Guitar Songs  -  Welcome to Corda Music Publications

Thank you for visiting this page related to Ian Gammie's books and other research into guitar songs of the past. See further down this page for 19th Century Guitar Songs and for Guitar Music from the 16th to 18th Centuries.  At the bottom of the page are the updates for recent additions to guitar song research. 

Other new guitar editions are listed on  Corda Home Page

The Rowan Tree —  CD containing 22 varied songs from the 19th century and earlier.    Price £8.00

This recording was made in the idyllic surroundings of the Eden Valley in Cumbria at Eden Valley Music. Featuring Michael Sanderson (voice & violin), Ian Gammie (guitars & bass viol) and Katharine May (harp & harpsichord), the songs range from original settings by 19th century composers to new arrangements in period style of  folk songs, music hall songs and traditional lyrics. Several different period instruments were used in the recording:   
           1. The Rowan tree   (traditional)                                                              2. As I played on my Spanish Guitar    (Zaniboni)                                3. Black is the colour of my true love's hair   (traditional)
           4. Jolly Good Ale and Old   (Wm. Stevenson)                                        5. Chi ama la caccia   (C. M. Sola)                                                           6. On the banks of Allan Water   (C. E. Horn)
           7. The Gentle Maiden    (traditional)                                                       8. If it wasn't for the 'ouses in between    (G. Le Brunn)                     9. Alas, 'twas an Emblem of Love     (P. M. Rosquellas)
           10. Tobacco is an Indian Weed     (anon, 18th century)                      11. The Water is Wide   (traditional)                                                      12. Come to me gentle sleep      (C. M. Sola)
           13. All under the Greenwood Shade   (The Universal Magazine)     14.  The Spinning Wheel    (J.F.Waller)                                                15. Forget me not     (G. L. Schneider)
           16. Miss Bailey's Ghost     (anon, 1803)                                               17. L‘addio   (C. M. Sola)                                                                            18. Cold blows the wind     (traditional)
           19. Here's to the Maiden of Bashful Fifteen      (anon)                       20. Afton Water   (A. Hume)        21. Je pense à toi    (C. M. Sola)      22. Mary of Argyle    (S. Nelson)  


CMP 176 Songs of Many Shades —  for Medium Voice & Guitar.  Score, separate parts and CD.  Price £10.00

Guitar accompaniments to thirteen songs (listed below) arranged by Ian Gammie. The guitar arrangements are based mostly, but not exclusively, on the styles found in myriad guitar songs of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Prolific guitar tutor books of the period show how to extend and embellish an accompaniment ad lib, so players are encouraged to be creative in their approach. The medium voice range makes it easy to accommodate higher voices with the use of a capo.  In addition to the fully composed guitar parts, there is also a separate part with chord symbols for those who wish to improvise an entirely different accompaniment.  Contents:
            The Rowan Tree.      Black is the colour of my true love's hair.      On the banks of Allan Water.      Jolly Good Ale and Old.      The Gentle Maiden.      Tobacco is an Indian weed.  
             Mary of Argyle.        If it wasn't for the 'ouses in between.      The water is wide.      The Spinning Wheel.      Miss Bailey's Ghost.      Cold blows the wind.      Afton Water

19th Century Guitar Songs — An Idiosyncratic Survey.   ISBN  978-0-9528220-7-3   264 pages including 50 pages of music examples. Price £20.00

Over a period of thirty five years, the author has accumulated a vast notebook of information about guitar songs published during the years 1770-1900, principally as a means of finding repertoire for performance. The great majority of the information comes from the British Library's collections of printed music, though other sources have also been consulted somewhat randomly. Now approaching retirement, he felt sad to consign so much information to the dustbin, so he has rounded out a survey of all the printed guitar songs in the British Library and added copious details about composers, arrangers and music, drawing on information from writers of the period, later 20th century commentators and also some more recent 21st century research.  It is therefore an idiosyncratic survey, since like Topsy, it just growed, and was never intended as a piece of devoted academic research. It is hoped that the book will stimulate further research into an area of guitar music which was hugely popular at the time and whose editions easily outnumber similar books of guitar solos. See below for further commentary.

CMP 177  A Bouquet of Songs —  for Medium Voice & Guitar.  Score, separate parts and CD.  Price £10.00

Fifteen original guitar songs of the early 19th century (listed below) edited by Ian Gammie. There are works by Rossini, Field, Bianchi Taylor, Jonathan Blewitt and songs by the guitarist/composers Carlo Michele Sola and Pablo Rosquellas. There are also a few facsimile examples to show features of 19th century guitar songs and practical advice on performance from a 19th century tutor book.  In addition to the score, there is a separate part with re-worked spacing of the guitar part to avoid a few turns of page in the score which would interrupt performance.  The CD features seven of the songs in this edition.
            T'Abraccio (Rossini).     Forget me not.    Cavallo (Rosquellas)    L'Addio (Sola).     Come to me Gentle Sleep (S.Nelson).    My Rose (B. Taylor).    Je Pense à toi    La Caccia.    The Maid of Valdarno (J.Field).
            The Lively Guitar (J.Blewitt).      Fleuve du Tage (M. Levien).     An Emblem of Love.     As I sang to my Spanish Guitar.     La Chasse (G.Derwort).      The Charming Maid of Lodi    

Other books of guitar songs  from our catalogue  Price List:
CMP 161      Six songs from Shakespeare's Plays                                    £5.00
CMP 162      German Guitar Songs of the 19th century,  Book 1              £8.00
CMP 163      German Guitar Songs of the 19th century,  Book 2.             £8.00
CMP 164      Monolog der Maria Stuart for Soprano, Guitar and Flute     £7.00
CMP 166      Seven Goethe Songs for medium/high voice and Guitar        £8.00
CMP 170      The Guitar Songs of Tom Moore,  Book 1                          £8.00
CMP 171      The Guitar Songs of Tom Moore,  Book 2                          £6.50 

CMP 178      The Streitwolf Songbook (12 songs, English & German)    £12.50
    A selection of songs c.1810 with texts by Goethe, Schiller, Herder and others, presented with English metrical translations by Derek McCulloch, as well as the original German lyrics. The original (optional) flute accompaniments give these works a unique and delightful ambience. Streitwolf was an important musician, composer and instrument maker from Göttingen, but his guitar songs have been neglected for too long. The edition includes an extensive nine page biography with some colour illustrations and facsimile from original publications, as well as score & parts so that songs can be performed in English or German.
CMP 179     17 Songs by J.H.G. Streitwolf.                                           £11.00
    This collection of German lyrics completes the entire surviving oeuvre of 29 original guitar songs by an important but under-recognised composer of the early 19th century.  Score & parts (German lyrics only) 

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19th CENTURY GUITAR SONGS     ISBN  978-0-9528220-7-3.   £20.00  This book has 264 pages, including 50 pages of music examples.  The volume is a general survey of the many thousands of guitar songs currently  held by the British Library which were published in the period c.1770 - 1900. A number of other collections are also mentioned. The book includes full reference to the publications, extensive notes about the myriad composers and arrangers featured, also much detail from writers and other sources of the period, as well as information from more recent research. Additions and updates (see below) will be added online, as and when they become available.

UPDATES and further information:  You are welcome to send us comments, corrections, additions or other questions relating to this book.  We cannot guarantee to have all the answers, but will do our best to make a suitable reply. Since the book was published [August 2017] this page is used to post any noteworthy observations from readers so that the information is available to all.  See below.

Entries are headed by the name of the composer in question, with a page reference where necessary.  

Matteo Bevilaqua  Reference to page 28, 19th Century Guitar Songs.

A truly excellent article by Gerhard Penn in Il Fronimo No.180 (October 2017) details his latest research into this composer and provides important corrections to the entry on page 28. The birth and death dates should read 1768-1821 and Penn recounts the composer's life from origins in Sicily to years in Vienna, marriage and then his premature death on a return to Italy.  As I suggested in the book, there was only one guitarist/composer Matteo Bevilaqua. Penn makes it absolutely clear that any reference to Paulo Bevilaqua is a complete red herring, introduced by various writers over the years, so the name should read only Matteo Bevilaqua, or as he was later styled: Matteo de Bevilaqua after attaining minor aristocratic status through his marriage. There was a singer called Paul Bevilaqua who died in 1849 (hence the errors of earlier sources) but Penn has found no connection with the guitarist. In CPM there are two other composers with the Bevilaqua surname, both of them being published much later in the 19th century. In addition to an extensive account of the life, Penn gives a full catalogue of the composer's known works. I was wrong to say that there are no works in CPM. There is one book of guitar songs and another book of pieces for guitar or piano. They are as follows:

Sei canzonette veneziana con accompagniamento di chitarra, Op.20, pp.11  Nel magazzino della Caes: Real: Privil: stamperia chimica: Vienna, [1805?] Hirsch III.646.
    [Penn found a review of this publication in the Wiener Zeitung for 28th June 1806.]
Otto cavatine per chitarra francese o forte-piano. Trieste,[1820?]   E.601.h.4.
    [Penn found a reference to this collection in the Wiener Zeitung for 9th February 1805, so the CPM date needs to be revised.]

Pablo Mariano Rosquellas  Reference to page 155.
The songs by Rosquellas in the first edition of  his Tutor for the Spanish Guitar are:
        From thee Eliza I music Go.   arranged with an Acct for the Spanish Guitar [Clementi & Co., 26 Cheapside, London. No date. Publisher's catalogue No. 2856
        M'ha detto la mia mamma.  Italian Song composed with an Accompt for the Spanish Guitar [Clementi & Co., 26 Cheapside, London. No date or catalogue number.]
        Sighing never gain'd a Maid. Song with an Accompaniment for the Spanish Guitar [Clementi & Co., 26 Cheapside, London. No date or catalogue number.]
        O tenere piacere.   Italian Song with an Accompt for the Spanish Guitar [Clementi & Co., 26 Cheapside, London. No date or catalogue number.]
        Cavallo.   Spanish Song composed with an Accompaniment for the Spanish Guitar [Clementi & Co., 26 Cheapside, London. No date or catalogue number.]

These songs were replaced by Carlo Michele Sola in the later re-issue of the book, renamed as  Rosquellas' Complete Preceptor for the Spanish Guitar. Sola's songs were:
         Why did I love.  (J.Bennet, arr. Sola)
         My Rose. (Bianchi Taylor, arr. Sola)
         Come to me Gentle Sleep.  (S.Nelson, arr. Sola)
         I never cast a flower away.  (P.Klitz,  arr. Sola)
         Cease, sweet Girl.    (Roche, arr. Sola)
         When shall we three meet again.     (Horsley, arr. Sola)
         'Tis that dear song     (A. Meves, arr. Sola)
         When I gaz'd on a beautiful face.      (M.P. King, arr. Sola)
         Soave immagine d'amor.     (Mercadante, arr. Sola)
          Deh! calma l'affano.      (Rossini, arr. Sola)

Jean Baptiste Hanglaise.  He published Journal d'airs . . . . avec accompagnement de guittare [1796] which included two songs by the soprano Teresa Saporiti (her married name was Codecasa). New Grove gives two anecdotes: she was obliged to sing a number of operatic roles written originally for castrati, which she did very badly. Apparently her initial success was attribited not to her voice but to her impressive embonpoint. She then had a lewd liason with a shopkeeper's apprentice, after which money changed hands to avoid the scandal. Nevertheless she sang Donna Anna  in Don Giovanni at its first performance in Prague (1787), and a range of other roles in works by Cimarosa, Paisiello and others. She died in 1869 at the age of 105. The two songs in Journal d'airs were: Dormivo in mezzo prato and Caro mio ben, deh senti.


Guitar Music from the 16th to the 18th Centuries.   £10.00  This is a reprint of 19 articles written by Ian Gammie between 1982 to 1984 for the now defunct publication GUITAR Magazine. These were commissioned by the editor George Clinton to introduce guitar players to the repertoire, history and development of the four- and five-course guitars. The purpose was to provide an outline for players who had limited knowledge of their instrument's early history and also to examine the problems of transcribing music from the historical re-entrant tunings to make a performing version on the modern guitar. There are copious music examples and detailed text in the 52 pages. Though much research has been done since the 1980s in this area of guitar history, the articles still stand as a highly useful introduction to the subject. The original publications in the magazine had numerous misprints and problems with layout presentation (beyond the control of the writer) and these have been corrected, including improved clarity of the facsimile examples. Catalogue number GTR-2.   Guitar Index



Full details of our editions are given at catalogues, but before you explore further you may find the following summary helpful in navigating a route through our site. The individual catalogues give a short description of each work, with details of prices, sets of parts, etc. You will find an overview of the entire Corda output in numerical order of the catalogue at: Price List.

The Guitar Catalogue is divided into separate pages for Guitar Solo, Guitar Duet, Trios, Quartets, larger ensembles including Octets, and chamber music for Guitar with other instruments. The chamber music section currently includes Voice and Guitar, though we expect to enlarge this series until eventually it has its own page. There is already a good selection of 19th century guitar songs available. Start at Guitar Index

The Early Music Catalogue is mostly on one long page, but there are some digressions available, - for example, the work on Jane Austen's music Jane Austen, including CDs. There are features for the books by Judy Tarling on Baroque String Playing and The Weapons of Rhetoric, and also for Carin Zwilling's The Original Songs in Shakespeare's Plays. Our Early Music editions are for period instruments from approximately 1550 - 1800. They include a variety of consort music for viols, and works for voices and instruments. There is a range of books by the internationally acknowledged teacher Alison Crum designed for those learning to play the viol. Though we specialise in early music for strings, many of the consort pieces can also be performed by recorders, etc. Start at Early Music Index

The String Catalogue has a variety of solo and chamber music pieces, with particular emphasis on works for the viola, including a number of viola ensemble pieces. We also publish most of the works by the much admired composer Minna Keal who died some years back in her 91st year. These works include her Cello Concerto, the Ballade for Viola and Piano and two string quartets. There are viola works by Arnold Bax, William Alwyn (Pastoral Fantasia for Viola and String Orchestra, Sonata Impromptu for Violin and Viola) and teaching books for the viola by Watson Forbes. We also have an edition of Gordon Jacob's CONCERT PIECE for Viola and Orchestra, as well as other pieces by him for the viola. Start at String Index

Email address and printable order form can be found at: How to order. Our email address for other more general correspondence is: webmaster

Because the Ancient Babylonians (or was it the Sumerians?) only gave us a measly 24 hours in each day and a mere seven days in each week, we do struggle at times to keep all our pages up to date. But please contact us directly by fax, phone or email if you have any questions; we can't guarantee to have the right answer every time, but we'll do our best. 

If you prefer to contact us in one of the following languages we will be happy to discuss the music with you (though we may have to reply in English if the matter is complicated!). We can read - and to a varying extent, speak - the following languages:
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Though the Internet is too often dominated by English, we welcome the chance to do our bit in redressing the linguistic balance. So please write in one of these languages if you prefer, and with the intermittent aid of a dictionary we will do our best to reply.

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Last updated 20th September 2021 

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