Classical guitarist reinvigorates the past

10 July 2020

UQ PhD graduate and lecturer Dr Paul Ballam-Cross has published The Guitar Transcriptions of Francisco Tárrega on Mel Bay Publications, Inc.

The book is a modernised edition of Francisco Tárrega’s idiomatic transcriptions and arrangements for classical guitar.

Realising that the early editions contained numerous errors, Dr Ballam-Cross re-edited and corrected Tárrega 's pioneering transcriptions of composers such as Bach, Mozart, and Schumann.

“The book came about after researching these works and realising that no-one had really corrected any of the mistakes in the originals at all - Mel Bay Publications were very interested,” Dr Ballam-Cross explained.

“Tarrega is an incredibly important figure for classical guitarists. He not only wrote some of the guitar's most famous pieces, but also helped to re-design the instrument itself into the shape we know today. From that, it seems strange that guitarists so often play his original works, but not these transcriptions that are equally important in his output.”

The book has been published worldwide by Mel Bay Publications, and reviews will shortly be appearing in international journals.

“The audience [for the book] is quite specifically [for] advanced classical guitarists, but I hope that the corrections in this publication mean that it'll be useful to players for many years to come,” Dr Ballam-Cross said.

Dr Ballam-Cross first contemplated writing the book when presenting at the Instrument of Change - The International Rise of the Guitar conference in Melbourne, 2016.

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