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Vincenzo Galilei Passo e Mezzo TAB

Vincenzo Galilei, "Passo e Mezzo" (TAB)

Transcription and Fingering: Renato Bellucci

While Galileo was revolutionizing the world of science, his father Vincenzo was doing the same with the world of music. He was the cornerstone in the passage between medieval polyphony and harmonic modulation, a concept we often take for granted but had its roots in this genial man at this particular time in history. His son's gigantic figure in the world of science was simply too overwhelming for any other Galilei to have a place in history. We guitarists, once again, put "names on the map".

Passo e Mezzo has been considered an anonim piece for many decades. The truth is that this would have been an honest description: "We have no certainty that Vincenzo Galilei did compose this piece, therefore we consider it Anonim".

We often make players think that we have no clue to the composers of certain pieces when that is far from true. Composers from the late Medieval ages, seldom signed their work, music was beginning to be considered a mathematical science.

Vincenzo was probably inspired by the waves formed by the gondolas passing in the Venetian canals.

These were men that observed the regularity of natural phenomenon and would write the first great scientific dogmas we live by today.
Passo e mezzo is an antique Venetian dance, the opening section is supposed to transmit the gentle breaking of waves on the shores.


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Staff and Video 1

Analysis:
I will use this gorgeous piece to introduce some technical concepts that, if applied correctly in different guitar pieces, will result in a solid technique.. the only type of technique that serves its purpose. To enhance the melody which starts with the high A, all you need to do is stiffen (fijación) the a finger's  phalanxes.
Assign  right hand finger to each string, unless otherwise noted, in Passo e mezzo: a first, m second, i third. The thumb, p, will cover strings 4, 5 and 6. The opening accompanying melody line is played by the thumb.
Use the arm where it says contract. Although it is possible to change finger 4 position from the C to the B with the finger itself, you want to know that there is a whole set of muscles in the arm that accomplish the same result. In other pieces having this alternative mechanism developed, will make the difference. Use the single finger scale at the end of the staff. The single finger a allows for a round even sound. This section is repeated. In the video, I show the open string used to change position on red.

Vincenzo Galilei Passo e Mezzo TAB

See how the wrist and the palm of the hand participate in the contraction of the left hand fingers.

Video 1
Asunción, November 24, 2003
Revision: Santa Monica, CA, December 4, 2012

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