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Study In C by Giuliani

This Study in C by Giuliani is great for developing your thumb technique as much of the melody resides in the bass, in this piece. Actually, the melody continually switches from the bass to the treble, but the bass has a large part of this.

Indeed, the word "study", often interchangeable with "etude", means a piece of music designed specifically with trying to perfect a particular musical skill. This was quite popular with many famous piano composers in the early 19th century, for example, Chopin. Giuliani was a master of writing studies for guitar that were very concentrated and focused on the skill at hand.

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It is noteworthy to see how Giuliani displays his expertise in melody, harmony and counterpoint writing in what is basically a two-part piece. Indeed, he gets such "mileage" in respect to these from such a simple piece that it was no wonder he is regarded as one of the greatest guitar composers of all time.

To see what I mean, an interesting exercise is to play both the treble (upper) notes and the bass notes separately. Often, when you play a bass line separately, it doesn't always "make sense" on its own. When you play the bass line from this Study by Giuliani it makes "perfect sense". It is a great little melody in its own right. When you hear it juxtaposed against the treble line you'll then understand you need to make sure that the both melodies have equal attention to detail, so they both stand out in their own right but, more importantly, help to highlight each other to make the music even greater.

Here is a youtube video of the piece...

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More than Study in C...

As I mentioned above, it makes for great counterpoint. Wikipedia.com says of counterpoint...

"In music, counterpoint is the relationship between voices that are interdependent harmonically (polyphony) yet independent in rhythm and contour.[1] It has been most commonly identified in classical music, strongly developing during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period, especially in Baroque music. The term originates from the Latin punctus contra punctum meaning "point against point".

Further...

"In its most general aspect, counterpoint involves the writing of musical lines that sound very different from each other but sound harmonious when played simultaneously."

I think Giuliani has achieved this magnificently in this Study which means it's up to us to reflect that in our performances.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterpoint

Enjoy!

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