Katalin Koltai


transcription, classical guitar, Bartók, Ligeti, capo, capotasto, affordance, scordatura, technology


This paper demonstrates new transcriptions for the guitar of four piano pieces from the twentieth century: “The Night’s Music” from Bartók’s suite Out of Doors and Ligeti’s Musica ricercata, nos. 1, 2, and 7. The transcriptions deploy various newly invented single- and double-string magnet capos: I describe their design and, drawing on the work of De Souza, explain how their use transforms the affordances of the fretboard. In combination with scordaturas, the capos can be used to generate a series of radically altered open-string sets. Turning to the transcriptions of Bartók and Ligeti: by observing the pitch centers within their non-tonal structures, an open- string set can be generated that makes transcription possible. Excerpts from the transcriptions show how idiomatic features of the piano originals, such as contrast in register, can be mapped onto other idiomatic features of the guitar, such as contrast in timbre. The conclusion of the paper discusses how musical intention can connect with technological innovation, opening the way to an adaptable guitaristic interface with fresh potential for transcription and composition.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.