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Stan Tracey (piano) Wes Montgomery (guitar) Rick Laird (bass) Jackie Dougan (drums) Television broadcast, “Tempo”, ABC TV, London, England, May 7, 1965 (with sheet music)
Wes Montgomery was a jazz guitarist whose natural genius and distinctive sound earned him recognition as one of the most important jazz musicians of the 20th century. Montgomery was born on March 6, 1925 in Indianapolis, Indiana into a musically inclined family. Although he was given his first instrument as a child, Montgomery’s interest in guitar would not be ignited until he was 19 years old and married. After first hearing records from swing and jazz guitarist Charlie Christian, he bought an affordable guitar and amplifier and taught himself how to play.
Partly in order to lower the volume for neighbors and because he found it awkward to use a pick, he soon adopted his own style of using his right thumb to pluck the strings. Although somewhat unconventional, the softer and deeper tone it produced still serves as one of his trademarks.
Montgomery was hired to play at an Indianapolis club six months after he learned the guitar. He was recruited in 1948 to tour with the Lionel Hampton band, but after two years decided to return home to his wife and children. He developed a local following playing at Indianapolis nightclubs. In 1957 he recorded for the first time with his brothers, Monk and Buddy, who were also professional musicians.
They recorded as the Montgomery Brothers on the Pacific Jazz label. Two years later alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley heard The Montgomery Brothers and persuaded a larger label, Riverside Jazz to record them. The Riverside recordings, The Wes Montgomery Trio (1959) and The Incredible Guitar of Wes Montgomery (1960), launched Montgomery’s international career.
Throughout the early 1960s Montgomery toured with his trio. Beginning with Full House in December 1961, Montgomery released a series of live recordings which emphasized his brilliance as a jazz performer. These recordings also marked the initiation of a more commercial future for the musician, especially after Riverside faced financial difficulties and Montgomery switched to a new label in 1964, Verve, in New York City.
The addition of big band and string orchestra arrangements won Montgomery a Grammy Award in 1965 for his album Goin’ Out of My Head. In 1967, his album A Day in the Life became the best-selling jazz LP of that year as well. Despite the monetary success of his later recordings, Montgomery decided to leave Verve and return home to Indianapolis to work with his brothers. During his flight back on June 16, 1968, Wes Montgomery suffered a heart attack and died in Indianapolis at the age of 43.
Composer: Enrique Granados, Francisco Tárrega, Isaac Albéniz
Artists: Luigi Attademo historical Torres guitar
A musical portrait of a master guitar-maker of the 19th century. Great instruments have always been associated with great musicians, and this is true in the guitar world too, at least from the early 19th century onwards. Early in his career, Antonio de Torres (1817-1892), like other luthiers before him, found a performer ideally suited to his instruments – the young Andalusian guitarist Julián Arcas. The technical innovations in construction and timbre pioneered by Torres enabled Arcas to give full expression to his artistry in works such as the florid Fantasía sobre El paño o sea Punto de La Habana with which Luigi Attademo opens this new studio album.
The music of Spain has a long history. It has played an important role in the development of Western music, and has greatly influenced Latin American music. Spanish music is often associated with traditional styles such as flamenco and classical guitar. While these forms of music are common, there are many different traditional musical and dance styles across the regions.
For example, music from the north-west regions is heavily reliant on bagpipes, the jota is widespread in the centre and north of the country, and flamenco originated in the south. Spanish music played a notable part in the early developments of western classical music, from the 15th through the early 17th century. The breadth of musical innovation can be seen in composers like Tomás Luis de Victoria, styles like the zarzuela of Spanish opera, the ballet of Manuel de Falla, and the classical guitar music of Francisco Tárrega. Nowadays commercial pop music dominates.
Origins of the music of Spain
Musical instruments in the Diocesan Museum of Albarracín.
The Iberian peninsula has had a history of receiving different musical influences from around the Mediterranean Sea and across Europe. In the two centuries before the Christian era, Roman rule brought with it the music and ideas of Ancient Greece; early Christians, who had their own differing versions of church music arrived during the height of the Roman Empire; the Visigoths, a Romanized Germanic people, who took control of the peninsula following the fall of the Roman Empire; the Moors and Jews in the Middle Ages. Hence, there have been more than two thousand years of internal and external influences and developments that have produced a large number of unique musical traditions.
Cantigas de Santa maría, medieval Spain
Isidore of Seville wrote about the local music in the 6th century. His influences were predominantly Greek, and yet he was an original thinker, and recorded some of the first details about the early music of the Christian church. He perhaps is most famous in musical history for declaring that it was not possible to notate sounds, an assertion which revealed his ignorance of the notational system of ancient Greece, suggesting that this knowledge had been lost with the fall of the Roman Empire in the west.
The Moors of Al-Andalus were usually relatively tolerant of Christianity and Judaism, especially during the first three centuries of their long presence in the Iberian peninsula, during which Christian and Jewish music continued to flourish. Music notation was developed in Spain as early as the 8th century (the so-called Visigothic neumes) to notate the chant and other sacred music of the Christian church, but this obscure notation has not yet been deciphered by scholars, and exists only in small fragments.
The music of the early medieval Christian church in Spain is known, misleadingly, as the “Mozarabic Chant“, which developed in isolation prior to the Islamic invasion and was not subject to the Papacy’s enforcement of the Gregorian chant as the standard around the time of Charlemagne, by which time the Muslim armies had conquered most of the Iberian peninsula.
As the Christian reconquista progressed, these chants were almost entirely replaced by the Gregorian standard, once Rome had regained control of the Iberian churches. The style of Spanish popular songs of the time is presumed to have been heavily influenced by the music of the Moors, especially in the south, but as much of the country still spoke various Latin dialects while under Moorish rule (known today as the Mozarabic) earlier musical folk styles from the pre-Islamic period continued in the countryside where most of the population lived, in the same way as the Mozarabic Chant continued to flourish in the churches.
An early 16th-century polyphonic vocal style developed in Spain was closely related to that of the Franco-Flemish composers. Merging of these styles occurred during the period when the Holy Roman Empire and the Burgundy were part of the dominions under Charles I (king of Spain from 1516 to 1556), since composers from the North of Europe visited Spain, and native Spaniards traveled within the empire, which extended to the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.
By the end of the 17th century the “classical” musical culture of Spain was in decline, and was to remain that way until the 19th century. Classicism in Spain, when it arrived, was inspired by Italian models, as in the works of Antonio Soler. Some outstanding Italian composers such as Domenico Scarlatti and Luigi Boccherini were appointed to the Madrid royal court. The short-lived Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga is credited as the main beginner of Romantic sinfonism in Spain.
Although symphonic music was never too important in Spain, chamber, solo instrumental (mainly guitar and piano) vocal and opera (both traditional opera, and the Spanish version of the singspiel) music was written by local composers. Zarzuela, a native form of opera that includes spoken dialogue, is a secular musical genre which developed in the mid-17th century, flourishing most importantly in the century after 1850.