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John W. Duarte  : 3 Studies  Op88 : Ut Orpheus

John W .Duarte

Ut Orpheus : 6 pages



Of course John W. Duarte’s compositions are known the guitar world over, but surprisingly quite a lot of his compositions were never published in his lifetime, and his son Chris has taken it upon himself to put that right.

So here are three quite short studies that really will task the players, as they are some of the most technical studies I have ever come across.

Each has its own outlook, and therefore the first one is all about consistent hammer – ons and pull- offs in unusual but very effective patterns that will be ideal for any player that perhaps has a weakness with that particular technique. The fact that there is no key signature or time signature might give you an idea as to the nature of the music itself.

No2 is in C Major 2/4 time and is all about  smooth changes and string changes as a result of the way the music is laid out, and so there are multiple places where sixths, and octave and a thirds  in every possible key interact with one another  often whilst you are holding on to a single note elsewhere.

The final study is in Alla Breve time and ostensibly in A Minor although again the harmonic nature of some of this takes the piece through many musical places full of sudden clashes and unexpected harmonies, and covers techniques such as moving around small barres, and unusual right hand patterns that are never the same twice.

So all in all, these studies are exactly what the title says, and they are there to improve any short – comings your techniques may have. Musically you won’t be going around humming the melodies, but then again that is exactly why these studies are so effective as technical exercises.


Chris Dumigan

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