Firstly, if you’re wondering exactly who I am: I’m the Paul Magnussen who used to write for Guitar (which in 1984, in response to the appearance of an American magazine of the same name, changed its own to Guitar International); and subsequently for Classical Guitar. I’m not the Paul Magnusson who used to write for BusinessWeek.
So this website (which is still under construction, see below for a list of the latest additions) is about music generally, and specifically about fretted instruments and their associated music. There’s a considerable amount of fiddle music, too.
As a start, I’m putting up some interviews I’ve done over the years with great guitarists, lutenists and other musicians, which are long out of print. In addition, you’ll be able to find sheet music for many of the tunes and songs that I’ve transcribed over the years (just click on the tab for the kind of music you’re interested in. Note also that where chord symbols are given, they are below the staff, English-style, not above as in the US). What I’m trying to do is to provide the kind of material I wished I’d had access to when I started out.
(The PDFs here are formatted for US Letter size (8½ × 11 inches), but all should be printable on A4 with a slight reduction at most. However, if you’re printing the supplied CD contents-lists and inserts, make sure you print actual size.)
But another purpose of this site is to provide information about (and supplementary information to) my forthcoming book Flamenco for Guitarists (and other musicians), which is the fruit of decades of research into the subject, including interviews with some of the greatest guitarists of the 20th century, and which you can find out more about here.
New in November 2023
• Classical Guitar: Transcription of Ricardo Iznaola BBC concert added (accessible from link in programme contents listing).
• Folk: Recordings from Heritage’s Living by the Air added.
New in September 2023
• Classical Guitar: Incorrect link to 2nd Abreus programme fixed.
New in August 2023
• Early: Guitar transcription of Branles de Village by Robert Ballard added.
• Classical Guitar & Flamenco: 9 (8+1) more of Colin Beasley’s programmes added.
New in July 2023
• Classical Guitar & Early: Contents listings of Colin Beasley’s programmes added.
New in June 2023
• Classical Guitar, Early & Flamenco: 32 recordings (26+5+1) from BBC Radio, contributed by Colin Beasley, added.
New in February 2023
• Folk: Transcription of Gerry O’Connor’s O’Mahony’s Reel added.
• Folk: Transcriptions of tunes from Kevin Burke & Mícheál Ó Domhnaill’s 1982 video concert added.
• Jazz: Arrangement of Jerome Kern’s They Didn’t Believe Me added.
New in January 2023
• Folk: Transcriptions of tunes from Brendan Mulvihill’s The Flax in Bloom added.
• Folk: Transcription of The Young Tradition’s version of Ratcliff Highway added.
• Early: Guitar transcriptions of 3 lute duets by John Johnson added.
• Links to recordings on Amazon are, unfortunately, becoming more and more unreliable—especially to MP3s. I am fixing those I see, if I can; but at some point it’s likely to become too much work. Pity.
New in October 2022
• Folk: Transcriptions of tunes recorded by Mick Moloney added.
New in May 2022
• Classical Guitar: Index to music in archive of B.M.G. (Banjo • Mandolin • Guitar) magazine added.
New in April 2022
• Classical Guitar: Section on 3rd part of Tárrega’s Lágrima updated.
New in February 2022
• Discographies updated.
New in January 2022
• Flamenco: Transcription of Baldi Olier’s Fantasía Oriental added.
• Folk: Transcription of Tom Rustad’s Fløttarvalsen added.
New in December 2021
• Folk: New version of Bring Us In Good Ale added.
• Folk: Transcription of Altan’s reels from Ceol Aduaidh added.
• Folk: Recording of Craobh Rua’s explanation of Irish jigs added.
• Folk: Recordings of Mick Hanly’s A Kiss in the Morning Early added.
• Folk: Transcription of Robin & Barry Dransfield’s Tapestry added.
• Broken links fixed.
New in November 2021
• Singer/Songwriter: Interview with Nick Drake’s sister Gabrielle added.
• Flamenco: Discography of Sabicas added.
• Folk: Recording and transcription of June Tabor & Martin Simpson’s version of Young Johnston added.
• Folk: Transcription of Swan Arcade’s version of Babylon Is Fallen added.
• Classical Guitar: Transcriptions of Jorge Morel’s versions of Yesterday and Norwegian Wood added.
New in April 2021
• Folk: 2 sound-bites from Liam O’Flynn & Andy Irvine interview added.
• Folk: 2 sound-bites from Nick Reynolds interview added.
New in March 2021
• Folk: Recording & lyrics of L’escòtisch de Jòrji e Francesa, by Mont-Jòia, added.
• Folk: Transcription of Nancy Kerr & James Fagan’s version of The Hanged Man’s Reel added.
New in February 2021
• Early: Recordings of The Early Music Ensemble of Lyon, playing dances by Attaingnant and Gervaise, added.
• Early: Recordings of three choral works by Giovanni Colonna added: Mass in Five Parts, Dixit Dominus, and Beatus Vir.
• Early: Recordings of four BBC Radio 3 broadcasts from the ’80s added: The Julian Bream Consort, The Lute Group, Christopher Wilson, and Choro Capella.
• sunk without trace flag added, to denote material (aside from my own interviews and transcriptions) that is no longer generally available.
New in October 2020
• Flamenco: Transcription of Sabicas’s Piropo a Galicia added.
New in September 2020
• Folk: Transcriptions of tunes from Dave Swarbrick’s Rags, Reels and Airs added.
• Classical Guitar: Black-and-white photos added to John Gilbert interview. I apologise for the quality of these: they were taken from a photocopy of the article, rather than from the original.
New in June 2020
• Folk: Transcription and recording of the Greek bouzouki duet Abduction added.
New in April 2020
• Folk: Transcription of the 16th-century carol Gaudete (recorded by Steeleye Span) added.
• Folk: Book of, and recordings of, fiddle tunes composed by the Scottish fiddler John Taylor added.
• Bluegrass/Oldtime: Transcription of the NLCR’s version of Jackson Stomp added.
• Bluegrass/Oldtime: Transcription of Molly Tuttle’s version of Bonaparte’s Retreat added.
New in January 2020
• Folk: Section on The Halliard added, with a transcription of Tae the Weavers Gin Ye Go.
New in October 2019
• Folk: Nick Reynolds interview and discography added.
New in August 2019
• Flamenco: Photos of Stephen Hill’s guitars added to interview.
• Classical Guitar: Spanish translation of John Williams interview added.
New in July 2019
• Stylesheet for printing added.
• Bluegrass/Oldtime: Discography added to John Herald interview.
• Early: Barry Mason interview and discography added.
• Early: Anthony Rooley discography expanded.
• Classical Guitar: Carlos Barbosa-Lima interview and discography added.
• Classical Guitar: Discography added to Alexandre Lagoya interview.
• Classical Guitar: Wulfin Lieske interview added, with his transcription of a Schubert Minuet.
• Classical Guitar: Vladimir Mikulka interview and discography added.
• Folk: Johnstons transcriptions added.
New in June 2019