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Francisco Tárrega


Melchor Rodríguez García began researching, compiling and organising the work of Tárrega over thirty years ago. During that time, he travelled back over the same path that Tárrega trod in his day. His dreams, energy, perseverance and indeed, great luck, meant that he was privileged enough to be able to recover the master's work in original manuscripts composed, copied and signed by Tárrega himself, making a total of over a thousand pages. Throughout his search, he had the chance to get to know Tárrega's disciples and friends either personally or through their families, gleaning vital information from them. He found out about many aspects of Tárrega’s personal life and also, perhaps more interestingly, he was able to get a first-hand idea of how the master taught his disciples to play his music.

Tárrega’s original work for guitar embraces all kinds of exercises and drills, over a hundred teaching and technical studies, some forty preludes and around 35 concerto pieces. He also produced arrangements and transcriptions of over two hundred works by different authors and in varying styles. However, despite his considerable output, Tárrega only published twenty-nine pieces, including original work and transcriptions.

Tárrega's entire corpus of work can never be published, for one very simple reason. In those days, to give sheet music away, even an original piece of work, was as normal a practice as giving guitar lessons without charging and Tárrega was in the habit of doing both. In view of this circumstance, it is easy to imagine the master handing out any number of copies without a second thought; copies that would never be returned. This is why Melchor is still uncovering examples of Tárrega's work today.

The people acknowledged by Melchor for their help in creating this edition include: Emilio Pujol (a pupil of Tárrega), Salvador García (who received advice from the master during many of his travels around the Levante region), Mercedes Aguinaga, García de Vargas, the families of Josefina Robledo, Pepita Roca and Daniel Fortea (pupils of Tárrega), Carmen Correcher, Josefina Cruzado, José Espert and Andrés Segovia, who reviewed all the texts.