Ut re mi fa sol la
six fantasies for solo guitar

John Beckwith
John Beckwith
Composition Date: 2013
Duration: 00:14:15
Genre: Strings (plectral), Solo, Guitar / Lute, Solo


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Guitar
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Programme Note:
Ut re mi fa sol la

The title is borrowed from the late-renaissance hexachord fantasies, instrumental pieces in which a six-note upward-and-downward scale appears as a “ground.” In one example by the keyboardist John Bull (Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, early seventeenth century), the hexachord is transposed eleven times, using every available enharmonic. Here a different hexachord pattern is featured in each of the first five fantasies (see diagram), while the sixth refers back to several patterns already heard. Patterns include the whole-tone scale (no. 3) and a six-tone set (no. 5). Other back-and-forth references link the six numbers, such as the G - C-sharp tritone. Though not a player, I have vivid memories of hearing some of the outstanding guitarists of our time in live concerts (Segovia, Bream, Parkening, Brouwer, and others), and retain a special fondness for the intimacy and expressiveness of the instrument.

The work was commissioned by Mount Allison University with funds supplied by the Marjorie Young Bell Fine Arts and Music Fund, for Peter Higham, who in 1994 commissioned, premiered, and recorded my After-images, after Webern for cello and guitar. I thank him for his advice, and for editing suggestions, which have been incorporated in the score.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 4111 B397ut
  • Genre:
  • Strings (plectral), Solo, Guitar / Lute, Solo
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • October 21, 2014
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (15 p.) ;
    15 Pages
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
  • Additional Information:

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