I am looking for a style of Classical guitar that I'm not sure exists. Take this piece as an example, Rachmaninoff Prelude Op. 23 No. 5. I find that this piece, although created for the piano, sounds perfect for the guitar. Is there someone that composes for the guitar like this?

Guitar pieces are made to be played by one hand (the fret hand), whilst piano is for two hands. Prelude Op. 23 No. 5 was designed for two hands (the piano, treble clef and bass clef) but the classical guitar interpretation seems to work. On the piano, the right hand is usually the melody and the left hand is usually the chords. The guitar composers I know of have the melody parts driving the piece, whereas piano composers use both hands to drive the piece.

I have seen the hook of Polonaise Op. 53 played on the guitar in a way that works too.

closed as off-topic by Jacob Swanson, Shevliaskovic, Tim H, MrTheBard, Karen Sep 29 '15 at 12:48

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  • Your supposition of guitar being played by one hand is skewed. On guitar, one can play bass, chords and melody simultaneously. Not as many notes as piano, obviously. Listen to someone such as Martin Taylor for example. – Tim Sep 29 '15 at 10:16

A large number of Isaac Albeniz pieces were originally written for piano, then transcribed (with his approval) by Tarrega for the classical guitar.

These pieces are now part of the standard repertoire for guitar. My favourites are probably "Cordoba" and "Asturias(Leyenda)" - you'll find them recorded everywhere.

Now I mention it, you might like to search for Tarrega's transcriptions - I'm sure he would have done this for other composer's works too.

(Edit - a correction - Miguel Llobet may have first transcribed "Cordoba". He did several other composers' transcriptions too, which may be worth checking in his wikipedia page.)


One of the Guitar's greatest features in my mind is the ability to play multiple voices but still have the dynamic abilities of a string instrument.

That is why it is possible to play piano music on the guitar. If you are able to do good transcription the proverbial music world is your oyster.

Is there someone that composes for the guitar like this?

Large amount of classical guitar music is not native to the guitar. Seeing as guitar as classical instrument has barely existed for a century yet there has not been the large amount of stylistic development in its repertoire than what may be the case for the violin or the piano.

It was only through the work of the great Andres Segovia that what used to be known only as a folk instrument played by the gypsies of Spain became a full fledged classical instrument. We owe him a lot.


My favorites from Bach: WTC Book 1: Prelude in C Air on a G-string: actually it's Air in D (but transpose it to C and simply skip the notes for which you lack fingers) ... and some violin music: Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin - Sonata II, the Andante

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