Guitar Quartets
Listen to York Guitar Quartet performing on their first album
On the Overgrown Path.
A la una nací yo - performed wonderfully by Logy of the Jungle Quartet - Iguazu Falls, Argentina
An ancient Sephardic air.
Grades: 5,4,4,3
All in a Garden Green - performed by Aroma Guitar Quartet.
A 16th century English air.
Grade: 1
Away in a Manger & Once in Royal David's City
Two English carols from the 19th century.
Grade: 1-3
Bai Mudan - The White Peony - a Chinese folk song - performed by
Grades: 4,3,2,1
Hong Dou Ci - The Red Bean Song - a Chinese folk song.
Grades: 4,2,2,1
The Coventry Carol - performed by the Junior Guitar Ensemble, Guitar School, Sliven, Bulgaria
An English carol from the 16th century.
Grade: 1
Drink to Me Only
An English air from around the year 1770
Grades: 1-3
The Greenwood Tree
A 16th century English air.
Grades: 2-3
In the Bleak Midwinter - arranged by Gustav Holst (and for guitar quartet by Andrew Forrest)
An English carol. Listen to Quarteto de Violões de Chapecó.
Grade: 1
In Dulci Jubilo
An English carol.
Grades: 6,6,2,2
Seven Carols
The Truth Sent from Above; Deck the halls; O little one sweet, O little one mild (played by the Aroma Guitar Quartet); Good King Wenceslas; We three kings of Orient are; Come, come, come to the manger; See amid the winter's snow.
Grados: 1-3
Mall Simms
A Renaissance English Dance
Grade: 1-2
Réveillez-vous, Picards
An old French (or more accurately, Picardian) song from the 15th century.
Grades: 3-4
The Sage Leaf - (performed amazingly by Nepal Music Group RIFF)
Grades: 5,4,3,3
The Shy Myze
The Mulliner Book, in the British Museum, contains over a hundred instrumental and vocal works by sixteenth century composers. The title may refer to a 'shy miss' or possibly 'La chemise' (protecting the former's modesty) - or both!
Grades: 2-4
Three Pieces from the Mulliner Book
I smile to see how you devize, La Doune Cella, La Bounette - performed by the Sliven Guitar Ensemble, Bulgaria (nice bass!) and by Guitar Ensemble ‘Coda’, Bulgaria.

The Mulliner Book, in the British Museum, contains over a hundred instrumental and vocal works by sixteenth century composers.
Grades: 2-3
Tyrolean Cradle Song
A popular Austrian carol
Grades: 1-2
Veni, Veni, Emmanuel - O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (thanks to Rees Davies,Guitar Instructor, Coram Deo Academy/Coppell Conservatory, North Texas, USA)
A French advent carol from the 15th century.
Grades: 0-2
The Water is Wide - Interpreted by Wellington Guitar Circle, NZ
Another 16th century English air for guitar quartet.
Grades: 1-2
Bach J.S.
Suite No. 2 (BWV106)
The Suite No. 2 (originally in B minor) was written for flute, 2 violins, viola and continuo.
Grades: 3-6
Prelude No. 22 ( from the 48 Preludes & Fugues) - performed here by Bali Guitart Institut Seni Indonesia Denpasar
(... a beautiful transcription of a piece which is one of the most moving of the '48'. Classical Guitar August 1997) Grades: 2-3
Fugue No. 23 - (from the 48 Preludes & Fugues)
Grades: 6,5,5,5
Schafe können sicher weiden - (Sheep may safely graze) - Aria from BWV 208
Grades: 5,5,4,1
Bartók, B.
Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm - from Mikrokosmos Sz.107
Requinto, 2 guitars and bass from the original for piano - performed by York Guitar Quartet here.
Grades: 8,8,8,8
Nine Pieces from 'For Children' - from the original for piano.
Choral, Ballad, Drinking Song, Mourning Song, Swineherd's Song, Rhapsody, Jeering Song, Old Hungarian Tune, Pleasantry - performed by York Guitar Quartet here.
Grades: 6,5,5,4
Three Rondos on Slovak Folk Tunes - Sz.842
For 2 requintos, guitar and bass from the original for piano - performed by York Guitar Quartet here.
Grades: 8,8,8,8
Boulanger, L.
Quatre Pièces - D'un Vieux Jardin; D'un Jardin Clair; Nocturne; Cortège.
The first two pieces have been transcribed straight from the piano score (Trés Morceaux 1914). The Nocturne and Cortège had previously been published as a duet for violin and piano. I have used both this and the solo piano version for the Cortège. Performed here by York Guitar Quartet.
For requinto, 2 guitars and bass. Grades: 7,7,6,6
Byrd, W.
Sellingers Rownde
From the 16th century keyboard work.
Grades: 4-5
Callino Casturame
Grades: 6,2,3,3
Campion, T.
Never Weatherbeaten Sail
Grades: 3,2,1,1
Corrette, M.
Le Phénix
Michel Corrette (1709-1795) was a composer and organist in Paris. Le Phénix was originally written for four bassoons (or bass viols) and continuo. By tuning the guitar's sixth string to D, the concerto can be played at its original pitch which allows the guitar to produce its richest sonorities.
(a substantial concert item....and is pure fun to play. Classical Guitar)
Grades: 3-5
Debussy, C.
Passepied - No. 4 from Suite Bergamasca.
Grades: 6,6,5,7
Donati, B.
Canzonetta(1600) - performed by the Ensemble of Guitarist Music School, Chrudim, Teacher Eva Vítková,Czech Republic.
Grades: 2-3
Edwards, R.
When Griping Griefs - from the Mulliner book. Richard Edwards lived from 1523-66
Grades: 2-4
Fauré, G
Berceuse - from Dolly Suite - Nicely played by Classical Guitar Ensemble "HanEum", Republic of Korea. Rather noisy sound quality.

Grades: 5,2,4,2
Arr. Forrest, A.
Forrest Ensemble Series
A series of collections of quartets designed to work for small or large groups of players. Ideal for school or amateur ensembles at various levels.
Grades: 1-5
(Seven packages of quartets for school or amateur ensembles... the pieces have all been tried out and approved by children from 7 to 18 in groups varying in size from 4 to 40.... Classical Guitar)
Forrest Ensemble Series No. 1
Pastime with Good Company (Henry VIII); Ronde (Susato); Mourqui (L. Mozart); Men of Harlech (trad.); Muss I Den (German trad.); Catalan Carol (Salten y Bailen)
(There are six pieces here with full score and quartet parts provided ..... There is a good mixture of styles represented, from Catalan and German folk songs to an arrangement of Men of Harlech, pieces by Mozart and Susato and a delightful arrangment of Pastime with Good Company by King Henry VIII. All work really well and should cause few problems to players of Grade 2 or 3 standard. The top part does not venture further than third position. This is a truly excellent collection of pieces; I have ordered a copy for school already, so what more can I say to recommend it? Classical Guitar)
Forrest Ensemble Series No. 2
Branle (Susato); Almande (Gervaise); Trumpet Minuet (Handel); The Leaving of Liverpool (English Trad.); Berceuse (No.1 from Dolly Suite - Fauré); The River Wisla (Polish trad.)
(Most welcome additions to the ensemble music for 3 or 4 guitars ... excellent value. Classical Guitar)
Leaving of Liverpool
Berceuse from Dolly Suite
Forrest Ensemble Series No. 3
Allemande and Nachtanz (Susato); Cupararee or Graysin (G. Coperario); Minuet (from Music for the Royal Fireworks - Handel); Janette's Thumb Jig (Forrest); Santa Lucia (Italian trad.); Greek Dance (trad.)
(...tried, tested and approved by children aged 7 to 18. Classical Guitar)
Cupararee or Graysin
Santa Lucia
Forrest Ensemble Series No. 4
Bourrée 1 & 2, Ballet (from Terpsichore - Praetorius); Vals (Op. 70 No.1 - Chopin); Menuetto (from K229 - W.A.Mozart); Speak to me (trad. Greek)
Forrest Ensemble Series No. 5
My Love Hath Vow'd (Campion); Ye Banks and Braes (trad. Scottish); Minuet for French Horn (Handel); Gavot (Boyce); La Filadora (Catalan folk song)
Ye Banks & Braes
Forrest Ensemble Series No. 6
Dance and Nachtanz (Haussman); La Réjouissance (Handel); Serenade (Schubert); Mexican Hat Dance (trad.)
( I have reviewed several of the editions in this series ... and have been highly delighted with the chosen music, the arrangements and the preparation. Classical Guitar, Dec. 1989)
Grades: 6,2,3,3
La Réjouissance
Forrest Ensemble Series No. 7
Bransle I (Gervaise); Danza & Triple (Forrest, Nesbitt); Now, oh now I needs must part (Dowland); Aire from the Water Music (Handel); Menuette (W.A.Mozart); Impromptu No.3 (Schubert); The South Wind (an Irish Air); Brian Boru (an Irish Air).
Grades: 3,2,2,2
Impromptu No.3
The South Wind
Brian Boru
Bulgarsk - A traditional Bulgarian melody - Recorded by York Guitar Quartet here - and performed by Tunisia Guitar Quartet here.
Grades: 7,6,5,3
Dorke - A traditional Bulgarian melody - (Recorded by York Guitar Quartet here)
Grades: 7,6,5,4
Bucimis - A traditional Bulgarian melody - (Recorded by York Guitar Quartet here)
Grades: 8,8,6,6
Maričensko - Pravo Horo - A traditional Bulgarian melody - (Recorded by York Guitar Quartet here)
Grades: 6,5,5,4
More Sokol Pie - A traditional Bulgarian melody - (Recorded by York Guitar Quartet here)
Grades: 8,6,6,4
Eleno Mome - A traditional Bulgarian melody - (Recorded by York Guitar Quartet here)
Grades: 8,8,6,6
Stare Ljubavi
A traditional Bosnian melody.
Grades: 5,3,3,3
The Coolin
A traditional Irish melody- An Chúilfhionn
Grades: 4,3,2,2
Fiddlers Playing
A song and dance from the Ukraine
Grades: 5,3,2,2
My Love's An Arbutus
An old Irish air, arranged by Charles Villiers Stanford
Grades: 4,2,2,2
Noches de Luna
A beautiful vidala from Argentina for guitar quartet or orchestra - performed here by Ensemble de Guitares de Meynes et Remoulins
Grades: 2-4
This is a setting of seven songs of the sea, traditionally sung by British sailors - including a fog-horn, Setting the Sails, Phelim’s Wee Boat, Kelly the Pirate, Grace O’Malley, The Drunken Sailor, When the Boat Comes In and the Rio Grande. Some of the songs are well known, others less so and, like the sea, they vary in mood and tempo.
Grades: 4,2,2,2
Forrest, A
Barcarowl - A piece in the style of a barcarole but with an echo of the bird of the night.
Grades: 4,2,2,2
Champagnoise - after the C.16 French composer Claude Gervaise.
Grades: 2-3
Fantasy on Two French Carols
The two carols upon which this fantasy is based are 'La Ballade de Jesus Christ' and 'Quelle est Cette Odeur Agréable?'. These are both early traditional French carols. The scoring is for four tenor guitars with the option of a requinto (tuned in A) for the guitar 1 part . The bass part is complementary to the guitar 4 part rather than a substitute. It can be played on acoustic bass or a suitably controlled electric bass where the ensemble size demands it. Performed by York Guitar Quartet here.
Grades: 4,3,3,3
Greek Dance
As in Forrest Guitar Ensembles No.3, but in a different key and slightly harder.
Grades: 4,2,2,2
going cuckoo
A little quartet, just for fun, to help students learn to listen to each other and to count.
Grades: 0-1
Joropó - Recorded by York Guitar Quartet here, and also performed by Požega School of Music Guitar Orchestra (Croatia).
As suggested by Ignacio Ornés of Venezuela, I have just increased the tempo of this Jóropo - have fun!
Grades: 2-4
Little Prelude for Lesley - (played by York Guitar Quartet) and also by the DPHS Guitar Ensemble and by MacRob Senior Guitar Ensemble
Grades: 3,3,3,3
Pavan of Huntington
Grades Initial-1
Pavane of Welburn - Performed beautifully with good pictures of Welburn area by 4 guitarists in different countries - the Aroma (Remote) Quartet!
Played rather well
here by the Pretoria High School for Girls guitar ensemble, South Africa
Grades Initial -1
Primavera - (Recorded by York Guitar Quartet here)
A quartet influenced by flamenco modes and rhythms.
Parts: rqto, gtr2, gtr3, bass - Grades: 7-8
Ogûn Gori na Balkana
Based on "Fires are burning on the mountains" - a Bulgarian folk song.
Parts: gtr1, gtr2, gtr3, gtr4 - Grades: 7-8
Elegy - (Recorded by York Guitar Quartet here)
For quartet of requinto, 2 guitars and bass - Grades 6-8
Variations on a Slovak Folk Song - (A ja som z Oravy debnár)
Loosely translated as 'A cooper from Orava am I'. The parts are not hard to play but the ensemble can be tricky!
Grades: 6,6,6,5
Vyletel Vták
(Recorded by York Guitar Quartet here)
Based on "Bird above the Clouds" - a Slovak folk song
For quartet of requinto, 2 guitars and bass - Grades: 3-5
Frescobaldi, G.
Canzon Quarti Toni (Missa degli Apostoli) - from Fiori musicali di compositioni (Venice, 1635)
Grades: 5,4,3,2
Bergamasca - from Fiori musicali di compositioni (Venice, 1635)
Grades: 7,5,5,4
Gervaise, C.
Eight Dances
Branlse de Bourgogne I; Galliard; Pavane; Branlse de Bourgogne II; Almande; Branlse de Champaigne; Pavane de la Guerre; Galliard de la Guerre.
Grades: 2-5
Branlse de B.II
Pavanne, La Venissienne
Grades: 3,1,1,1
Handel G.F.
Three Pieces
These three quartets are taken from Handel's orchestral works and form a pleasing performance set of varied character for quartet or larger ensemble of intermediate ability. The Musette is from the Masque "Terpsichore" whilst the Lentement and Allegro are from the Water Music. Listen to the Allegro here performed by the Orquesta de Guitarras del Conservatorio Simón Bolívar
Grades: 2-5
Four Pieces
These four quartets are taken from Handel's Suite in E minor for keyboard HWV438 (Allemand and Sarabande) and the Water Music (Air from the Horn Suite in F and Air from the Trumpet Suite in D).
Grades: 4,3,2,2
Flute Suite from the Water Music - performed by the Conjunto de Guitarras del Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico and by Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School, Singapore in Allegro and Country Dance.

The famous Water Music, first performed on a barge on the River Thames in 1717, is composed of a series of 3 suites written for different groups of instruments. The flute Suite, originally in G major, was written for flute, piccolo, violins, viola and violoncello.
Grades: 5,3,2,2
Haydn, J.
German Dance No. 4
Grades: 5,2,21,1
German Dance No. 12
Grades: 4,2,1,1
Henry VIII
Hélas Madame - Including part for solo guitar.
Grades: 1,2,2,3,(4)
Arr. Holst, G.
Lullay My Liking - 15th century English carol set by Gustav Holst.
Grades: 1-2
Mackenzie, J.
Quartet (A Great Quirky Trout) - (Recorded by York Guitar Quartet here) in 3 movements for 1 requinto, 2 standard tenor guitars and 1 bass. This is a fine original work, written for the York Guitar Quartet in 2004, and ideally suited to the medium.
Grades: 7-8
Monton, M.
Yellow Bird (Choukoun) - a 19th century song from Haiti based on an earlier French berceuse.
Grades: 1-2
Moszkowski, M.
Spanish Dance No.1
Parts: rqto, gtr2, gtr3, bass - Grades 8,8,6,7
Mozart, W.A.
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Listen to the 1st movement here performed by the Orquesta de Guitarras del Conservatorio Simón Bolívar and also by Guitar Ensemble ‘Coda’.
Grades: 4-7
Nin, J.
Granadina and Saeta - Guitar quartet (or Orchestra)
Grades: 4-6
These two pieces are taken from Twenty Spanish Folk Songs by Joaquín Nin. They were originally written for soprano and piano and cover all regions of Spain; the Granadina and the Saeta both being from Andalucia. Granadinas exist as a flamenco form alternating strict tempo dance sections with freer lyrical passages. Whilst Nin's Granadina is an original composition, it does recognise the feel of its Spanish forerunner. The Saeta is of very different character being a processional music form that is used on religious occasions.
Pachelbel, J.
Canon (the famous one!) and Gigue
performed by the Fourte Guitar Quartet here.
Grades: 3-6
Pergolasse, G.B.
Concerto (originally for flute, 2/3 violins and bass)
There is doubt whether this piece was composed by Joseph Adolph Hasse (1699-1783) as his Concerto IX (1741) from a set of 12 concerti for flute, 2 violins, alto viola and basso continuo or by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736) as his Concerto a 4 for flute, 2 violins and basso continuo. Many composers of the time, benefitting from Pergolesi's success, produced works under his name - probably to increase sales. The Hasse version is more thoroughly worked out in its parts but the Pergolesi version has sections with more interesting harmonies. Pergolasse's version borrows from both!
Grades: 7,6,5,2
Poulenc, F.
Suite Française
Bransle de Bourgogne; Pavane; Petite Marche Militaire; Complainte; Bransle de Champagne; Sicilienne; Carillon.
… In Poulenc's Suite Française, the York Guitar Quartet producing a surprising range of expression from bold, brassy sonorities to the quietest pianissimo which brought an almost profound stillness to the audience. Classical Guitar.
Grades: 4-6
B. de Champagne
Praetorius, M.
Spagnoletta - from the Masque 'Terpsichore'
Grades: 2-3
Ten Dances from Terpsichore
A selection of my favourites.
Grades 3,3,2,2
Ravel, M.
Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant - from Ma Mère, L'Oye (Mother Goose Suite)
Grades: 2,1,0,0
Ravenscroft, T.
Martin Said To His Man
From Deuteromelia (1609) - a book of early English part songs.
Grades: 4,2,2,2
Scarlatti, D.
Sonata Longo 23
Grades: 7,5,3,1
Shostakovich, D.
Prelude and Fugue No. 8
(originally for piano)
Grades: 7,7,6,6
Susato, T.
Seven Pieces from the Danserye(1551)
Ronde 9; Allemande; Pavane: 'Mille Ducas'; Shepherd's Dance; King's Dance; Ronde:'Warum'; Mohrentanz.
Grades: 3,2,2,2
Valdez. J.
Three Pieces by the composer Juan Valdez (c.1500 - c.1560)
Grades: 4-5