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by Francesco Barberini

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My relationship with the guitar, an instrument I've been playing for 20 years, has had some elating, sometimes enrapturing moments; it brought me to the discovery of music following a route that started from songs and arrived to Jazz after having passed through innumerable musical landscapes, from the Italian Song to Pop, from Country to Rock, from Hard Rock to Progressive Rock, to Classical Music (from Medieval to Contemporary), from Jazz Rock to Modal Jazz, from there to Free Jazz to then go backwards to discover the origins, get to Be-Bop and go on passing through all the stages that lead to today's jazz, including listening to the world's ethnic kinds of music and to various musical syncretisms....in short it has always been my instrument and only on it I could try to express myself in the various musical idioms in which I was gradually becoming interested.

Therfore, the guitar brought me to the progressive discovery of my ideal musical ground; a ground, though, in which my instrument gradually started to take second place to give more and more space to composition, to the point of leaving me, at times, with a certain feeling of unfitness, of partial unsatisfaction...

Mainly for two reasons: the first one concerns listening and composition while the second has to do with performance. I believe I haven't been influenced by guitarists as much as by horn-players, and, most of all, by jazz pianists; the latter are actually the instrumentalists I mostly listened to, as time went by.

Then the piano became my main instrument for composition, even though my skills weren't such to allow me to play jazz and improvise, but only to play my compositions' written parts.

On guitar the situation was reverse, since I was able to accompany and improvising jazz, but I was confining myself to playing the theme unison, or downrightly to laying out.

Most of the times, anyway, my role would be reduced to playing monophonic lines on guitar.

Perhaps that's the reason why I always played my compositions with a quintet. I don't remember having written any composition in which the guitar had specific parts that were different from the ones of the other instruments...if I were a sax-player or a pianist I'd have played my music with a quartet (sax, piano, bass and drums); but that doesn't take anything away from the visceral love that I feel for the guitar as an instrument, mainly for its possibilities of expression and the tone qualities it possesses.

The second reason of partial unsatisfaction concerned precisely the physical impossibility of playing on guitar both the parts I composed on the piano (when they were not just chord symbols) and those modal progressions -harmonized in close voicings -that I love so much and that are so easily played on the piano keyboard... those horn section-like voicings, which contain two or more intervals of a second, that I often prefer in my compositions - I was longing to use them also during guitar accompaniment of jazz standards.

This is the reason why, at a certain point, I came to the conclusion that my ideal instrument would be a guitar that had some possibility of expressing itself piano-likewise or horn section-likewise....a "Pianotar" !!

Example of using of DAEGAB guitar tuning: Waltz for Debussy (MP3)

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Last Modified Date: 21/11/2004

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