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MP3 of Aguado, Valse in G Listen to MP3 of Aguado, Valse in G
Aguado, Valse in G

Study Notes

Dionisio Aguado (1784-1849) was a Spanish virtuoso guitarist who became a close friend of his fellow countryman Fernando Sor. The two great guitarists lived together in Paris for a while, and Sor's famous duet "Les Deux Amis" was written as a tribute to their friendship. Aguado is notable for advocating the currently accepted practice of playing the guitar with fingernails, unlike Sor who played with his right hand fingertips.

In 1825 Aguado published a guitar instruction book entitled Escuela de Guitarra which is still relevant for present-day guitarists. He also composed many pieces for guitar ranging from the virtuosic to simple student pieces such as the Valse above.

The only real difficulty with this piece is getting the timing right. The dotted semiquaver - demisemiquaver rhythm in bar 1 looks quite complicated until you figure out the relative note values, and then it becomes fairly straightforward.

Here's one tip that you may find helpful in making sense out of the rhythm. If you think of the piece rewritten in 3/4 instead of 3/8 time then it will have three crotchet beats rather than three quaver beats in each bar. All of the note values become twice as long, and for most people this makes them much easier to understand. If you play the crotchet beats at the same speed as you would've played the quavers you end up with an alternative way of writing out the same piece of music.

To see what I mean, here are the first four bars of the music rewritten in 3/4 time. All quavers are turned into crotchets, semiquavers are turned into quavers, and so on. The resulting sound is the same, but it's so much easier to read:

Aguado Valse bars 1-4 rewritten in 3/4 time

Good luck. Have fun playing this piece!

Tony Oreshko

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