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Conall McKay : Praludium fur Andreas for 6 string or extended range guitar :Bergmann

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Conall McKay

Bergmann Edition: 10 pages

This piece was written partly because of guitarists’ trying to fit J.S. Bach’s famous Prelude No1 from the Book1 of the Well Tempered Clavier onto guitar (because it seems to be able to fit) but upon checking, one finds that it actually really doesn’t work at all. As a result the composer, while not copying Bach’s piece, or style to any great extent, has managed to find a way of writing this piece that instantly reminds the player of Bach, simply by its use of arpeggio patterns based on chords that are constantly on the move throughout the piece. The piece is also adaptable for an extended range guitar and there are two Appendices giving full details should this be the way you want to play it, but suffice it to say that a 6 – string guitar has absolutely no problems playing the music because the piece is set out on the score for a 6 –string first of all. The Andreas in the title is the German – born guitarist Andreas Koch.

Upon starting the piece, set incidentally also in C Major as is the Bach Prelude, one is immediately convinced that Bach’s style, and way of writing has been beautifully captured without taking anything from McKay as a composer, who is constantly at the forefront of the music. It is just that one is reminded of Bach throughout. The music is set out in three voices although in practice it is actually an arpeggio, split over the whole range of the guitar. The guitarist is in fact playing a constant flow of quavers albeit spread over three voices for the whole of the piece, but in that time many keys are reached and then modulated from to another key and the player is asked to be totally happy at playing around fret seven without that being a problem. Apart from that necessity, it is only of intermediate difficulty and is a convincing and very attractive piece of music that many will love to try, and if one does have a 10 or 11 string , even better as the extra depth to the music makes it sound even better.

Chris Dumigan

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