Towards Overcoming the Guitar’s Color Research Gap


Most? (classical)? guitar? music? comes? from? guitarist-composers.? Yet? according? to? guitarists who collaborate with composers, color research on this instrument is better achieved by those who do not? play? the? instrument.? Thus? the? guitar? lags? behind? many? instruments? in? regard? to? color? research. Various reasons can be faulted for the tendency of non-guitarist composers to avoid the instrument. Examples of such reasons may be: the difficulty to write for the instrument, and its weak projection and? lack? of? sustain,? all? of? which? are? intrinsic? to? the? guitar.? This? is,? however,? not? the? case? of? the paradigmatic? sound? for? which? the? instrument? is? also? dismissed,? which? is? rather? the? legacy? of? the conservative? guitarist? Andrés? Segovia,? who? was? one? of? the? main? promoters? of? the? guitar? in? the twentieth? century.

When? composers? dismiss? the? guitar? for? being? difficult? to? write? for,? collaboration with? guitarists? has? proven? fruitful.? Given? that? Segovia’s? conservatism? still? prevails? among? many guitarists,? if? the? sonorous? possibilities? of? the? instrument? are? to? be? expanded,? it? is? essential? that? the guitarist is adventurous and has a good arsenal of techniques. New color-research results could entice composers dismissing the guitar for its limitations or its paradigmatic sound to reconsider composing for the instrument. The amplification of sounds with low intensity can be a useful tool to obtain new colors. However, sounds arising from conventional instruments require some caution. It is important to introduce novelty in order to avoid connotation with their respective non-amplified instrument. The technique of multiphonics, which produces sounds of unusual colors, is believed to be a suitable tool when the guitar is amplified with close microphone placement. Through making audible the sounds’ components? of? a? lower? intensity,? this? situation? would? reveal? to? the? audience? colors? otherwise? only heard by the guitarist.

Rita Torres / Paulo Ferreira-Lopes??

Towards Overcoming the Guitar’s Color Research Gap



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