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Influential Classical Guitarists

Welcome to our final blog in the “influential guitarists” series. So far, we have covered the musical styles of Blues, Rock, Country, Jazz, Funk, and Heavy Metal. If you haven’t already, please be sure to check out the other blogs. In this discussion, we will wrap things up by exploring three influential Classical guitar players.

Andrés Segovia was a Spanish classical guitarist born in 1893. He was not only a virtuoso on his instrument, but also a composer and teacher. Often regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Segovia has influenced generations of classical musicians. He was awarded honorary degrees from numerous universities.  Before his death in 1987, he was one the first classical guitarists to use nylon strings rather than the traditional gut strings. This development was not only cruelty-free, but also allowed for greater tuning stability.

Fernando Sor was a Spanish classical guitarist and composer who lived between 1778 and 1839. He is best known for his guitar compositions, but composed music for a wide range of genres. Though many modern classical guitar players use the fingernails on their picking hand to pluck the strings, Sor preferred to use the flesh of his fingertips. His work is often used by guitarists as instructional material and is organized as lessons in increasing order of difficulty.

Matteo Carcassi was an Italian composer and virtuoso concert guitarist. Born in Florence in 1792, he died in Paris in 1853 after a successful career in guitar performance. Carcassi was also a teacher. Much like Fernando Sor, his works are often used as guitar method studies. Blending technical skills and brilliant romantic music, his études are as relevant and valuable today as they were when he was alive.

I hope you have enjoyed this series of blogs. As a guitarist, it is important to discover new styles of music and performers that you were unaware of. This can open new doors for you as you travel on your musical journey. Of course, there are many other styles of music in addition to the few we have discussed, as well as many other performers within those styles. I encourage you to explore more on your own. Until next time, play on!

Anna Latulippe

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