Popular music, pop music in general terms, is definitely in demand for the guitar. After all, people like to play something they know. Which period that comes from depends on the dating of your teenage years. I started actively listening to pop music myself in the sixties and that lasted until the classical guitar started to influence my taste in music ten years later.
Nevertheless, I still have a good memory for my beloved pop songs from those days. That was a time before the hated disco boom (120 ticks per minute) took over. To my surprise this boom-beat still holds the hegemony. It is the frenetic pace of today’s society.
Besides classical music, I also play (arrangements of) pop songs. In this aspect the Dutch guitarist/arranger Cees Hartog (*1949) plays an important role for me. In his early years he taught himself to play the guitar and played in various bands. He worked on his musical education at the conservatory in Maastricht. Since then, he has been known for his accessible tutorials and has arranged a number of pop songs that are a) true to the original and b) playable for guitarists who have not had lessons for 20 years.
I have those pop song books in my possession. Four volumes of Popsongs for Classical Guitar and a volume of French chansons. They form a permanent holiday repertoire for me. It’s nice to hear that passers-by who heard me playing in a holiday park promptly started whistling along.
Under the title Hommage to de Oldies I have recorded a number of pop song arrangements by Cees Hartog. As such, this section actually is a small homage to his efforts to make guitar music and pop songs accessible for the amateur.
For the recordings, I used the following publications:
- Popsongs for Classical Guitar 1, Alsbach ALB 10527, ISMN 9789043142472
- Popsongs for Classical Guitar 2, Alsbach ALB 10548, ISMN 9789043147989
- Popsongs for Classical Guitar 3, Alsbach ALB 10576, ISMN 9789043151931
- Popsongs for Classical Guitar 4, Alsbach ALB 10648, ISMN 9789043157520
- Chansons for Classical Guitar, Alsbach ALB 10653, ISMN 9789043151108
- Tapas de Espana, Alsbach ALB 10591, ISMN 9789043148337