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6.4 – the moment of writing

If in the popular song, as Tatit remarks, there seems to be no place for the score writing, at least concerning the vocal part, in the universe of the concert solo guitar, of which Sérgio Assad is one of our leading exponents, it is exactly through writing that an author may “discover him/herself” and reach a “personal language”.


 00:00  Coco (Chico Saraiva) – with improvisation by Sérgio Assad at the end [i]

What shall I do to choose one of those possibilities?

[highlights some of the likely inflections already used]

It seems that there has to be a great precision when making this choice

03:51 different from the encrypted music

when I elect this overture [for this chord, for instance]

it turns something written, it is different from an encrypted B7,

that’s why I’m going in this direction, there is already excessive accumulated material in this sense.

[plays B now at a slower pace, highlighting the moments in which there are choice involved]

Those spaces left by the melody may be filled out one way or another —

in my case, it’s even better to take out rather than fill in

in order to reach that “essential” thing about which we talked


04:50 solo, duo or guitar and voice?

Do you think that it can generate a good sheet music for solo guitar?

Because what I sing can also feed a second guitar.

Besides, it also has a lyric, which allows it to be written for the guitar and voice.

05:32 music that sustains itself in two manners


In your case, I would write it for solo guitar.

The harmony is there,

it’s interesting.


And how do you think it gets to the concertist?

In the aspect that comes from the example given by Brouwer and herein mentioned, [i]

expecting that it works as much when the interpreter refers to the rhythmic game

as when the prioritization is the harmonic-melodic fabric.

I’ve tried it out and feel that it has inherent intentions in the gesture.

Gestures that may come up tailored to each one’s way.

Then I’ve been researching how to bring it to the sheet music.

For example, how should I write this intention down?

[plays the passage]




I’ve just made some “crescendos” that have only come up now.

“Crescendos” that I don’t have, to begin with, as a compositional choice.


But from the moment you write it down on paper, it starts being your intention.

It starts being that.

06:28 the writing moment


I’ve already written it down, but even though I like it to be different each time.

At least for me it’s good, because it’ll feed new compositions.

Then it is somehow the conflict between the fixed and the flexible.

There should be this moment in writing, the moment of choice.

I’ve already made some “crescendos” here and there,

it may be so many ways…


I think that you’ve got to put what you’re doing on paper.

start doing it, keep on making notations, and you’ll start facing some problems.

To start with: how to write this down?

You’re going to discover by doing and writing it down

the things that make up your personal language

and then you’re going to discover more and more about yourself.


The shape or even the duration of a composition reveals another point of interesting exchange between the popular song and the concert guitar. Transposed to the popular range, the “shape” is decisively influenced by the fact that the song was born and developed in lively dialogue with the recording industry, from which received parameters such as the duration time of each track mostly due to restrictions in the pioneering technologies in audio-recording. Thus, although the parameters do not limit the duration of the pieces, they clearly reveal the existing distance between the common patterns in popular song and the listening expectation in the concert ambiance.

Sérgio Assad suggests that the piece presented to him assume the shape of a “little suite” in order to gain an effect of “contrast”, which in fact is more common to the (erudite) “concert” situation than to that of a (popular) “show”.



I suggest that you join this with two other things that have affinity,

thus coming up with a little “suite”.

In the concert ambiance, the point we are talking about,

you need to have longer segments, longer pieces of music.

A way to dribble this problem is joining pieces of the same author,

Gathering the pieces in a group prevents the concert from stopping every three minutes for applauses.

The more you group, the better.


I understand, more suitable to the means.


I think it is cool if you join this part that has this moving quality with two others,

a prelude, or something that is slower, contrasting.

and you yourself establish your group of pieces.


This idea of contrasting does not happen very often in the popular song,

even though there are the recitatives, for example.

But the commitment of the material with popular essence to the rhythmic continuity

ends up being restrictive in a certain sense.

This music may be felt…

[ I execute the part below highlighting the rhythmic character based on the ijexá rhythm] [i]



…however, it may also be

[I present the relation of tempos that leads to the slow and contrasting moment of the composition that is presented below in the version written for guitar duo][i]




Sure, it may turn into something else.


This kind of “contrast” has been searched for, even if incipiently,

as you can see in the sheet music I’m leaving with you. [i]

Each one is going to feel this “imprisonment” in a way; after all, prison is a very personal thing. [laughter]


An exercise that I do is taking something by three, for example, and transform it by four; in some pieces of music it works out.


There is Martinho da Vila’s samba version of Chico Buarque’s “Valsinha”


Those are musical exercises that I enjoy doing.

  1. Track recorded in Saraivada (Biscoito Fino) – 2007

  2. LINK with the same idea as the “essential” presented in 5.2 a question for Leo Brouwer

  3. LINK with the idea “what allows this music to sustain itself in any of the two approaches” presented in 5.2 a question for Leo Brouwer.

  4. It is worth noting that the design of the clef starts in the transcribed second compass, from the double bar that signals the beginning of the quadrature. The design taken from percussive baiano universe workshop, page 3, given by Letieres Leite, in Sept 2013.

  5. LINK with Chico Saraiva’s project presented in the section “Compositions and exercíses ” in his personal site.

  6. Recorded version by Duo Saraiva-Murray – Chico Saraiva and Daniel Murray – for our CD Galope (Borandá), production of Paulo Bellinati.