All the pieces I’ve been working on have been from the Sychra Journal, so what exactly is this journal. Andrei Sychra was an important figure in the development of the Russian seven string guitar and composed a huge body of repertoire for it, both original pieces as well as arrangements. He also wrote virtuoso literature and teaching literature, as well as simple amateur pieces for the instrument. You can find out a bit more about Sychra on wikipedia if you are interested.
This particular journal was aimed at amateur guitarists. The first thing to keep in mind is that amateur musician had a very different meaning at a time where there weren’t the distractions of modern life like television, internet, and such. People had a lot more time to pursue their hobbies and less to get in the way. It was also a time when the only way to hear music was through live performance, either by yourself or friends. So an amateur piece in this era still expected a player to be well versed in technique and properly trained in music. The music itself tends to lean towards the idioms of the instrument and reflect current taste. Basically as long as you know what you’re doing the music isn’t too difficult and flows really well on the instrument. It’s for that reason that I’m working with this journal. It’s fun music, but more importantly it’s introducing me to the idioms of the Russian guitar. It also makes for great reading literature to get used to the new tuning. This journal should be a first stop for anyone wanting to get acquainted with the Russian guitar, and because of its age, it can be found for free online.
Today, I unfortunately don’t have a video for you because I’ve been busy with the end of the school semester (I’m a teacher in my day job) and because my parents just flew around the world to come visit me. I haven’t had a lot of time to pick up my guitar in the past couple days, but I’ll actually into why I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing in my next blog post. Also I hope to add some more interesting things to my weekend posts, so keep watching!