Classical Guitar

Starting with Sor

After several years away from it, I’ve picked up the classical guitar again. I have a copy of the Andres Segovia edition of Fernando Sor’s Twenty Studies, so I decided I would begin with the obvious: Estudio 1 in that collection of sheet music.

“Estudio 1” in the Segovia book is actually Sor’s Opus 6 Number 8.

Thanks to the fine folks at Tecla and Hebe Online, and the magic of, here’s a copy:
Fernando Sor Opus 6 Number 8

The free copy doesn’t come with Segovia’s help in the fingerings, so be prepared to spend some extra time on that.
If you’re a fan of guitar tablature (I’m not), you may want to look here as well:
Tabs for Sor Op6 Num8

There’s also a free online copy of what is supposedly Sor’s original:
The entire list of Sor original scores
The Opus 6 Number 8 original

Note that there is an apparent error in the original (!) in measure 13, where the C should be C#. Most but not all later editions have this corrected. For example, this piece is also in a book edited by Carcassi, and the error remains.

I was unable to find a free MP3 online of anyone performing this piece, but I did find a site with Midi files for all the studies in the Segovia book. It’s here:
MIDI files of Sor Studies
For Study # 1, the MIDI file is not very musical, but it will at least give a sense of the melodic lines. That listing is also a convenient place to cross-reference Segovia’s study numbers with the real Opus and Number for Sor’s works.

I have devoted a few hours to the piece so far, and it’s still a struggle. The first tough bit comes between measures 4 and 5, where it’s tough to make a smooth transition to the first chord in measure 5. It’s a stretch of the 4th finger of the left hand on the 2nd string, and it’s all too easy to muffle string 1 with the side of the finger.

I’ve mostly worked out the problems through the middle of the piece, and now I’m struggling to put together the portions from measure 32 to the end. There are lots of spots in that section where you hold a note (usually with the 2nd finger of the left hand) while repositioning the other fingers around it.

At first glance, this piece seemed more like a technical study, but there is a surprising amount of music hidden inside. Eventually I hope to achieve a presentable performance that I can record and post here.

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