The composition of new music for guitar can involve two issues: 1) composers that have no experience with the instrument might not be able to compose a score that is idiomatic, accommodating and highlighting the unique characteristics and features of the conventional guitar techniques; and 2) composer-guitarists might repeat clichés that can origin from their performance habits. In this respect, the aim of this paper is to answer the following questions: can distant reading methods help in defining strategies for composing new idiomatic music for guitar? If so, how they can be defined and implemented? Distant reading methods allow to analyze quantitatively and automatically large amounts of data. In fact, they are big data analytics strategies that were introduced for the purposes of literary insight and that rely heavily on computer programs. The authors used them to analyze a canonical piece for classical guitar in order to extrapolate knowledge about its idiomatic features, mostly in term of left-hand behaviors. The results were consequently examined and structured with the purpose of mapping idiomatic patterns and to set rules for defining new ones accordingly. The achieved knowledge was employed in the composition of new piece for guitar, so to test the efficacy of the approach both from the composition and the performance points of view, checking how and why it fostered creativity and granted playability.
Albini, G., & Oppizzi, M. (2023). Composing idiomatic music for guitar using distant reading strategies. In R. Torres, A. Brandon, & J. Noble (Eds.), Proceedings of The 21st Century Guitar Conference 2019 & 2021 (pp. 186-191). https://digitalcommons.du.edu/twentyfirst-century-guitar/vol1/iss1/13