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The William Bay Collection: Sacred Guitar Solo Anthology : Mel Bay

Mel Bay: 184 pages (spiral bound)

This vast tome is a collection of five previously published books of religious music arranged for guitar solo by William Bay. An online recording is available when you use the information on the front inside cover of this book too, should anyone want it. To be honest, I think the arrangements were meant originally for a plectrum guitar , but they are almost completely adaptable to a classical style if one or two of the block chords are thinned down a little bit to make them more fitting to classical players.

The five books mentioned were separately published as Lyrical Gospel Solos, Celtic Hymns, Early American Sacred Songs, Songs of Faith, and finally Hymns of Beauty and Strength.

I must be honest that I knew a very small amount indeed of these pieces, but anyone used to this material will be delighted to see so many pieces in one volume and yet so varied in style too, as you get swing style pieces, slow pieces, fast pieces, lots of variety in the keys used, and they are also very cleverly arranged and are often not that easy, so you would have to be a decent player to make them sound it. Just a few examples included are Vaughan Williams’ For All the Saints, Haydn’s Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken, Abide with Me, Bach’s Jesu , Joy of Man’s Desiring, O God, Our Help in Ages Past, Praise My Soul the King of Heaven and literally 118 more pieces!

So if this material is music that you fancy having a play at, all I can say is that they are moderate difficulty upwards, and playable with a little adaptation on a classical, and might be something that players who play religious music for whatever reason will get a great deal from.

Chris Dumigan

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