The music of Alberto Ginastera transcribed for guitar
Snyder, Philip Jason
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Due to certain similarities between the compositional style of Alberto Ginastera and those of Spanish composers such as Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados, and Manuel de Falla, much of Ginastera’s music can be considered appropriate for guitar transcription. While Ginastera only wrote one work specifically for the guitar (Sonata for Guitar, op. 47), the composer often makes references to the instrument throughout his entire compositional output by use of the “guitar chord,” which contains the pitches of the open strings of the guitar. Ginastera also makes frequent use of musical elements from Argentine folk songs, which are related to the Spanish folk music that often inspired Albéniz, Granados, and de Falla. This study presents a transcription of Ginastera’s piano work, Danzas Argentinas, op. 2, for guitar quartet. Chapter One outlines Ginastera’s compositional style by highlighting characteristics of his early, middle, and late periods. Chapter Two discusses the role of transcriptions in the guitar repertoire while drawing parallels between Ginastera’s music and the Spanish music that has been successfully transcribed for guitar. This chapter also provides detailed analyses of four guitar transcriptions of Ginastera’s music: Triste Pampeano arranged for solo guitar by Celia Salomón de Font, Two Dances from Suite de Danzas Criollas arranged for solo guitar by Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Tres Danzas del Ballet Estancia arranged for guitar duet by Jorge Martinez Zarate, and Piano Sonata No. 1 arranged for guitar duet by Sergio Assad. These analyses illuminate many problems faced by guitar arrangers. Chapter Three contains the transcription of Danzas Argentinas, and an analysis of the arrangement. Thus, this paper not only adds a transcription of Ginastera’s music to the repertoire of guitar ensemble, but also provides a discussion on the problems inherent in arranging for guitar.