Josel, Seth F. / Tsao, Ming
The Techniques of Guitar Playing
Edition no.
BVK 2243
Language(s) of work
Language(s) of text
Product format
Book, CD
Pages / Format
233 S. - 29,0 x 21,0 cm
This book, co-written by guitarist Seth F. Josel and composer Ming Tsao, provides a comprehensive survey of contemporary performance techniques on the classical guitar. It was inspired by a new generation of solo guitarists whose extraordinary technical and virtuosic skills have paved the way for a new understanding of instrumental performance practice.
Detailed explanations are given for the instrument’s technical potential within the historical context of traditional guitar technique. Composers will be interested in the in-depth analyses of contemporary guitar literature, featuring many examples of chamber and ensemble music.

Four main chapters describe:
- Techniques of the right and left hands
- Special harmonies and percussive techniques
- The main instruments of the guitar family and their potential
- Possible ways of notating contemporary guitar literature

The examples discussed in the book are complemented by an enclosed CD and detailed charts on multiphonics, bitones, and percussion techniques.

Seth F. Josel
is among the leading figures of his generation in modern guitar performance and has taken part in the premieres of more than 100 works as a soloist and ensemble member. A regular guest at Europe’s major contemporary music festivals, he has worked with composers of the stature of Mauricio Kagel, Helmut Lachenmann, Tristan Murail and James Tenney and has played with such leading orchestras and ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Staatskapelle. From 1991 to 2000 he was a permanent member of the Ensemble musikFabrik. Today he lives in Berlin.

Ming Tsao
(b. Berkeley, CA, 1966) is professor of composition at Gothenburg University. His compositions have been performed amongst others by the Arditti Quartet, ensemble recherche and the Stuttgart Opera (premiere of “Die Geisterinsel” in 2011). He is regularly involved in the Donaueschingen Festival, the Witten Days of New Chamber Music, the Darmstadt Contemporary Music Holiday Courses and Wien Modern. His works are published by C.F. Peters (Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig). He, too, lives in Berlin.

"...a highly valuable resource to composers approaching the instrument for the first time, and guitarists - whether students, performers or teachers - have much to gain from a close reading of the text..."
(cambridge journals Issue 272 April 2015)

"Seth F. Josel & Ming Tsao have written the most comprehensive and infromed survey of guitar techniques, composition, and orchestration and to date. It will provide a lifetime of helpful reference and interest to composer and guitarists and is sure to encourage and inspire waves of new music for the instrument."
(This is classical guitar October 2, 2014)

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