Transcribing - Notation - Engraving


For the earlier transcriptions in this collection, my only intention was to learn the pieces of music. However, the process of learning becomes an exploration for me, and where I end up is beyond memorizing. In order to keep track of all the discoveries along the way, I usually rewrite the entire piece of music in pencil. This way, the inevitable additions and deletions of notes and their values, and the multiple combinations of fingering, are easy to change. After I was as satisfied as likely to be, I used to rewrite the much amended pencil version in ink. At present, I write them in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), an XML mark-up language, using a library of music symbols I created myself. Some of the pieces in this collection have yet to be remade into SVG files, and are still scans of the hand inked versions.

Here is a PDF sample of Bach's Prelude from the lute suite BWV995, converted from the SVG files.

Most of the more recent pieces required transcription from music written for violin, 'cello, and piano. In 1996, after failing to locate a guitar transcription of Bach's "Chaconne" (Partita No. 2), I decided to buy a book of sonatas and partitas for violin, and write my own transcription. While this effort was developing, I began playing many of the other pieces in the book and selected eight more that I found compelling. I became so involved in the process that finding more music to rearrange was unavoidable.

For pieces of music originally written for baroque lute, I look for a key that will give the greatest range on guitar. I would think that other transcribers would do the same, for obvious reasons. However, I've found a number of examples where this has not been the case.

After a time, I found I had a fair collection of guitar music that, to varying degrees, was unique.

The use of the letter "G" instead of the standard g-clef, is something I've done for many years. It comes from an anonymous baroque guitar manuscript, and I liked the look of it (plus, G is for Guitar!).

SVG music library
back to top


About SVG Music Notation

My "VectorGraving" process is the only non proprietary method for music notation.

You may only be interested in the resulting PDF files, but for those who want to know more about the SVG music library, and how to use it click this link:

Music Notation