Guitar Chamber Music Press

Sonata in C Major


Sonata in C Major by Sylvius Leopold Weiss and transcribed and annotated by Joseph Mayes. This suite (sonata) for solo baroque lute is number twenty from the collection of Sylvius Leopold Weiss in the British Museum. It is somewhat remarkable in that the only movement that corresponds to the “standard” dances in a suite (Allemand, Courant, Saraband, Gigue) is the gigue. The overture with which the suite begins is a French Overture – That is, it begins with a stately section in dotted rhythm, then a faster section using imitation, ending with another slow section. This movement could be played alone to good effect. The original Ms is in French tablature and is very exact as to where each note should be played on the baroque lute. Unfortunately, that instrument’s tuning is different from the modem guitar as to make those note placements irrelevant for the guitar. In fingering the suite, I have tried to keep the spirit of the music as dictated by the original. The fingering I have added is meant to facilitate performance, and as such is only a suggestion. The tablature is heavily ornamented, but only indicating where to play an ornament and from which direction it should start- the exact ornament is left to the discretion of the player. I have indicated in the fingering only those ornaments which I thought obligatory for the style. Players should feel free to add their own.

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I. Overture


II. Bourée


III. Aria


IV.  Menuet


V. Trio


VI. Gigue


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