Transcriptions and Music

Please click on the title of the piece to access the PDF for download. If you do use these pieces in performance, or just download them to play, please just credit me as the arranger, and send me an email at info@emilyshawguitar.ca to tell me what you think!


Solo Guitar Transcriptions

Nocturne No. 5 – John Field

John Field’s Nocturne in Bb major has been a long-time favourite of mine. Field was the so-called inventor of the nocturne, and this is quite a beautiful piece. I think that it works on the guitar (in the new key of D major) as the arpeggio style accompaniment suits the instrument very well. I recorded this arrangement on my debut CD, Vespers.

Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 – Frédéric Chopin

After playing Tarrega’s arrangement of Chopin’s famous Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 for a while, I decided to make a few changes. A lot of the arrangement is still Tarrega’s work, however, I have put my own spin on a few sections, and have replaced many of Tarrega’s extended cadenza-like ornamentations with passages that are more similar to Chopin’s original piece. I recorded this arrangement on my debut CD, Vespers.

Solus Cum Sola – John Dowland

This is a lute piece by John Dowland which I have written out in guitar notation. I took my favourite parts of the existing sources that I found for this piece. I would encourage anyone learning this piece to look at the other versions that are available (both modern transcriptions and manuscripts). I wrote a blog post on the work a little while ago. This file contains two versions of the piece – one in standard guitar tuning, the other at sounding pitch if you use a capo on the third fret. I also just recorded the piece for YouTube, which you can view here.

Sonata in G Major, K. 371 (Minuet) – Domenico Scarlatti

I transcribed this minuet for guitar last summer (2014). The transcription is fairly true to the original, and works quite nicely on the guitar. There are a few nasty stretches later in the piece, but nothing impossible that I have found. A keyboard version can be found on IMSLP here.

Sonata in E Minor, K. 81 (Grave-Allegro-Grave-Allegro) – Domenico Scarlatti

This is a beautiful four movement Baroque sonata which is often performed on violin or mandolin with continuo. Here I have transcribed it for guitar, including ideas for ornamentation in the two Grave movements.

This I Promise You

I arranged this popular NSYNC song by request for a wedding. I thought I would share it here for anyone who wants to play this love song. I also made a (slightly rough) recording of the arrangement on YouTube here.


Seasonal music

White Christmas

Here’s the first Christmas arrangement that I am posting here. This was arranged recently for one of my intermediate level classical students.

Walking in the Air

Here is my arrangement of Howard Blake’s Walking in the Air from The Snowman. This arrangement is in drop D tuning (which I neglected to write on the score, although it should become pretty obvious pretty quickly).

In the Bleak Midwinter

This is a simple chord-melody arrangement of my favourite carol, In the Bleak Midwinter. I recorded this for YouTube on my channel, playing a recently completed self-made classical guitar.

O Holy Night

Here is a challenging chord(arpeggio)-melody arrangement of this beautiful Christmas Carol. The barre chords are not easy, and it is difficult to make the melody sing, however, I am still happy with this arrangement.


Guitar and Voice

Les Cloches

This is a transcription of the beautiful Debussy art song setting of Paul Bourget’s poetry. It was originally for soprano and piano; I have transcribed it for guitar and soprano. This is my first attempt at arranging for guitar and voice. I am planning to find a few more Debussy pieces to arrange along with this one. The guitar part is as close to the piano original as I could make it. I have kept the ostinato C#-D#-E figure as clear as I could throughout the piece.

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