By way of introduction: the first words that came to our mouths, when we met at the hospitable cellar of the Athenaeum to discuss the new TaR, were those of the hero of the old puppet-show, ‘Oh, what fun!’. Twenty years after the closing of the magazine (1986), and after a total of 13 issues, we took the brave decision to ‘come out’ again through the new potentialities offered by the latest developments of Media technology. So here we are on the Internet. After twenty years! It sounds almost too good to be true.
‘We have certainly entered a new era…’ This dull sentence marks the start of the second phase of my career as a journalist! Which happens to be in Tar again (though it is a different Tar this time, an online version of the historic magazine of the 80’s). In case you are wondering why there has been such a long gap between my two periods of ‘journalistic’ experimentation, the answer is simple: ‘All these years, there has been no other guitar magazine.’ Correct, and, moreover, it suits me, as it proves beyond any doubt that I am a child of the ‘new era’—I am specialized.
In his interview to Tassos Kolydas, on behalf of the digital musical journal TAR, Jerry Willard talked about his relations with Greece. He also spoke about early music, in which he has specialized, and the association with jazz and rock music. Finaly, he talked about his studies in guitar and his plans for the next concert in Greece. The interview was held during the 16th Guitar Festival, in Patra, Greece, where Willard appeared in a concert and a master class.
Poetical and harmonically rich, the music of Nikos Drelas exploits to the full the timbral and expressive capabilities of the guitar. The performance of the excellent guitarist Yorgos Bechlivanoglou (available on tar-radio) constitutes a lesson in expressiveness , as well as economy. Anadromes is one of those works that do credit to contemporary guitar music and open new horizons for those that are tired of reproducing the conventional modern guitar repertoire.
The youngest member of the famous Assad family is a stunning girl, a great singer, composer, percussionist and awarded guitarist. Born in 1966 in a small village of Sao Paolo, Brazil, at the age of seven she started piano lessons using the little 2-octave synth she used to play with since she was three. At the age of thirteen she took her first classic and modern dance classes and one year later she started guitar classes with the first teacher of her brothers. She already had been accompanying her mandolin-playing father with her acoustic guitar at every event in town.
April 24th 2007 marks 40 years from the death of one of the greatest guitarists of the 20th Century, one of my 'guitar heroes', Ida Presti. Over many years I have felt uncomfortable as I noticed that Alexandre Lagoya hardly ever mentioned Ida Presti. When he did, in most cases he was giving information about concerts they did together, but referring to them as though it had been he alone performing them. It always upsets me whenever I find out that some of my pupils have not even heard of her. So I couldn't wait to read this book that I would like to present to you.
(LYRA CD 1040) Alexandra Christodimou and Yannis Petridis duet, following the traces of Alexander Lagoya & Ida Presti or Liza Zoi & Evangelos Assimakopoulos (the latter having been their teachers), present their second album named Mediterranean Echoes.
Guitarist Laurindo Almeida was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil on September 2, 1917. He was already one of Brazil's most famous musicians when Stan Kenton heard him playing in a Rio de Janeiro nightclub and invited him to come to the U.S. in 1947. He played with Kenton's band during the height of its success in the late 1940s. Then settled in Los Angeles, working both as a studio musician and an active member of the jazz scene.
The following article is about the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, one of the most frequent annoying situations for musicians. The author is Georgios D. Kyriakopoulos, M.D., a good friend and colleague. The article comes from somebody who really knows what he’s talking about thus, it is short and very clear, so enjoy!!!
One of the most frequently asked questions I have had to answer to guitarists who are aware of my medical profession is about the correct or incorrect position when it comes to playing the guitar. The truth of the matter, I think, is related to a Greek saying according to which “there are thousands of ways to do things wrong, but when it comes to doing things right, nobody can tell you what’s right for sure”. However, there are certain principles that could help one know where they are standing and these are the ones we will be dealing with in this short article.
GHA (126.051) A splendid disk of the guitar-player Eduardo Isaac, in music that Astor Piazzolla wrote for the tango opera Maria de Buenos Aires. Astor Piazzolla, in collaboration with the librettist Horacio Ferrer, creates a surrealistic and dark opera placed in the dangerous and enchanting atmosphere of the harbour of Buenos Aires, with prostitute Maria as the lead character. The libretto is unfolded under the sounds of the marvellous music of Piazzolla, in a symbolic and metaphysical course, full of intense sentiments and mystery.
BIS (2005) The potrait of Roland Dyens, a great guitarist and composer, and an excellent performance by Helena Papandreou. The works chosen in this album are most revealing about their creator’s personality. Papandreou is unfolding the rich virtues of the works with amazing delicacy as well as accuracy.
(CD - Poikile Stoa - 2004) Vassilis Tigirides interprets dances and fantasias by J. Dowland and his contemporaries as well as by Weiss and Mudarra with virtuosity and stylistic complexity. All the special characteristics of these original lute works are faithfully rendered by V. Tigirides using a seven string Michael Gee guitar.
During the 19th century composers and players started including the issue of posture in their teaching methods and manuals. Fernando Sor (1830) suggested the use of a table (see Figure 1) on which the player should rest the upper bout of the guitar. An alternative solution, as depicted in Figure 2, was suggested soon after by Dionisios Aguado (1843): the use of an adjustable tripod which held the instrument without needing any bodily support. However, the way of holding the guitar did not become standardised until the beginning of the 20th century, following Francisco Tarrega’s popular method of playing.
Notis Mavroudis asked me to provide an article on the final volumes of my recently completed series published under the general title ‘The Guitar Book’. Before doing, this however – and turning to a different subject – I should like to say a few words about the reappearance – now in electronic form – of TAR itself. You see, for those of us who, many years ago, backed with our love and energies the publication of TAR, it seems a trifle ungracious not to be devoting a few lines to this new effort that has got us all excited once again. Here I need to remind you that it is no easy matter pulling together a magazine, either as hard print or on the internet, especially if no financial gain is to be expected as a result. To the contrary such a project demands time, knowledge, care and above all a certain flair, as well as the ability to choose the right collaborators – one of the most basic of all problems here, if the truth were told.
Some time ago, I received at my site this polite and at the same time ‘challenging’ letter from Anna. Dear Mr. Grigoreas, I suppose this is one of the most frequently asked questions at web sites related to musical education: the nervous feeling before the performance of a piece of music before an audience, which ultimately leads to its ‘execution’ in the lethal sense of the word! What is the cause of this problem?Is it an incurable ‘disease’ or a mere lack of experience, or even the result of inadequate practice? I shall not conceal the fact that I find this feeling really oppressive. No, I have no ambition to become a soloist. I simply would like to be able to play the pieces that I love in the way that I would have liked to hear them, independent of the presence or absence of an audience. I would hate to be a nuisance. Yet I would like to hear an opinion unaffected by any ‘empathy’ that might exist between a teacher and his pupil, the opinion of an expert in the field of the guitar. Thank you for your attention, Anna
Niccolü Paganini was born in Genoa on 27th October 1782 and died in Nice on 27th May 1840. His extraordinary manipulation of the violin produced great excitement throughout Europe, which to date remains unparalleled in the narration of music. Although there is plenty of literature written regarding his genius and fabulous command of the violin, Paganini’s fondness for the guitar has received meagre and inadequate recognition. This essay will analyse Paganini’s relationship with the guitar, and the impact this instrument had over his work. First, some biographical facts and historical notes related to the guitar will be presented; then a number of quotes by contemporaries supporting Paganini’s abilities with the guitar; followed by a discussion of the works Paganini wrote for this instrument and final conclusions.
Gerassimos Miliaressis was born in the city of Vraila, in Rumania, on the 5th of January, 1918 and died in Spain on June 27, 2005. His parents, Dionissios Miliaressis and Ekaterini Loukatou were Greek, coming from the island of Cefalonia. After graduating high school from Rumania, on 1938, he moved with his parents to Athens, in Greece, where he studied the guitar next to the guitarist Nikolaos Patronas. He also had theoretical lessons from Miltiadis Koutougkos. In 1947, he graduated from the Hellenic Conservatoire, taking the first guitar diploma in Greece, with first prize.
Kyriakos Tzortzinakis was one of Greece’s most important guitar composers. Born in Athens, he graduated from the National Conservatory with a Diploma in classical guitar (class of Dimitris Fampas), and at the same time studied architecture in Florence. His gift for composition was spotted by Manos Hadjidakis, who praised the ‘inspiration and spontaneous talent’ of young Kyriakos in a handwritten note as early as 1976.
Music was one of the most important ways of expression in ancient Greek societies. Greek mythology glorifies the richness and variety of the Greek music and instruments in many legends. The surviving sources of mythology are literary reworkings of verbal traditions, complemented by interpretations of iconic imagery. Myths were the means for Greeks themselves to throw light on religious rituals and traditions that were no longer practiced. We can have an idea of the character and ethos of ancient Greek civilizations, through the readings of Homer and other great contemporary writers, and their interpretations of the mythology. This essay will look at the treasures of the musical heritage described in Greek mythology and other writings from ancient Greece. Within this, it will focus on the development of the lyre and the kithara as two of the most widely used instruments at the time.
A collection of recordings made by Greek guitarists had been missing from our record library until today. I do not know if the record market demands it or if this is the right time for the production of records with many participants and such a specialized repertoire. Nevertheless, we have decided to take this risk, trusting the maxim that “quality records usually sell”.