folk dances, and most likely originated in Lower Brittany in the west, or possibly Provence in the southeast or the French Basque Country in the southwest of France. It is notated in 4/4 or 2/2 time and is usually of moderate tempo, though the folk dances also use meters such as 9/8 and 5/8."

You can see the full article here...

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