1st Edition

John Williams: Changing the Culture of the Classical Guitar
Performance, perception, education and construction





ISBN 9780367730383
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
222 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

This book assesses the influence and reception of many different forms of guitar playing upon the classical guitar and more specifically through the prism of John Williams.





Beginning with an examination of Andrés Segovia and his influence upon Williams’ life’s work, a further three incisive chapters cover key areas such as performance, perception, education and construction, considering social and cultural contexts of the guitar over the past century. A final chapter on new directions in classical guitar examines the change in reception of the instrument from the mid-1970s to the present day, and Williams’ impact upon what might be termed ‘standard classical guitar repertoire’.





With in-depth discussion of the cultural and perceptual impact of Williams’ more daring crossover projects and numerous musical examples, this is an informative reference for all classical guitar practitioners, as well as scholars and researchers of guitar studies, reception studies, cultural musicology and performance studies. An online lecture by the author and a transcript of the author’s interview with John Williams are also available as e-resources.

Table of Contents

Introduction 



The ‘Segovian’ narrative



John Williams and diversity 



Aims



1 Andrés Segovia and John Williams



Segovia: career, tributes and reception



Other contributions to classical guitar culture in the early twentieth century



Attitudes to other musical styles



Teaching



Interpretation of the Segovia legacy



The king and the prince



Williams as a child prodigy



Contrasting approaches to popular and folk music styles



Williams and politics



Shifting attitudes about classical guitar



Conclusion



2 John Williams’ approach to the classical guitar



Following the pulse



Performance anxiety



Approach to J.S. Bach’s Chaconne in D minor



Contrasting approaches to Mauro Giuliani’s Guitar Concerto No. 1 in A major, Op. 30 (1808)



Ensemble playing and sight-reading



Amplification and other manipulations of the natural sound



‘Squeaks’



Guitar design



Williams and guitar teaching



Summary 



3 ‘Putting the guitar out of classical music’



Cavatina and other film projects 1



Sky



Africa



Venezuela – El Diablo Suelto



John Williams and jazz



Summary



4 New directions in classical guitar



Sculthorpe



Takemitsu



Dodgson



Performing with Julian Bream



Richard Harvey



Williams’ own compositions



Programme choices



Leo Brouwer



Agustin Barrios Mangoré



Summary



Conclusion



Broadening the repertoire and appeal of the classical guitar



Critical perception



Summary



Bibliography



Index

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Author(s)

Biography

Michael O'Toole is one of the leading figures in the Irish guitar scene today. He has given many memorable solo recitals and also contributed significantly to the development of the instrument as artistic director of both The Waltons International Guitar Festival and The Chord Ennis International Music Festival. Michael also currently has the honour of being a director of the prestigious Kilkenny Arts Festival. Michael holds a PhD from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, and a master's degree in performance from University College Cork.

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