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Ian Gammie : Guitar Music from the 16th to the 18th Century : Corda Music Publications

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Ian Gammie

Corda Music Publications: 52 pages

This fascinating volume is not a book of music, but rather a reprint of articles originally in Guitar Magazine from August 1983 to November 1985, and as the sub-titles say is ‘A history and introduction to the notation, tuning, and dilemmas, for modern transcription in the repertoire of four – course and five – course guitars.’ Of course there are plenty of musical examples but the purpose of this superb book is to enlighten players as to the problems with just taking the original tablature, and trying to play it on a modern six – string guitar. Along the way Gammie, discovered some remarkable misprints that in pre – computer days had crept quietly into the magazine. These have all been seamlessly corrected but he resisted the temptation to add anything further in the light of knowledge acquired since their original print. As such these articles make fascinating reading and go a long way to explaining why you just can’t go straight from tablature to notation without having several re-thinks as to exactly what the final result will be if you do.

This makes for an exceptional read and even if you aren’t a player of a 4 or 5 course instrument but enjoy the repertoire on the 6- string you will find this very interesting .So this is essentially a reference book that deserves to be on guitarists’ shelves.

Chris Dumigan

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