Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

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tosunpasa
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Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by tosunpasa » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:31 pm

here it is: https://musescore.com/user/21954366/scores/5137966


This is my first real transcription and arrangement, which was pretty challenging for a learner. Two days ago I wanted to play some Kapsberger on guitar, specifically his Toccatas, because they are very well written and contains many innovations, flavours and colors, but the one edition available was nowhere near reasonably priced, so I had to do this myself. However I wasn't in possession of a baroque lute or knew anyone close, so I had to learn how to read Baroque tablature from scratch, here I must thank Mr. Rob Mckillop for his helps.

I've started with transcribing Kapsberger's 400 years old "Libro primo d'intavolatvra di lavto" fret by fret, it was easy enough once you knew all the symbols and indicators, and the layout of Baroque lute. And it helps that Italian tablature kinda looks like modern tabs, which is the opposite of French Baroque.

I have then attained raw transcription of the Toccata III. With the help of musescore I translated it into Piano clefs. This was the easy part, the real technique lies in the arrangement of the piece, that which I lack. You have to be a serious guitarist and arranger to do this properly, and I must say that I am neither. Therefore what you see in front of you might be very problematic in terms of guitaristic idiom, or music theory perfection.

My method was to remove all the impossible bass notes at first, such as D2, therefore the first problem I dealth with was octaves. Other than the impossible notes, I had to shift some of the notes in some measures up an octave (in the beginning I had already shifted the whole piece down an octave), in order for them to be reasonably playable. One interesting part is the succesion that starts from measure 28, and then again in measure 37, here I have shifted the notes up an octave, to their original places, because firstly it was a lot harder to do it in the previous octave, and secondly and more importantly, I think this shift gives a character, a color to the parts, it might be because I shifted the whole thing down at the beginning, but it's up to the player to decide where he wants to play these parts. I especially like the measure 39-42 to be played brightly and an octave higher.

Then I had to rearrange some of the chord voicings in order for the arrangement to be playable, at least for me, though almost never changing the top note, in order for the progression of melody to be felt as the original. Lastly, though in very few measures, I had to remove some of the notes from chords, which I saw as the least important in the given chord.

The various arpeggios you see in this sheet is copied from the recordings of the great Paul O'Dette, I have closely tried to emulate his style but at one point decided to stop doing that, because it was his style and there are also other performers that have great sound. Such an example is "Luthval" from youtube. He plays it exactly as the written tablature from 1611, same thing as my transcription. Paul O'dette probably follows the instruction of Kapsberger to arpeggiate some chords, though I don't know the source of this. Anyway, if you want you can arpeggiate; roll as much as you want, if you are not crazy about historically accurate performance.

There is still a lot of room for improvement. For one thing, the baroque style trill at the end of the piece is not transcribed in this sheet, because I didn't know how to do it in musescore, so the last measure trill is only a placeholder: https://image.prntscr.com/image/LPu1siN ... XndxIg.png
I also couldn't seperate the notes and beams, because I wanted to make the voices clear as in a guitar score, though I have seperated beams in one measure 12-13 but it's far from ideal. Any help is appreciated.

One thing I can say that this arrangement aspires to is to keep the original flow of the melody and key intact, the other keys didn't work so well, maybe because the piece itself is chromatic.

If you want to improve this, be my guest, i'd be grateful.

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tosunpasa
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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by tosunpasa » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:23 pm

i have just learned how to implement voicing in musescore. Really im amazed at my blindness, it was on the top panel all along, i will do the voicing of some basses the first.

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by pogmoor » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:06 pm

tosunpasa wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:23 pm
i have just learned how to implement voicing in musescore.
That's certainly important :)
You've jumped in at the deep end with your first arrangement. Kapsberger toccatas are far from being the easiest pieces to arrange. However you might find the process easier by going to the Gerbode.net page on Kapsberger where you can find a page of MIDI files of all the pieces in Libro primo d'intavolatvra di lauto - http://gerbode.net/sources/Kapsberger/i ... 1611/midi/. You can import MIDI files into MuseScore and, though you will still have to separate out the voices it's quicker than transcribing Italian tablature. Nevertheless it's important to check with the tablature as Sarge Gerbode sometimes makes errors (as does anyone transcribing tablature, I think). In this case the transcription from his tablature program (Fronimo) to MIDI has gone slightly wrong and some of the bass notes are out by a semitone (not surprising as the courses below the 6th on baroque lutes can be retuned so many different ways).

I think you need to be careful about removing bass notes. In this case you have arranged the piece in G minor, but you have removed all the low Ds. Unfortunately D is an important note in G minor (the dominant) and quite a lot of music from this period features the dominant as the lowest note in the piece. You either need to use drop D tuning or, perhaps put the piece up to A minor. You could, in fact, try an even higher key because, as it stands, your arrangement sounds nearly an octave below the pitch it might have sounded to Kapsberger on his lute. However keep up the good work :)
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008), Ramirez (Guitarra del Tiempo 2017),
Yamaha (SLG 130NW silent classical guitar 2014).

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by tosunpasa » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:38 am

pogmoor wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:06 pm
tosunpasa wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:23 pm
i have just learned how to implement voicing in musescore.
I think you need to be careful about removing bass notes. In this case you have arranged the piece in G minor, but you have removed all the low Ds. Unfortunately D is an important note in G minor (the dominant) and quite a lot of music from this period features the dominant as the lowest note in the piece. You either need to use drop D tuning or, perhaps put the piece up to A minor. You could, in fact, try an even higher key because, as it stands, your arrangement sounds nearly an octave below the pitch it might have sounded to Kapsberger on his lute. However keep up the good work :)
thank you for the link, that will help me to check my transcription and further. Here's what I think about your reply:

I have closely examined and replicated the notes into musescore from the manuscript of Kapsberger and I think my raw transcription (not the arrangement) is more true to the original material, Gerbode seems to have added some notes in, I have only used what is available as raw material, and hope that there is no mistake at least in the department of exact notating. Though I haven't uploaded the transcription yet.

When I use any other key it gets increasingly harder, and i think that i had written why i chose to tune it down an octave, and leave some parts in their original pitch: it gets lot more harder when you use the original octave, you have to do lots of barres in higher positions and note durations would be impossible to keep. only A minor might work, but that is still lot harder than the current one. Please keep in mind that I have made this in order for myself to be able to play and for the like minded people to comment and improve together, and I think what is important here is not to keep the octave but protect the original key. as I have counted the original one has 16 instances of D as the lowest note, and mine has 10 or 11 times, so I think that is close. In order to really do justice for the piece you have to have a 10 string guitar.

The D tuning also doesn't work well as the standart tuning, because of lots of G notes are as lowest; therefore the standart tuning has more advantage; and my transcription features lots of chords with G as the lowest.

I don't think this is a good or bad arrangement, I can't really say anything; but to create a close sound I think it might be close, you have to try it for yourself. For the voicing, I have improved the voicing in the latest version, so if you can check that one out and give me a feedback on that i'd be very grateful. https://musescore.com/user/21954366/scores/5137966

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by Steve Ganz » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:07 am

Thanks for your efforts and posting on the musescore site. I'm following ...
Steve

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by RobMacKillop » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:58 am

Congratulations on your first effort. I don't have the spare time to check it against the original, but the approach you have outlined is one guitarists have been forced to adopt when reducing multi-string lute music to a six-string guitar. It's never going to be the same as the original. As you go through the book, you will discover that he actually had an 11th course, though it is used only once.

I would warn you against listening to Paul O'Dette's performances of Kapsberger, which many specialists regard as his weakest interpretations. Besides, you should never incorporate other people's interpretations into a transcription. Give us the original as much as possible, and let us interpret it.

You keep saying it is baroque lute tablature, which is a bit misleading, as his lute and notation remain no different from the Renaissance practice.

You mention a few times that you are not an advanced player, and have made an arrangement that you can play, and you are sharing that freely online for other players. On the face of it, that seems okay, but what would Kapsberger think? Do you think he would be happy with your arrangement? Impossible to say, obviously. Technology has given us the power to easily chop and change things to our own liking. I know a young teenager who typed Sor's music into a notation program, made a few mouse clicks, and sold his arrangements for ukulele which are full of musical errors, yet those who buy his derangements don't know the difference, and are happy to make sounds like Sor. Only a few days ago you wrote to me confused because you thought his baroque lute was in baroque tuning, then suddenly you have an arrangement online for others to play. When I was a student I made arrangements, but would not have dreamt of publishing them, but in those days there was no internet or mechanical software for making quick arrangements.

I don't want to discourage you, so I suggest you keep going, but make an arrangement, then play it over and over to get inside the music. Live with it. Over time you might change things here and there, especially when your technique and musicianship matures. Then try another, then another. I personally would not even look at an edition of someone who learns the tuning one day, then publishes an arrangement the next. Kapsberger was one of the most important composers in the foundation of the baroque, and a master improviser. You need time to learn from him, not immediately impose yourself upon his music. Sorry if I sound harsh, as I like your enthusiasm. However, you seem very keen to publish whole collections of his lute and theorbo music, before you really understand it or can play it. But I'm fast becoming an old man, whose values are beginning to look dated! :-)

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by tosunpasa » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:35 am

RobMacKillop wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:58 am
Technology has given us the power to easily chop and change things to our own liking. I know a young teenager who typed Sor's music into a notation program, made a few mouse clicks, and sold his arrangements for ukulele which are full of musical errors

Sorry if I sound harsh, as I like your enthusiasm. However, you seem very keen to publish whole collections of his lute and theorbo music, before you really understand it or can play it.
You are absolutely right but I hope I haven't given a wrong idea; at the moment I have no intention to publish or disgrace any of Kapsberger's collections with my little knowledge; instead what I have tried to do here was to give myself a score to play, a template to work on, as it's my first arrangement I hope that it is not taken too seriously. I could have not published it and kept to myself but then again it would become almost impossible for me to improve upon it, as there would be no way of knowing what I did wrong or right. At the least, you can consider this an addition to the growing cesspit that is internet.

What I can say that I have given attention is the notes, at least my transcription should be exactly what is written, and by the way Kapsberger too has some mistakes in the manuscript, though it is understandable as they are handwritten. Transcript is here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1i2F8A ... Nfs7WQ9hzx

You could say that why not start with arranging a lot easier piece, and I will say the challenge is more fun. I hope that I haven't offended anyone or this guitar society with my vulgar attempt. If you want to improve upon it and publish as your own, be my guest, i think whole corpus of Kapsberger should be arranged and published for free, I am absolutely against the idea of limitations in the way of knowledge; if you can positively achieve good arrangements (and I'm sure anyone can do better than mine) from my raw transcript please don't hesitate, the whole point of my transcription is to make it playable on guitar, so I don't care who makes the arrangement.

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by tosunpasa » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:53 am

Steve Ganz wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:07 am
Thanks for your efforts and posting on the musescore site. I'm following ...
Thank you. I'm still improving it.

If you find that my arrangement is vulgar and useless please don't hesitate to say so, it's why I have published it, to correct my mistakes. You can also make your own arrangement from the raw transcript I have posted here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1i2F8A ... Nfs7WQ9hzx

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by mainterm » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:10 am

tosunpasa wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:31 pm
here it is: https://musescore.com/user/21954366/scores/5137966
This is my first real transcription and arrangement, which was pretty challenging for a learner.
Congratulations :)

In my experience the best way to play this music is on a lute. But if you really want to play it on a guitar - start by tuning your guitar like a lute and just play it. Play it a bunch of times. You will likely have to drop some bass notes, but this is the most true to form, idiomatic way to tackle the problem. Or get a guitar with more strings as many have done.

I have further feedback and thoughts below, but this above is in my experience the easiest and ultimately most effective way to deal with lute music on the guitar from this period. There are going to be exceptions of course ;)



tosunpasa wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:31 pm
With the help of musescore I translated it into Piano clefs. This was the easy part
How did you choose which key to use?

And so you are immediately faced with the question of key and pitch and how to deal with that when translating to the guitar. Personally, I don't think this is a straight forward topic to deal with. It may be more or less consequential based on one's aesthetic views, but straight forward not so much. Indeed you seem to have gone down a rabbit hole with all kinds of changes to the music - simply based on which key/pitch level you assumed at the outset.
tosunpasa wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:31 pm
The various arpeggios you see in this sheet is copied from the recordings of the great Paul O'Dette, I have closely tried to emulate his style but at one point decided to stop doing that, because it was his style and there are also other performers that have great sound.
It seems you came to the conclusion on your own that you shouldn't base your guitar version of this piece on Paul O'Dette's recording - and yet there are artifacts in the edition you posted on musescore. Why didn't/don't you remove them and revert to the way Kapsberger wrote this piece down?

If you aim to work with old music, my experience has been to trust no one - just like a spy movie. Work on your own with as many primary sources as you can get your hands on (relatively easy these days) and seek expert advice if you can get it, read books about it.

Indeed - have you seen what Kapsberger published in 1611? For example you refer to the "last measure trill" - but there is no such thing in Kapsberger's tab edition. He wrote out an embellishment in the penultimate measure, it's quite straight forward really.

tosunpasa wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:35 am
...at the moment I have no intention to publish or disgrace any of Kapsberger's collections
Some folks - like me, consider posting an arrangement online for public viewing to be "publishing". Once you put it out there, you have very little control over what people will do with it, whether they will understand your aims, and so on... By putting it out there you are adding to the historical record of this piece, I understand it is easy to get feedback that way, but there's a downside too. Maybe my values are just old fashioned now too :oops:
tosunpasa wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:35 am
What I can say that I have given attention is the notes, at least my transcription should be exactly what is written, and by the way Kapsberger too has some mistakes in the manuscript, though it is understandable as they are handwritten.
OK - but, by your own admission your transcription is most definitely not "exactly what is written [by Kapsberger]". And while I didn't have the right software to read your list of Kapsberger's mistakes, I have Kapsberger's original in front of me and I don't see any mistakes. This piece is pretty straight forward as far as Kapsberger goes...

And finally +1 to others who gave you feedback, especially everything Rob wrote

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:09 am

+1

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by tosunpasa » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:55 am

Thanks
I guess...
mainterm wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:10 am
How did you choose which key to use?
If you followed my musescore profile or at least clicked the link here recently you would have seen that I also have put another version in different key, choosing the key was not easy, but translating from lute tablature to piano clef is only 1 click, automated and without error, or at least if we trust muse score, from then I saw the notes with more clarity; I have also updated my version and it is now indeed improved, but you seem to have not cared enough to try it once on your guitar. I'm not saying that this is an acceptable translation, but it is only made for one purpose: to be able to play it myself on my guitar, and get a small feedback on the quality, of which you never even tried it to give an insight, but rather to refute my words about my method or this little thread.

mainterm wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:10 am
It seems you came to the conclusion on your own that you shouldn't base your guitar version of this piece on Paul O'Dette's recording - and yet there are artifacts in the edition you posted on musescore. Why didn't/don't you remove them and revert to the way Kapsberger wrote this piece down?
Why is it hard to see? I have only put some arpeggio indicators on the sheet, nothing else is copied from O'Dette's recordings, which I found very beautiful and in fact the best recording of this piece, despite whatever or whomever's preference. The flow of the thing is exactly as written by Kapsberger, it is up to you to include arpeggios, which I have also written on the sheet, but then again you don't seem to have even looked once into it. And even then what if I put exactly as O'dette ? The sheet itself then would be the transcription of a performance, which is also a sub genre of notation is it not?
mainterm wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:10 am
Indeed - have you seen what Kapsberger published in 1611? For example you refer to the "last measure trill" - but there is no such thing in Kapsberger's tab edition. He wrote out an embellishment in the penultimate measure, it's quite straight forward really.
Yes I have seen it hundred times while working on it, almost memorized the page itself. There is I believe an error regarding the duration of notes in the measure 16, it shows us two 1/8 and one dotted 1/4 and one 1/8, which in fact should have been two 1/4 and one dotted 1/4 and then one 1/8, if my basic mathematics is right.


mainterm wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:10 am
Some folks - like me, consider posting an arrangement online for public viewing to be "publishing". Once you put it out there, you have very little control over what people will do with it, whether they will understand your aims, and so on... By putting it out there you are adding to the historical record of this piece, I understand it is easy to get feedback that way, but there's a downside too. Maybe my values are just old fashioned now too :oops:
I think you are old fashioned, and I mean no disrespect. Musescore and indeed internet is forgive me but s**thole, why do you even care for an amateur work that is on internet? No professional would use my arrangement, no scholar will even care for it, indeed musescore only has two or three kapsberger sheets, therefore baroque scene is not really active there, but indeed the guitar players if they ever search for Kapsberger might see it and give it a try, if they didn't like it, they will try to find better one, the point here is that they will be in knowledge of a composer named Kapsberger, and I don't think my arrangement is really that bad, have you even tried it? I have actually never said I would publish or translate his collection I have only done one piece lads, one small piece... why is it so hard to accept? I won't continue doing any arrangement for any time soon, but if you tell me that you are really offended by an humble attempt by a student (22 years old), and disgusted at the sight of my translation, then I will remove it once and forever, all will be happy. I'm open for criticism and that is why I have created this thread, but it seems you guys never even attempted playing it, or reading from start to finish, which is actually kind of disrespectful don't you think?
I accept that the last measure may not contain a trill but an embellishment, but i have put the sound intact in the score, as you can listen with your own ears from the playback on musescore, before jumping on my neck because of the words i have put previously in here.

mainterm wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:10 am
OK - but, by your own admission your transcription is most definitely not "exactly what is written [by Kapsberger]". And while I didn't have the right software to read your list of Kapsberger's mistakes, I have Kapsberger's original in front of me and I don't see any mistakes. This piece is pretty straight forward as far as Kapsberger goes...
What I meant as exactly written was I didn't changed the melody or anything and tried to be faithful as possible. The error, I mentioned in the previous paragraphes. What can I say folks, you have succeeded in discouraging me, and isn't that the whole story of human life? Old people trying to keep their memory intact while young folks go from one mistake to another. I will let you keep your Kapsberger if that is what you really want? I know that am being emotional but I don't see any productive criticism here but grunts and muttering of conservative type. I have talked about not being disrespectful to the lute scene and you included, who ever you are, but after all the criticism here I do think that I might be the offended one here, please show the respect of at least playing it once, so that you can see there is a chance that, and indeed is, playable on guitar, whether it is a quality of mediocre, or even absymal piece of translation, that is up to you to decide,

Until you have touched the material I believe there is no case for discussing my method or words further, there is no dialectic or conversation until the tangible contact with matter, I don't believe in the power of words as much as you are I'm afraid, what I might have meant here or there is only the working of my mind at that time, however what I have worked for is the product of my effort, whether if it's an easy or hard effort, it is indeed an effort worth being considered even only for it's practical outcome.

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by mainterm » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:53 pm

tosunpasa - sorry to have got your hackles up on this. No intention to do so. My apologies if you feel unduly criticized.

I played your arrangement actually. So I "touched the material" more than you might assume. I also went through and transcribed the entire piece into modern notation - per my usual workflow. I played through that several times. I did all of this before my initial response to this thread.

So, some of your words are rather intense and perhaps as you say, you are just being emotional - I certainly don't know, this format isn't great for that sort of communication.

Looking back now at what I was doing with Kapsberger when I was 22 and reflecting on all that happened since..., I would have relished the chance to get this feedback and Rob's and others too.

Perhaps consider that the feedback you are receiving is productive and constructive and that no one is trying to discourage you. In fact I think my only encouragement to write about this at all was your clear enthusiasm for the topic. One doesn't run into people keenly interested in Kapsberger very often...

In any case, my principle suggestion is to play this piece as written in lute tuning and lose the bass notes that aren't possible. Start there. That may take you in a different direction in the end, but I still suggest to start there. And if you can get your hands on a lute, try that too, it is most enlightening to play this music on the instrument for which it was written.

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by tosunpasa » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:08 pm

mainterm wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:53 pm
tosunpasa - sorry to have got your hackles up on this. No intention to do so. My apologies if you feel unduly criticized.

In any case, my principle suggestion is to play this piece as written in lute tuning and lose the bass notes that aren't possible. Start there. That may take you in a different direction in the end, but I still suggest to start there. And if you can get your hands on a lute, try that too, it is most enlightening to play this music on the instrument for which it was written.
Then I'm sorry if i interpreted your intentions wrongly, I have sensed a latent elitism and perfectionism underneath the comments here, attacking in a polite way before even trying the thing. I am absolutely against the idea of elitism and professionalism, what makes the art move and innovate is the amateur mindset, that is when people love to learn, professionalism on the other hand is to keep what is yours and organize them for your self alone and for ever, without giving a chance for amateurs.

If I didn't sense an elitism underneath i wouldn't have been worked up, my only intention was to make it available for playing on standart tuning, therefore I dont see the point of playing on lute tuning, though I have also tried this before arranging. The thing is I live in istanbul and there is no guitar society here, let alone lute, that one can join and have constructive dialogue. Therefore I am very much in an alienated position, and have been on my own, no one told me to do an arrangement, and also I have no teacher for guitar, and been learning on my own. I have only seen here subjective judgments i'm afraid, if that's how it works here, then I want to say that O'dettes Kapsberger recordings are the most beautiful one yet, and I would consider it an honor if i were to make a note by note transcription of them.

I will not be able to get my hands on a lute for a considerable time, even though i get what you say about playing on original instrument.

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Re: Here's my first ever arrangement: Toccata III by Kapsberger

Post by PeteJ » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:13 pm

tosunpasa wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:08 pm
I have sensed a latent elitism and perfectionism underneath the comments here,...
Thank goodness for this. It makes it worthwhile posting arrangements here for comments.

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