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Transcriptions (No. 2: Frederic Chopin - "Prelude 20")

This brooding and haunting piece was played at Chopin's funeral.

Frederic Chopin was one of the greatest piano composers in history. Fortunately for guitarists many of his pieces have been transcribed. Chopin did not confine himself to one key. Notice the amount of accidentals in this 80-second prelude. This piece was originally written in C minor (3 flats). I have transposed it here to A minor. The low E string has been dropped to D. Only necessary liberties were taken to accomodate the range and tuning of the guitar. As with much of the classical repertoire, many of the chord tones don't fall on adjacent strings. This is necessary to maintain harmonic integrity when possible. Guitarists will benefit from the musical opportunities that this technique provides. Try rolling the chords with the right hand thumb and fingers. This creates a more guitaristic effect while adding variety and character to the piece. Let the notes overlap, sustaining them whenever posiible. Give the piece lots of room to breathe: Another interesting note is that Chopin specifically requested that all of his unpublished works (which includes this one) be destroyed upon his death. Chopin was indeed a complexed individual, whose genius we have all been fortunate to have benefited from in spite of his own wishes. :-)

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Tags: 20, chopin, francis, frederic, guitar, john, prelude, solo, transcription

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