Back to the main page for Gaspar Sanz, with an index to the works in his book, Instruccion de Musica sobre la Guitarra Espan^ola.
Back to complete GS211: Passacalles por La O.

Playing Sanz on the Modern Guitar

This page offers suggestions for adding octave notes to Sanz's baroque guitar tablature when playing on the modern guitar. I use an excerpt from the "Passacalles por La O" and present it three ways:

Sample 1. Identical to Sanz's original tablature - nothing more, nothing less.

Sample 2. With octaves added above ALL 4th- and 5th-string notes.

Sample 3. With octaves added more judiciously, in particular, with the goal of smoothing the transition of sections on the "bass" strings back to sections on the treble strings.

I had gone through a phase where I figured, if I can work the higher octave in, I would. That gives the exact same notes a baroque guitarist heard, right? Then the Wes Montgomery-ness of it all started to wear itself out. At the same time, I realized I actually liked a pure bass run here and there (despite Gaspar's rule about No Basses at all.) So I started weeding out a lot of the higher octaves I had put in, and Sample 3 is the sort of thing I ended up with.

You'll see that my basic rule of thumb is just to add the higher octave on the final note or two of the bass run before the trebles start. Keep in mind that I'm NOT an authority, so if you play a batch of Sanz like this at your Carnegie Hall debut and get ripped to shreds for the most non-authentic Sanz ever, don't come crying to me. But it sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

The excerpt starts at measure 85 in the Passacalle. This section has slurs and that's useful because it shows how difficult the slurs are with all the high octaves added, but how playable they remain in Sample 3.


Title:     Passacalles por La O (excerpt)
Composer:  Gaspar Sanz

Tablature elements to be added by hand:
  Slurs.  If only a starting point is given, slur includes all the following 
  uninterrupted notes on the same string.
    M85p4s2.
    M86p4s5.
    M87p4s3.
    M88p4s4.
    M89p2s4.
    M90p2s1.
    M91p2s5.
    M92p2S1.
    M93p4s4.
    M94p4s4.
    M95p4s3.
    M95p4s5.
  Take a moment to fill out the 16th-note beams.


*** Download and edit out all material above and below the tablature.
*** See my printing tips in the page, "General comments on the tablature".
*** Print out starting with the title line just below.


                              Passacalles por La O, excerpt                            Page 1.
                                                                                   Gaspar Sanz

M85.       Sample 1 - (Baroque guitar) Identical to Sanz's original tablature.
 ___ _____ ___  ___ _____ ___  ___ _____ ___  ___ _____ ___    _____ ___ ___  _____ ___ ___     
 | | | |-| | |  | | | |-| | |  | | | |-| | |  | | | |-| | |    | |-| | | | |  | |-| | | | |     
________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____3_______0|_____1________|_____3________|_____2_________||______________|___6_5_3______|____
___3___0_1_3__|___3__________|___1_________1|___3___________||______________|_________6_5_3|____
_0____________|______________|_______0_2_3__|_______________||_0____________|_0____________|____
______________|_0___________0|_1____________|_0_____0_2_4_0_||___3_1_0______|______________|____
______________|_______0_1_3__|______________|_______________||_________3_1_0|______________|____
______________|______________|______________|_______________||______________|______________|____


M91. (sample 1, cont'd.)
 _____ ___ ___  _____ ___ ___    ___ ___ ___  ___ ___ ___  ___ ___ ___  ___ ___ ___             
 | |-| | | | |  | |-| | | | |    | | | | | |  | | | | | |  | | | | | |  | | | | | |  |          
________________________________________________________________________________________________
_3____________|___3_2_0___0_2_||_____3______|____________|____________|_____5______|_3______||__
_4____________|_3_______3_____||___3________|_____3______|_____4______|___3________|_3______||__
_5_______0____|_______________||_0__________|___0________|___0___3_2_0|____________|________||__
___________3_1|_0_____________||_______1_0__|_______3_1_0|____________|_4__________|________||__
___3_1_0______|_______________||___________3|_1__________|_3__________|_______3_1_0|_1______||__
______________|_______________||____________|____________|____________|____________|________||__


                                             ***

M85.       Sample 2 - (Modern guitar) All 4th- and 5th-string octaves added.
 ___ _____ ___  ___ _____ ___  ___ _____ ___  ___ _____ ___    _____ ___ ___  _____ ___ ___     
 | | | |-| | |  | | | |-| | |  | | | |-| | |  | | | |-| | |    | |-| | | | |  | |-| | | | |     
________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____3_______0|_____1________|_____3________|_____2___0_2___||___1__________|___6_5_3______|____
___3___0_1_3__|_3_3_________3|_4_1_________1|_3_3___3_____3_||_____4_3_1____|_________6_5_3|____
_0____________|_______2_3_5__|_______0_2_3__|_______________||_0_________3_2|_0____________|____
______________|_0___________0|_1____________|_0_____0_2_4_0_||___3_1_0______|______________|____
______________|_______0_1_3__|______________|_______________||_________3_1_0|______________|____
______________|______________|______________|_______________||______________|______________|____


M91. (sample 2, cont'd.)
 _____ ___ ___  _____ ___ ___    ___ ___ ___  ___ ___ ___  ___ ___ ___  ___ ___ ___             
 | |-| | | | |  | |-| | | | |    | | | | | |  | | | | | |  | | | | | |  | | | | | |  |          
________________________________________________________________________________________________
_3_________1__|___3_2_0___0_2_||_____3______|_______1____|____________|_2___5______|_3______||__
_4___________4|_3_______3_____||___3___4_3_1|_____3___4_3|_1___4______|___3________|_3______||__
_5_5_3_2_0____|_______________||_0__________|_3_0________|___0___3_2_0|_______5_3_2|________||__
___________3_1|_0_____________||_______1_0__|_______3_1_0|____________|_4__________|________||__
___3_1_0______|_______________||___________3|_1__________|_3__________|_______3_1_0|_1______||__
______________|_______________||____________|____________|____________|____________|________||__


                                             ***

M85.       Sample 3 - (Modern guitar) Judicious addition of octaves.
 ___ _____ ___  ___ _____ ___  ___ _____ ___  ___ _____ ___    _____ ___ ___  _____ ___ ___     
 | | | |-| | |  | | | |-| | |  | | | |-| | |  | | | |-| | |    | |-| | | | |  | |-| | | | |     
________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____3_______0|_____1________|_____3________|_____2_________||______________|___6_5_3______|____
___3___0_1_3__|___3_________3|_4_1_________1|___3_________3_||______________|_________6_5_3|____
_0____________|______________|_______0_2_3__|_______________||_0___________2|_0____________|____
______________|_0___________0|_1____________|_0_____0_2_4_0_||___3_1_0______|______________|____
______________|_______0_1_3__|______________|_______________||_________3_1_0|______________|____
______________|______________|______________|_______________||______________|______________|____


M91. (sample 3, cont'd.)
 _____ ___ ___  _____ ___ ___    ___ ___ ___  ___ ___ ___  ___ ___ ___  ___ ___ ___             
 | |-| | | | |  | |-| | | | |    | | | | | |  | | | | | |  | | | | | |  | | | | | |  |          
________________________________________________________________________________________________
_3____________|___3_2_0___0_2_||_____3______|____________|____________|_2___5______|_3_||_______
_4___________4|_3_______3_____||___3_______1|_____3_____3|_1___4______|___3________|_3_||_______
_5_____2_0____|_______________||_0__________|_3_0________|___0___3_2_0|___________2|___||_______
___________3_1|_0_____________||_______1_0__|_______3_1_0|____________|_4__________|___||_______
___3_1_0______|_______________||___________3|_1__________|_3__________|_______3_1_0|_1_||_______
______________|_______________||____________|____________|____________|____________|___||_______


 


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