Arranging for guitar quartet: where to go when notes are too damn high?

Theory and practice of composition and arranging for classical guitar, discussion of works in progress, etc.
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Composers' Workshop
Theory and practice of composition and arranging for classical guitar, discussion of works in progress, etc.

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luigibrandao
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:19 am

Arranging for guitar quartet: where to go when notes are too damn high?

Postby luigibrandao » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:41 pm

Hi folks! How are y'all?
I come here today with a question that's preventing me from getting the job done on writing my own arrangement of a piece: Walter Gieseking: Spiel um ein Kinderlied

While working on the first and second variations, I have found that the melody goes to such high notes that even if i consider them in a "guitaristic reading", that is, sounding an octave below what's written, it would still be impossible to play.
So my question is: What do I do on situations like this? Would it be ok to bring down the melody to a pitch range equal to that of the accompaniment figures or would that drown the melody itself amidst such figures? Do I rule out the figures which would then share pitch range with the melody line in order to avoid that? (And if you'd be so kind, which other arranging tips could you give me from taking a look at the scores for the 1st and 2nd variations?)

I feel like this is piece is very prone to, if not urging for, a chamber music arrangement... even the accompaniment figures sound/seem to me as something natural on the guitar; I am thus thrilled with the prospect of succeeding at writing this, and will gladly share it with you guys once it's ready to be played.

Thanks in advance!
L. :bye:

luigibrandao
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:19 am

Re: Arranging for guitar quartet: where to go when notes are too damn high?

Postby luigibrandao » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:14 pm

Sorry but my links got cut because on some countries Gieseking's music is not yet public domain... one can easily find the score on imslp (in canada it IS public domain) and the piece on youtube...

Susil
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:41 pm

Re: Arranging for guitar quartet: where to go when notes are too damn high?

Postby Susil » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:06 pm

Are you looking at these high notes being a set of chords, as in the right hand of the first pianist?

My first thought when reading the question was if you'd considered using artificial harmonics? I've seen it used in a few arrangements to get around uncomfortably high notes - which also allows them to be written in a more easily read octave. The trouble is you'll need a swift right hand and chords get particularly difficult, and a quick glance at the score suggest you might have too many notes at a time for that to be a workable solution. If you've got four guitarists to play with there might be a way to achieve it though?

The guitar has a narrower pitch range than a piano of course, so the problem of parts 'piling up' in the same pitch range is likely very common. Perhaps you could use contrasts in timbre (which the guitar does do well) to help make the parts sound separate. I'm not a hugely experienced arranger so others may have better tips than that though!

Anastas
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:57 am
Location: Bulgaria

Re: Arranging for guitar quartet: where to go when notes are too damn high?

Postby Anastas » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:09 am

Did you try to change the register of the melody- to spread it among bottom strings as a tune in the base? If it works, you should seriously re-arrange other parts, but sometimes it works.


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