Fernando Sor’s study in B minor is a famous and beautiful piece of music. It was typical of Sor that he create studies that were both great music and with intended learning demands for the player. In this case the piece is an exploration of melody on the guitar as well as a highlight of an unusual key for the guitar. The key of B minor centers around the second fret and top four strings – a very “quiet” area of the guitar. The complication of this piece for the guitarist is to provide the breath needed to do justice to the melody while working within a very limited range of volume and color. Enjoy!
Have you ever wondered how the classical guitarist can sound like two players at the same time? Well here is the answer –  It comes from a classical guitar technique called “The Rest Stroke.” Every melody note plucked by the right hand comes to “rest” on the string below it causing the guitarist to hit it harder and thus creating a greater volume which creates..melody. All other right hand plucks are “Free Stokes” which are lighter, softer and then create the background accompaniment sound. See the video below and watch as the right hand “ring finger” rests on the string below to create melody while the other fingers pull to the palm.

In 1819 Fernando Sor attended the first performance of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and was inspired to write a major work around a musical theme found near the end of act one. This particular piece purposefully captures every technical demand for the classical guitar known at the time as the theme is repeated through various expressions. The classical guitar at the time was about 4-6 inches shorter than today’s classical guitar thus today’s performer is confronted with considerable demands on the left hand in order to carry out the piece as written. Enjoy.