“10 Must-Know Classical Pieces for Fingerstyle Ukulele”: my new songbook is available on Amazon!
Ten ukulele arrangements of famous classical pieces, with fingering and tabs.
In the musical field, I was born as a classical guitarist and, after my academic studies, I dedicated myself to other instruments, including my beloved ukulele.
So, classical music always remains my first great love: it is therefore natural that the transcription of classical pieces is one of the first steps I take when I start to approach the study of a new instrument.
For ukulele I have transcribed many pieces, and in this book I have collected those to which I am particularly attached, and that in my opinion best perform on the small instrument.
Gavotte 1 & 2 from Johann Sebastian Bach‘s Cello suite No.6, BWV 1012
The six Cello Suites (BWV 1007-1012), are suites for unaccompanied cello by Johann Sebastian Bach.
They are some of the most frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for cello.
“Canon in D“, by Johann Pachelbel
“Pachelbel’s Canon” is the common name for the the piece “Canon and Gigue for 3 violins and basso continuo” by Johann Pachelbel, also referred to as Canon and Gigue in D or simply Canon in D.
“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring“, from Johann Sebastian Bach‘s Cantata BWV 147
“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” is the common English title of a piece derived from the chorale setting of the cantata “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben”, BWV 147, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in
“Greensleeves” is a traditional English folk song, found in several late-16th-century and early-17th-century sources, such as Ballet’s MS Lute Book and Het Luitboek van Thysius, as well as various manuscripts preserved in the Seeley Historical Library at the University of Cambridge.
“Menuet“, by Robert de Visée
Robert de Visée (1655–1732) was a lutenist, guitarist, theorbist and
viol player at the court of the French kings Louis XIV and Louis XV.
De Visée composed mostly for the guitar, theorbo, and lute, and is
arguably the most important French composer of Baroque guitar music.
Prelude from Johann Sebastian Bach‘s Cello Suite No. 1, BWV 1007
Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his Cello Suite no. 1 around 1720, though the work was not published until 1825.
It is a work in seven movements, and the Prelude, mainly consisting of arpeggiated chords, is probably the best known movement from the entire set of suites and is regularly heard on television, films and also a favourite for gigs and weddings.
Andante No. 18 in A minor, from Ferdinando Carulli‘s “Guitar Method” Op. 241
This Andante in A minor by Ferdinando Carulli is part of the composer’s “Méthode complète pour parvenir à pincer la guitare”, Op. 241, first published in Paris around 1825.
“Canarios“, by Gaspar Sanz
Gaspar Sanz (1640 – 1710) was an Aragonese composer and guitarist most known for his multiple volumes of pedagogical works for baroque guitar.
Canarios is a work for the five course baroque Spanish guitar, published as part of Instrucción de música sobre la guitarra española.
Spanish Romance (Jeux Interdits soundtrack)
The paternity of the song is controversial: the most famous version of Romance is that recorded by Narciso Yepes for the soundtrack of the film “Jeux Interdits” (1952): probably the music is not completely composed by
Yepes, but his contribution was fundamental to the success of this melody, which has become a synonymous of the classical guitar in the world.
Hungarian Dance No. 5, by Johannes Brahms
The Hungarian Dances (German: Ungarische Tänze, Hungarian: Magyar táncok) by Johannes Brahms, are a set of 21 lively dance tunes based mostly on Hungarian themes, completed in 1869.
All of his dances were composed for the piano.
Brahms wrote orchestral arrangements for No. 1, No. 3 and No. 10. Other composers have orchestrated the other dances.
Number 5 was based on the csardas by Keler Bela titled “Bartfai emlek” which Brahms mistakenly thought was a traditional folksong.