Tarrega pieces by grade

A "classroom" environment for exchanging Technical Questions & Answers, How-To's, music theory concepts, etc.
Smudger5150
Posts: 518
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by Smudger5150 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:23 am

Which Sueno though? There are at least 2 'sueno's by Tarrega that I know of. The tremolo sueno is probably the advanced one.
"Music washes away the dust of every day life." Art Blakey

"If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it." Louis Armstrong

User avatar
Mark Clifton-Gaultier
Posts: 1968
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: England

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:36 am

Guitar Maniac wrote:Can't believe and don't know why "Sueno" is graded on par with the likes of La Traviata and Gran Jota
There are two works titled Sueño.
I'm assuming that the one that you are thinking of is the single-page mazurka; the other is a tremolo "study".

This in itself doesn't fully answer the question of course - there are still (sometimes significant) disparities in difficulty between pieces set for particular levels of examination. The idea is not simply to categorise the works but to present a list from which a selection may be drawn demonstrating the musical intelligence as well as technical skills of the candidate.

Inclusion of a less demanding work in the programme has several benefits for both the listener and the performer - one could think of it in terms of the difference between competetive driving events. While both demand a significant degree of competence, the skills and perception required to complete a Brands Hatch circuit are entirely different from those needed to attempt a land-speed record.

EDIT: Ah Smudger - you answered as I was typing ...

Guitar Maniac
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:19 pm

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by Guitar Maniac » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:18 am

Smudger5150 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:23 am
Which Sueno though? There are at least 2 'sueno's by Tarrega that I know of. The tremolo sueno is probably the advanced one.
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:36 am
Guitar Maniac wrote:Can't believe and don't know why "Sueno" is graded on par with the likes of La Traviata and Gran Jota
There are two works titled Sueño.
I'm assuming that the one that you are thinking of is the single-page mazurka; the other is a tremolo "study".

This in itself doesn't fully answer the question of course - there are still (sometimes significant) disparities in difficulty between pieces set for particular levels of examination. The idea is not simply to categorise the works but to present a list from which a selection may be drawn demonstrating the musical intelligence as well as technical skills of the candidate.

Inclusion of a less demanding work in the programme has several benefits for both the listener and the performer - one could think of it in terms of the difference between competetive driving events. While both demand a significant degree of competence, the skills and perception required to complete a Brands Hatch circuit are entirely different from those needed to attempt a land-speed record.

EDIT: Ah Smudger - you answered as I was typing ...
Even if it is the tremolo version, I don't think either Sueno or Recuerdos de la Alhambra is at the same level with Gran Jota. One is kind of pure single technique piece, the other is a set of various possible guitar techniques, including tremolo itself at the end (Berben edition).

User avatar
Mark Clifton-Gaultier
Posts: 1968
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: England

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:30 am

Guitar Maniac wrote:Can't believe and don't know why "Sueno" is graded on par with the likes of La Traviata and Gran Jota
Guitar Maniac wrote:Even if it is the tremolo version, I don't think either Sueno or Recuerdos de la Alhambra is at the same level with Gran Jota. One is kind of pure single technique piece, the other is a set of various possible guitar techniques, including tremolo itself at the end (Berben edition).
They are not "graded on a par" as you put it. They are simply included in a list from which one may choose a balanced program.

User avatar
zupfgeiger
Posts: 2185
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:12 pm
Location: Wezembeek-Oppem, Belgium

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by zupfgeiger » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:24 am

These days I study the piece Minuetto by Tarrega, can't find it listed anywhere. Does someone have a clue what grade it could be? I find it quite difficult and guess it's at least 7, maybe 8. Not to be confused with the piece etude in the form of a minuet, that one is much easier.
Fritz Ober, Torres/Hauser model, 2010, spruce/maple
Giovanni Tacchi, Bouchet model, spruce/BRAZ, 2018

Guitar Maniac
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:19 pm

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by Guitar Maniac » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:18 am

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:30 am
Guitar Maniac wrote:Can't believe and don't know why "Sueno" is graded on par with the likes of La Traviata and Gran Jota
Guitar Maniac wrote:Even if it is the tremolo version, I don't think either Sueno or Recuerdos de la Alhambra is at the same level with Gran Jota. One is kind of pure single technique piece, the other is a set of various possible guitar techniques, including tremolo itself at the end (Berben edition).
They are not "graded on a par" as you put it. They are simply included in a list from which one may choose a balanced program.
I was quoting this post, and according to it, they are at the same "Associate" level
Paul Janssen wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:33 pm
The following pieces are listed on the AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) guitar syllabus by grade:
[lower grades]
Associate: Recuerdos de la Alhambra
Fantasia on themes from La traviata
Gran jota
Sueno

Hope this helps!!
-Paul

User avatar
Paul Janssen
Posts: 1554
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:05 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by Paul Janssen » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:35 am

Guitar Maniac wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:18 am
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:30 am
Guitar Maniac wrote:Can't believe and don't know why "Sueno" is graded on par with the likes of La Traviata and Gran Jota
Guitar Maniac wrote:Even if it is the tremolo version, I don't think either Sueno or Recuerdos de la Alhambra is at the same level with Gran Jota. One is kind of pure single technique piece, the other is a set of various possible guitar techniques, including tremolo itself at the end (Berben edition).
They are not "graded on a par" as you put it. They are simply included in a list from which one may choose a balanced program.
I was quoting this post, and according to it, they are at the same "Associate" level
Paul Janssen wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:33 pm
The following pieces are listed on the AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) guitar syllabus by grade:
[lower grades]
Associate: Recuerdos de la Alhambra
Fantasia on themes from La traviata
Gran jota
Sueno

Hope this helps!!
-Paul
Please note that I simply copied this straight from the AMEB syllabus so this is not my grading but rather the syllabus as offered by AMEB.

I have often found some of the choices in the grading to be puzzling. For example, why is Tarrega's Estudio in Em included on the Grade 5 syllabus and not the lower grades? But then, my teacher(s) have often reminded me that technicality is only one aspect to consider and that pieces that are easier technically may be harder musically. After all, there is more than technical ability examined.

User avatar
Mark Clifton-Gaultier
Posts: 1968
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: England

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:02 am

Guitar Maniac wrote:I was quoting this post, and according to it, they are at the same "Associate" level
I'm sorry Maniac, you are missing my point - I'll try one more time:

On the current "Associateship" list of Trinity there are, for instance, two items by J.S. Bach i.e.

Prelude and Fugue from BWV 997 or
Prelude from BWV 998

Nobody in their right mind would suggest that these two selections make equable demands on the performer in any area. Forget musical and technical skill, sheer size alone makes a significant impact. The first option, BWV 997, = 165 measures whilst the second comes in at just 48.

In creating a balanced program the performer will take into account the qualities of all his/her pieces, their length and complexity, style, form, key, texture, tempo etc., etc. It may be that the shorter item works perfectly in preparation for what follows - perhaps invoking a sense of calm or stillness before a longer, more spirited work.

On the other hand, maybe the greater intellectual demands of a fugue (for both listener and performer) could be deemed useful in a program that includes several lighter, more "folkloric" items. Furthermore, we are not all equal at the time of examination - age, intellectual and psychological maturity, physiology - all these and more play their part.

I have seven or eight associateship students at the moment ranging in age from 15 to 68 and with different skill sets, strengths and weaknesses. Musicians are (thankfully) massively different. In sitting a diploma examination they are (possibly) just setting out on the road to a professional career - there needs to be an appropriate range of material on offer allowing them to express their individuality ... at which point it isn't the music that's graded but the performance.

I employ the grade system, OK not 100% of the time but it is a useful, flexible, tool for the advancing player and informs a large part of my teaching. Works selected by the various boards are obviously intended to increase in difficulty, and do so ... but in a general manner. It is often the case that a particular technique may have been established at a lower level but that an individual would do well to consolidate this at the next grade. A range of difficulties amongst the selection allows the tutor to tread an appropriate path for each person.

The idea that there might be fixed criteria which consign a certain work to a particular level is something of a misconception. A graded list does have its uses I'll admit, but I do wish that we could get away from the idea that a piece of music might be dismissed as only this or that grade (I have heard beautiful and perfectly executed renditions derided in such terms).

User avatar
Julian Ward
Posts: 311
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:52 am
Location: UK

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by Julian Ward » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:39 pm

There is a point missed also about that famous Em estudio. The very reason it is higher up than you would think in the grading lists is the physical difficulty of the Barre chords. If you look very carefully at the examination boards in the UK (I cannot speak for other countries) you will notice that any Barre work starts at grade 5. You may see a little half barre slotted into grade 4, but that is about it. Other than the full barre in the Estudio, the piece is very simple. Very pretty, but undeniably easy, apart from the brief need for a full barre.

The point Mark makes above almost goes without saying - and it is something that youngsters really struggle to understand. Take this is an illustration: An emerging grade 8 player (this is the level immediately before any diploma in the UK) would be able to play Julia Florida. It is not a technically difficult piece, but I maintain that to play this piece properly (and many similar ones like those by Tarrega) you need many years of experience as a player and certainly need to be somebody of a far higher ability than that needed to pass grade 8.

But if you stop and think about it, this goes for practically any piece of music, doesn't it? On pretty much any instrument.
Classical guitar teacher

Smudger5150
Posts: 518
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by Smudger5150 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:04 pm

You guys (Julian, Mark) are far more knowledgeable in this area than I am but it seems analogous to many other skill disciplines.
This is hopefully a corollary and not a deviation in what's been said...
I remember watching World Championship gymnastics and the commentators were saying how the gymnasts could perform much more complicated routines than what they were doing in competition i.e. they were doing those that they could perform in an controlled and almost perfect manner as opposed to those routines that were at their limits. One Chinese competitor decided to go for some uber, triple, quadruple, super routine as an attempt to get a medal and only just messed it up. But it was clearly something that was at the limits of his ability.

It's comforting and depressing (depending on your viewpoint) what has been said. Tremolo pieces seem to be introduced at Associate level. So does it (very generally re: Mark+Julian's comments) follow that one would probably master these pieces at a post-Associate level (or +years practise consolidation of Associate level pieces)? Generally speaking and taken with a large(?) pinch of salt!! :chaud:
"Music washes away the dust of every day life." Art Blakey

"If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it." Louis Armstrong

User avatar
Julian Ward
Posts: 311
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:52 am
Location: UK

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by Julian Ward » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:22 pm

Yes probably but there is no reason not to study these before. I myself studied such things way before I should have, and many of my students do. I think such pieces grow with you and as they take years to master, if you learn them early on they will become ingrained in your mind - into another category of memory that is very deep! Then as you improve, the pieces will improve with you.

As to the paragraph about people performing within their limits - absolutely. There are pieces that you probably will hear few performers playing in concert, but they might well have recorded them. If we play to our limits, we will make mistakes, as we are human beings. But generally it seems that we (as humans) are now having to strive to push ourselves more and more to prove (something?) to each other.
Classical guitar teacher

Guitar Maniac
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:19 pm

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by Guitar Maniac » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:33 am

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:02 am
Guitar Maniac wrote:I was quoting this post, and according to it, they are at the same "Associate" level
I'm sorry Maniac, you are missing my point - I'll try one more time:

On the current "Associateship" list of Trinity there are, for instance, two items by J.S. Bach i.e.

Prelude and Fugue from BWV 997 or
Prelude from BWV 998

Nobody in their right mind would suggest that these two selections make equable demands on the performer in any area. Forget musical and technical skill, sheer size alone makes a significant impact. The first option, BWV 997, = 165 measures whilst the second comes in at just 48.

In creating a balanced program the performer will take into account the qualities of all his/her pieces, their length and complexity, style, form, key, texture, tempo etc., etc. It may be that the shorter item works perfectly in preparation for what follows - perhaps invoking a sense of calm or stillness before a longer, more spirited work.

On the other hand, maybe the greater intellectual demands of a fugue (for both listener and performer) could be deemed useful in a program that includes several lighter, more "folkloric" items. Furthermore, we are not all equal at the time of examination - age, intellectual and psychological maturity, physiology - all these and more play their part.

I have seven or eight associateship students at the moment ranging in age from 15 to 68 and with different skill sets, strengths and weaknesses. Musicians are (thankfully) massively different. In sitting a diploma examination they are (possibly) just setting out on the road to a professional career - there needs to be an appropriate range of material on offer allowing them to express their individuality ... at which point it isn't the music that's graded but the performance.

I employ the grade system, OK not 100% of the time but it is a useful, flexible, tool for the advancing player and informs a large part of my teaching. Works selected by the various boards are obviously intended to increase in difficulty, and do so ... but in a general manner. It is often the case that a particular technique may have been established at a lower level but that an individual would do well to consolidate this at the next grade. A range of difficulties amongst the selection allows the tutor to tread an appropriate path for each person.

The idea that there might be fixed criteria which consign a certain work to a particular level is something of a misconception. A graded list does have its uses I'll admit, but I do wish that we could get away from the idea that a piece of music might be dismissed as only this or that grade (I have heard beautiful and perfectly executed renditions derided in such terms).
I agree it is your point about a list from which one may choose a balanced program. However what I was talking to is that both Sueno and Gran Jota are graded at the same "Associate" grade, and that information comes from the Australian Music Examinations Board guitar syllabus by grade

theknowle
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:50 pm
Location: Staffordshire UK

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by theknowle » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:55 pm

I find La Mariposa incredibly awkward to play at anything like a reasonable speed - surely one of his most demanding pieces?

User avatar
zupfgeiger
Posts: 2185
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:12 pm
Location: Wezembeek-Oppem, Belgium

Re: Tarrega pieces by grade

Post by zupfgeiger » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:49 am

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:02 am
Guitar Maniac wrote:I was quoting this post, and according to it, they are at the same "Associate" level
I'm sorry Maniac, you are missing my point - I'll try one more time:

On the current "Associateship" list of Trinity there are, for instance, two items by J.S. Bach i.e.

Prelude and Fugue from BWV 997 or
Prelude from BWV 998

Nobody in their right mind would suggest that these two selections make equable demands on the performer in any area. Forget musical and technical skill, sheer size alone makes a significant impact. The first option, BWV 997, = 165 measures whilst the second comes in at just 48.

In creating a balanced program the performer will take into account the qualities of all his/her pieces, their length and complexity, style, form, key, texture, tempo etc., etc. It may be that the shorter item works perfectly in preparation for what follows - perhaps invoking a sense of calm or stillness before a longer, more spirited work.

On the other hand, maybe the greater intellectual demands of a fugue (for both listener and performer) could be deemed useful in a program that includes several lighter, more "folkloric" items. Furthermore, we are not all equal at the time of examination - age, intellectual and psychological maturity, physiology - all these and more play their part.

I have seven or eight associateship students at the moment ranging in age from 15 to 68 and with different skill sets, strengths and weaknesses. Musicians are (thankfully) massively different. In sitting a diploma examination they are (possibly) just setting out on the road to a professional career - there needs to be an appropriate range of material on offer allowing them to express their individuality ... at which point it isn't the music that's graded but the performance.

I employ the grade system, OK not 100% of the time but it is a useful, flexible, tool for the advancing player and informs a large part of my teaching. Works selected by the various boards are obviously intended to increase in difficulty, and do so ... but in a general manner. It is often the case that a particular technique may have been established at a lower level but that an individual would do well to consolidate this at the next grade. A range of difficulties amongst the selection allows the tutor to tread an appropriate path for each person.

The idea that there might be fixed criteria which consign a certain work to a particular level is something of a misconception. A graded list does have its uses I'll admit, but I do wish that we could get away from the idea that a piece of music might be dismissed as only this or that grade (I have heard beautiful and perfectly executed renditions derided in such terms).
I absolutely agree. 999 is by no means at the same difficulty level as 997 prelude and fugue. 999 is much easier and shorter. For good reason it has been named "little prelude".
Fritz Ober, Torres/Hauser model, 2010, spruce/maple
Giovanni Tacchi, Bouchet model, spruce/BRAZ, 2018

Return to “Classical Guitar Classes”