an Eye on My Cows
Brief Diatribe on the Performance of Transcribed
Another practical app. discussion actually, but
it does highlight the importance/desirability of
a decent apoyando technique. Written for the
Vihuela de Mano by Luis Narvaez sometime around
the formation of the earth, this little piece is
another encore staple, often used by Segovia in
his later years as an early music selection for
Las Vacas translates from Spanish
to English as "Watch the Cows" and in
format is a theme and variations. Once again,
this transcription from vihuela tablature to
standard notation was photocopied for me by
Albert Blain back in the early 1970's. Julio Prol
did the transcription (as you can easily see.) I
do not know who the publisher was or if this
edition is still in print.
note Sr. Prol's right hand fingering. I usually
start on m and
alternate from there as my m
is a bit stronger than my a.
I apoyando the e in measure one, the d in measure
two and the c,b,c,d melody in measure three -- to
me, those are the pitches that deserve a stronger
accent. I achieve this by using apoyando on these
notes and free stroke on the rest. It is a nice
subtle accent, not a jarring earthquake. Try the
theme this way, using apoyando to accent the
notes YOU feel are worthy (as I am not pushing my
ideas on interpretation here, just trying to help
the player realize his or her interpretive
In the days of my
youth, many of the 'brighter' lights of academia
frowned upon using apoyando when playing lute and
vihuela music on the guitar. It was espoused that
as the technique did not exist (or remained
unreported) during the period of popularity of
these instruments. I can understand the mechanics
of why these people made this type of claim, but
I didn't and still don't see any validity in it.
Hell, if you can't use guitar technique to play a
lute piece on the guitar, why play it on the
guitar? If you can't use the guitar's techniques,
then don't play it on the guitar, play it on the
lute! Ridiculous! Next time I play Bach's Chaconne, remind me to use a bow!.
that said, I find I must be very careful when
playing my lute to avoid using apoyando on my
first course. When playing the lute or vihuela,
use the proper technique. Likewise, when playing
the guitar, use guitar technique. Makes sense,
enjoy this little piece, as overplayed as it's
been, it is still a nice diversion.
these exercises and come back next week for
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