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Since the early 19th century, Matteo Carcassi's 25 Melodic Studies Opus 60 has become an essential technical opus for the guitar, and has been used by countless guitarists to develop their skills. No other body of work addresses guitar technique as completely or effectively. Miguel Llobet, the renowned Catalonian guitarist, revised these studies early in the 20th century, and more recent editions have been based largely upon Llobet's.
In Carcassi's time, only the p, i, and m fingers were used. So it is not surprising that Llobet added the a finger into the mix. Over time however, right-hand fingerings have changed and interpretive markings have been reinterpreted to suit the preferences of the editor. But the right hand of a guitarist is very individual. What works for one guitarist might not work for another, and what works today might not work ten years from now.
For this reason, A 21st Century Approach eliminates all right-hand fingerings and interpretive markings, allowing students to focus on the identification and performance of the techniques required to master these studies, while developing a complete knowledge of the fingerboard. Only after all technical issues have been resolved should students strive to interpret these studies to feel the music and make it their own. With correct technique and thoughtful interpretation, these pieces can be charming, expressive works that are quite appropriate for public performance.
For comprehensive right-hand studies, students can practice Mauro Giuliani's 120 Studies for the Right Hand. The 21st Century Approach edition of these studies transcribes them into open-string exercises, eliminating the potential damage that can be caused from sustained repetition of the C and G7 chords found in the original score.
Any serious guitar student should make it a point to master the 25 studies of Matteo Carcassi, because these studies serve as a gateway to the next technical level: to Villa-Lobos, Ponce, Barrios, and the many other great guitar composers. Development of technique must be the first goal of any serious student. This edition was created to serve that purpose.
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