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In this essay I am going write a performers analysis of my selected piece which is Sevillana op.

written for a classical guitar by Joaquin Turina. I will focus on harmonic structure, melodic
characteristics, articulation, techniques of playing and the historical aspect of the time when the
piece is composed. To set the scene for the discussion, this essay will commence with a brief
description of the composer's life.

Joaquin Turina was a Spanish composer, conductor and pianist. Turina was born in 1882 in Seville
where he showed an interest in music from young age. He moved to Paris from 1905 to 1914 where
he studied composition lessons from Vincent d'Indy and studied the piano under Moritz
Moszkowski. While living in Paris, Turina was heavily influenced by impressionist composers such as
Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. The most of his composing was based on piano, orchestral, vocal
and chamber music. However, Turina wrote five pieces for a classical guitar which were all dedicated
to a famous guitarist Andreas Segovia. Since the classical guitar was considered as an
accompaniment instrument through the most of the music periods, there was an enormous lack of a
solo guitar repertoire. Andreas Segovia was a Spanish guitarist who decided to change the dramatic
history of classical guitar and bring the classical guitar to another level. Segovia started to work with
many composers such as Jouaqin Rodrigo, Manuell de Fallia and Joauqin Turina whom he explained
the possibilities of writing for a classical guitar as a solo instrument. The most of the 20st Century
repertoire is written thanks to Andreas Segovia and he is responsible for popularizing a classical
guitar as a solo instrument. Since Turina was inspired by his birth city Sevilla, the Sevillian culture
greatly affected his style of writing. Turina was a tutor of the composition in Madrid from 1931 at
the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid until his death on 1949.

The Sevilliana op 29. is one of the pieces which represents Turina's influence by Andalusian music.
The piece contains elements of flamenco music, national Andalusian dances, Spanish rhythmic
characteristics and strong Arabic influence. The rhythm of Sevillana’s can be interpreted as 3/4,
although it is generally 6/8 and each Sevilliana is composed of 4 or sometimes 7 parts, with each
part divided into 3 coplas and with each copla made up of 6 movements. In my case, The Sevilliana
op.29 is composed in the measure of 3/4 and it is divided in 4 parts. The parts will be marked as A, B
, C, D and in the end the short repeated part as A`.

In the next part I am going to give the examples of the music and write about my approach.

Example 1
The example 1 is the beginning of the piece and its marked as the part A. It is specific because of the
several thing. The part A is written in key of A minor which later on becomes A Phrigiyan mode with
appearance of B flat and E flat.

The first influence of flamenco can be seen in the first big chordal part shown above where Turina
uses a flamenco guitar technique called Rasgueado. Rasgueado is a guitar finger strumming
technique which is commonly used in flamenco music and it produces rhythmically precise, rapid
and strumming patterns which are characteristic for Andalusian complex rhythms. The sound of
Rasgueado is on its nature very aggressive and it gives the strong grandiose character to the piece.
However, Andrés Segovia who revised this piece tried to remove the use of Rasgueado from the
classical school, considering it to have been developed "in the noisy hands of the gypsies. In my
opinion when approaching to the piece whose roots are not classical, we should consider and adopt
the originality of the style even if in the end the performance sounds like a “dirty gypsies music”. The
next question is what fingerings to use while playing Rasgueado? The Rasgueado has been thought
in many different ways now days. Not many of them are accurate though. The best way to find out
what fingering to use would be going to Spain on the few years flamenco course where we can be
thought by specialists. Since the internet offers many possibilities, I was able to find recordings of
the flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia and applied his fingering to my performance which is in my
opinion on of the most accurate and colourful because of the use of all fingers.

Example 2

In the example 2, the Rasgueado pattern is broken down by appearance of the A Phrigiyan dominant
scale which in this case starts on the note E. The Phrigyan dominant scale is a fifth mode of harmonic
minor scales and it is commonly used in Arabic and Egyptian music which made a huge impact on
Andalusian folk music. The sequence of steps forming the Phrygian dominant scale is: half –
augmented second – half – whole – half – whole – whole and is also known as a Spanish gypsy scale.
Example 3

The melodic downhill shown in the example 3 modulates

from the key of A minor in the parallel key of A major. The melodic downhill is marked as ARM. 8OS
which indicate the artificial harmonic technique which produces soft and gentle sound. It is the
moment of the piece where the composers goes from the extremely loud dynamics into extremely
quiet dynamics which lives a rich a colourful dynamic impression on the listener.

Example 4

The example 4 is the beginning of the part B where the measure changes from 3/4 into 2/4 . The
main melodic theme is appearing in very specific Andalusian rhythm which will appear several time
through the piece. The rhythm is made of doted semiquaver, demi-semi quaver and quaver and it
has to be preformed very sharp and quick. In my opinion, the previous rasgueado part is only an
introduction to the part B. This is the part where melodic line comes slightly unexpected and it has
to be performed with the grandiose character and the strong accents on the first quaver of the
every bar. In my performance I would also apply staccato on every doted semiquaver although that
is not written in the music.
The new melodic section is also marked as Normal which means that Resgueado technique now
changes into Tirando or Appojando technique. Both techniques can be used in this case. My personal
choose would be Tirando technique. The Tirando technique is soundwisely very different than
rasgueado and it makes the performance more contrast, colourful and in the end more interesting.

Example 5

The other element of flamenco can be seen in the example 5. The not f1 is marked as Golpe which is
a Flamenco guitar technique where one uses the fingers to tap on the soundboard of the guitar
which in the end makes a percussive sound. Since the soundboard on the classical guitar produces
many different percussive sound, the next step was to find the right place. I have chosen to make
the hit on the bridge of my guitar because it produces the most loudest and resonant sound.

Example 6

The big passage in the example 6 is one of the main characteristic of flamenco while improvising.
The sextuplets has to be performed sharp and fast with the Appojando technique which allows to
player to achieve the speed and make the strong accents. In my performance I always tend to use
Appojando technique in this passages cause it gives you more powerful sound which is related to the
“gypsies dirty technique sound”. In the end flamenco is the music of gypsies and if we want to
achieve meaningful performance it has to performed in this way.
Example 7

The impressionistic influence which Turina got while living in Paris, can be clearly seen in the
example 7 .Turina has written series of 7th chords in 4th inversion which for a moment give an
impression of jazz which is not very common in Andalusian music.

Example 8

The example 8 is the beginning of the C part which is written in G Phrigiyan mode and it goes back
to the measure of 3/4. Despite to Allegro , the C part of the most Sevillianas got lyrical and
expressive character. It should be performed with depth and breadth. Every note in melody should
be threatened equaly with a lot of vibrato and rubato. The C part starts with the chords which are
arrpegiate and followed by triplets which lead to the lyrical section. Since the melody line in lyrical
section is unison, my personal choice would be using appojando technique in order to get rich and
colourful sound. This is the moment of the piece where player expresses himself after showing off
with the fast passages in the previous section. The musician shows his true musicality and abilitie to
engage the audience without virtuosic playing.

Example 9


The example 9 is the D part of the piece and the measure changes into 2/4. The melody appears is in
the same melodic and rhythmic pattern as in the start of the part A. The only difference is the
tonality which in this case stays in G phrigiyan mode. The tempo mark is Allegretto and the character
of the D part is as rhythmically strong and grandiose as in the A part. The part D is fallowed by
cadenza. The start of the cadenza is marked as delicadisimo which in Spanish means delicate. The
cadenza starts gently with gradual accelerando and cressendo. As we are going towards the end ,
the character of it should becoming more and more virtuosic and improvised. The cadenza should be
also played rhythmically freely in order to achieve improvised impression on the listener.
Example 10

The cadenza leads into the A' part which is shown in the example 10. The A' part is again in A minor.
Melodically and chord wise is equal to the part A. The chords are played in Rasgueado tehnique and
since the dynamic in cadenza was gradually increased, this is the peak of the piece. The dynamics
mark is forte fortissimo and it should be performed powerful and grandiose by going into loder
dynamics until the very end.

To conclude, Sevillana op 29. is one of the most significant pieces ever written for a classical guitar in
20st Century. It is one of the first pieces which were written by a non- guitarist composer and it
signify the start of the new period for a classical guitar. Classical guitar is starting to be recognised by
the audience across the world and the level of playing is improving year by year.