The Sixteen Easiest Pieces
especially composed for absolute beginners on the guitar
edited by Brian Jeffery
Here is the complete preface.
These are the easiest pieces, as far as I can judge, which Sor composed. He intended them for complete beginners on the guitar, and they remain perfect for that same purpose today. As well as being easy, they are also simple and delightful pieces, often of great beauty. Sor was born in Barcelona in 1778, and later lived in London and in Paris.
A contemporary wrote: “Mr. Sor feels what he has to say, and that feeling is not merely true, it is deep and intense”, and that is no doubt true also of the pieces in this book.
For this edition, I have edited every piece anew from the original
editions, to give a strictly authentic text. Sor fingered them all, and
it is only Sor’s fingering which is given in this edition. No new
fingering has been added (except some “o”s to show open strings, and a
very few elucidatory fingerings).
Teachers may care to note that while it is today considered perfectly permissible to make frequent use of the ring finger (a) of the right hand, Sor himself seldom used that finger except in four-note chords, as he explained at length in his method. So, when playing the pieces in this book, I personally find it easiest to follow Sor’s example and to use the ring finger only in chords, not in melodic passages.
It is also clear from his method that he used the right hand thumb
proportionately a great deal more, and on higher strings, than we are
used to today, something which lutenists are accustomed to. So, melodic
passages like those in no. 11 in this book can be played by the right
hand thumb and index finger in alternation. It’s easy: try it!
There are only a couple of ornaments in the pieces in this book, and
they can be considered as optional. Slurs also, at this early stage, can
be considered as optional.
Some misprints have been corrected and repeats standardized. Titles have
been translated into English from the original French. Tempo indications
at the beginning of pieces (such as “Andante”, “Allegretto”, etc.) are
all original, but indications in brackets (such as “rit.”, “mf” etc.)
are editorial and should be regarded as suggestions only.
Anyone who likes the music in this book and would like to see more, will find all Sor’s music for students (121 pieces in all) in his Complete Studies, Lessons, and Exercises for guitar published by Tecla (TECLA 101), with only Sor’s fingering (no added fingering).
The music in this book was engraved by Alexander V. Trukhin.
Copyright 2006 by Tecla Editions. Errors and omissions excepted.