Of Music, Games, Science, and Software
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La Catedral is perhaps Agustín Barrios's best known and most played composition. Even though La Catedral is one of Barrios's early works (written in 1921), it didn't assume a final form until the last years of Barrios's life, when the Costa Rica (1939) and El Salvador (1943) manuscripts were written. Throughout his career, Barrios evolved how he played La Catedral, adding and removing parts, changing fingerings, and renotating entire movements. As a result, you will find that nobody plays it exactly the same way, depending on which transcription they are working from and how their preferences shape the bits they incorporate or omit to create their own unique renditions. Part of the joy of listening to or performing La Catedral is the variety of arrangements and interpretations it makes possible, providing something new to discover each time it is played.
Für Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven
Für Elise is a posthumously published—and possibly unfinished—work for the piano by Ludwig van Beethoven. The original manuscript is now lost, but a copy was published in 1867 and the transcriber claimed the original was dated April 27, 1810. The piece was dedicated to “Elise”, whose identity has been much speculated upon but never confirmed. Even though the dedication was not a title, it is how the piece is most commonly known. The WoO number is a sequential catalog number assigned to Beethoven's works without an opus number, making the piece his 59th known work without an opus number. Despite having been published long after his death, Für Elise is one of his most popular works, even inspiring Wolf Hoffmann's solo on the title track of Accept's 1985 album, Metal Heart.
Canarios is a work for the five course baroque Spanish guitar, published as part of Instrucción de música sobre la guitarra española. The source I used from the Biblioteca Nacional de España was dated 1697; but the first volume of the three volume set may have been published separately in 1674 because I've seen that date associated with Canarios in several secondary sources. Although the notes of the five courses of the baroque guitar are the same as those of the upper five strings of today's Spanish guitar, the way the courses were tuned with respect to one another was inconsistent. A course may have been tuned an octave apart or in unison. When tuned an octave apart, which string in a course was higher or lower would vary. Furthermore, the lower two courses were sometimes tuned in unison an octave higher (on today's guitar that would be equivalent to tuning the open A string to A on the second fret of the open G string).
Wilson's Wilde and Wilson's Wylde
Wilson's Wilde is a lute piece of unknown authorship often misattributed to John Dowland, likely because the best-known version originates from the so-called Dowland Lute Book, MS V.b.280 (olim 1610.1), in which it is titled Willsons Wilde. It is doubtful the Dowland Lute Book belonged to John Dowland or his family, but his autograph appears next to a number of his compositions in the book. John Johnson's signature also appears next to other pieces in the book. But no such attribution accompanies Wilson's Wilde. The piece also appears in other lute books, including one of the Holmes books—MS Dd.2.11, which I used as the source for Orlando Sleepeth—where it is titled Willsons Wylde. The version in the Holmes book is shorter, but employs more interesting harmony. Therefore, I have transcribed both versions from the original tablature, using the Folger Shakespeare Library's MS V.b.280 (olim 1610.1) and the Cambridge University Digital Library's MS Dd.2.11.
Fantasía by Alonso Mudarra
Fantasía que contrahace la harpa en la manera de Luduvico is a work composed by Alonso Mudarra for the vihuela that was published in 1546. It is often referred to as Fantasía X or Fantasía 10 because it is the tenth fantasy in the table of contents of Tres libros de música en cifras para vihuela. As is the case with much older music, the piece doesn't have a proper title. Instead, the title describes the type of piece—a fantasy—along with a description that may set it apart from other works of the same type. I say may because multiple works may use the same descriptive text. For example, in the table of contents of Tres libros de música en cifras para vihuela there are two works listed as Otra fantasía (Another fantasy) and two more listed as Otra fantasía fácil (Another easy fantasy). Such works can be distinguished from each other by their folio numbers or by assigning to each a number based on their order of appearance compared to other works of the same type.
 In English: Three books of music in tablature for the vihuela.