Lesson Plan

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Lesson notes

One of the most recognized classical guitar pieces of the last 50 years, Cavatina started out as a short piano piece by English composer Stanley Myers. In 1970 John Williams encouraged Stanley to stretch it out and they put together an orchestral version with two guitars. It was first recorded for Williams’ 1971 album, Changes, and was used as a theme in the movie The Walking Stick in 1970. The movie The Deer Hunter then used the song as its main theme in 1978, launching the piece into the mainstream. Almost every classical guitar player since then has worked on playing the solo version, mostly as arranged and performed by John Williams.

This lesson goes through my thoughts and ideas of some of the possibilities a guitar player should explore with Cavatina. I offer my choice of fingerings, as well as other options that might work better for other players. There are a lot of barre chords involved and getting the melody to flow gently and smoothly, legato, will be very challenging.