Playing the Lisbon Portuguese Guitarra by Ronald Louis Fernandez (continued)

Section 12a. Fado Corrido by João Victoria--in Método de Guitarra

In 1999 Luís Penedo, my friend in Lisbon, gifted me several originals of the João Victoria's method books parts 1 to 4. This Fado Corrido is the first of 5 pieces in Primeira Parte (First Part) for the Portuguese Guitarra. I should note here that Fado Corrido is the same song form as Fado Maior and Fado Corrido Maior--these are just different names for the same thing.

  See below music sheet for more commentary.

Luis told me that these books had been useful for him when he started to play in the 1950's.
These booklets were sold for a long time and there were many reprintings. My copy of the first part was from the 12th edition. We are lucky for the kindness of Luís Penedo in sharing these booklets and also that Senhor Victoria used good paper. My copies are about 100 years old and yet they are in fairly good condition. The pages have changed color but they are not falling apart.

The full title of the method is: A Guitarra sem Mestre, O Verdadeiro Método de Guitarra para aprender por música ou de ouvido (The Guitarra without Teacher, the True Guitar Method for learning by music or by hear). The title page goes on to say that it is the King of the Methods! (É O Rei dos Métodos!)--with an exclamation point.  We will just use its short title: Método de Guitarra.

There is no date on these books so for a long time I did not know when they were published. I looked for clues in the booklet. Were they from 1940? 1920? 1900? Eventually I
I have learned from A Guitarra: Bosquejo Histórico by Armando Simões (1974, page 172) that they were first published around 1920. Accurate dating of this work seemed important to me because the tuning systems were obsolete yet the musical pieces had some modern aspects.

There are 4 parts to his method. Part 1 includes music theory, chromatic scale a
notes and symbols of written music, tuning the guitarra, exercises for learning intervals, the scale of F major, location of notes on the fingerboard, and then the 5 pieces which I am presenting in Sections 12a to 12e.

Part 2 (16 pages) is a booklet about chords and accompanying fado in fado tuning.

Part 3 is "a continuation of the part 2" (16 pages) and has more about accompanying in fado tuning. Next, the "natural" tuning is introduce along with a fingerboard chart, the rest of the book shows chord patterns on the fingerboard for natural tuning (note that natural tuning was used by the 18th century English Guittar (spelled with 2 t's).  The natural tuning is essentially obsolete for playing the modern Portuguese guitarra.

Part 4 (16 pages) presents the Mouraria tuning, then a page long Fado da Mouraria (em Dó maior). Next is a special tuning for the Fado de Setúbal followed by written music for this piece. Following is a special tuning for Fado Ignez de Castro with a written piece of music, then a special tuning for Fado da Madrugada with a piece of written music. On page 10 he presents a waltz called "Supplication" which is to be played with a pick, it is in fado tuning. Page 12 contains the music for Fado de Campolide which is also known as Fado Lopes. I love Fado Lopes--I will have more to say about this piece in another section. Page 13 is a version of Fado da Aguia ou Blak. Page 14 has a version of Fado do Conde d'Anadia--this is an interesting fado and I intend to elaborate on it elsewhere. Page 15 includes previews of 2 pieces (Fado Corrido Florido and Outro Fado em Sib) which are both in 1º Album do Guitarrista. Page 16 includes a chromatic scale in the "natural" tuning and a piece entitled "O Cordelinho ou Garoto do Pião) to be played with a pick.

I have detailed the contents of the Victória 4 booklets because they are hard to locate. From my summary of the contents it will be obvious that some of the material is of little interest for beginner players. Part 1 and part 4 are the most important for modern players to understand and build on--for a long time these booklets were the basics for understanding the Portuguese guitarra. Many of Victória's piece are very typical of what Portuguese guitarists have played throughout the 20th century. The main problems with his pieces are that they are all written in obsolete tunings, they do not have a useful tablature system and the accompaniment is not spelled out.

My versions solve this problem because I have transposed the pieces, added modern tablature and added a written accompaniment.

To continue Portuguese Guitarra Lesson, press here

Master Portuguese Guitarras, press here

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