Following James Tyler's earlier introduction to the history, repertory, and playing techniques of the four- and five-course guitar, The Early Guitar (OUP, 1980), this new book, written in collaboration with Paul Sparks and incorporating the latest ideas and research, is an authoritative guide to the history and repertory of the guitar from the Renaissance to the dawn of the Classical era.
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... exquisitely researched tome ... fascinating as a tool for frequent reference and a good read too. (Classical Guitar)
Not only does [The Guitar and Its Music] offer a detailed guide to the sources, it integrates recent work from the fields of organology and iconography, archival and patronage studies, performance practice, and the analogous area of lute music, resulting in a coverage that is impressively inclusive in the best sense of the word. (Renaissance Quarterly)
... with its detailed discussions of the sources, clear explanations of performance issues, and the extension of the coverage into the eighteenth century, all formed upon a solid musicological base, this book will surely be a cornerstone of future research and performance of early guitar repertories ... an important and essential study. (Renaissance Quarterly)
This informative book with contributions from two of the most notable scholars in the field of early plucked instruments fills in a far more complete historical account of the guitar than James Tyler's already impressive 1976 OUP volume, A Handbook of the Early Guitar. Much new research figures in the detailed accounts of the guitar covering the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. (The Lute Society of America Quarterly)
In this very important new book, James Tyler and Paul Sparks have managed not only to document the guitar's early history, but also to open a window on the music, survey the various relevant instruments and playing techniques, and set a course for future research. Their work will appeal to a wide range of readers, from historians with little interest in the guitar for its own sake, to performers with little interest in history for its own sake. (Charles Youmans, Notes)
Books on the history of the guitar are not in short supply but this one is one of the very best ... Tyler's contribution is excellent ... The Guitar and Its Music will open the eyes of those who think that the instrument is fit only for rock stars, born-again evangelists - and the occasional Prime Minister. (Anthony Pryer, Times Literary Supplement)
James Tyler, lute player and musicologist, is Professor of Music and Director of the Early Music Performance Programme at the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music. He was a member of The Early Music Consort of London, the Julian Bream Consort, and Founding Director of the London Early Music Group, and has toured extensively throughout the world as a performer, also making several recordings. His books include The Early Guitar: A History and Handbook (OUP 1980), and (with Paul Sparks) The Early Mandolin (OUP 1989), and he contributed many articles to the revised edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Macmillan 2000). Paul Sparks, a perfomer and musicologist specializing in plucked string instruments, was awarded a doctorate at City University, London, for his thesis on the 18th-century Neapolitan mandolin. As a mandolin player and guitarist he has worked with most leading British orchestras, and in his numerous recitals (including several for BBC Radio 3) he has endeavoured to rehabilitate forgotten items from the 18th-century repertoire. He is the co-author (with James Tyler) of The Early Mandolin (OUP 1989), author of The Classical Mandolin (OUP 1995), and a contributor to The Classical Guitar: A Complete History (Balafon 1997) and to the revised edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Macmillan 2000).
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