Ferdinando Maria Meinrado Francesco Pascale Rosario Carulli, a self-taught classical guitarist, lived from 1770 - 1841. During his most productive years while settled in Paris, Carulli composed and published over 400 works for violin, guitar, and full orchestra. His talents on the guitar earned him quite a reputation as a performer, and his ability to write lyrical pieces that amateurs could learn drew a large number of students (and thus publishers) to his material.

Born in Naples on February 9, 1770, Carulli originally learned to play cello from a priest. This influenced Carulli to favor chamber music scales. His introduction to the guitar at age 20 came with no teacher. Thus, Carulli developed his own methods which he later published along with his musical masterpieces. Later on, he worked with Lacote to improve the sound of the guitar by changing the construction, primarily by enlarging the soundbox.

What most frustrated Carulli were publishers. Nearly none of his masterpieces were published since they were not playable by amateurs and as such would not sell in volume. Carulli responded in two ways: by flooding the market with tutoring methods and by publishing many works himself.

Another attraction to simpler music came when his son, Gustavo, started learning guitar. Carulli married a French woman, Marie-Josephine Boyer, around 1801. And in 1810, Carulli published his Méthode Complète Op. 27, written for the instruction of Gustav.

By the time he died on February 14, 1841, Carulli had established Paris as the capital of guitar music. Fellow guitarists Luigi Legnani, Giuseppe Pasini, and Filippo Gragnani even dedicated compositions to him.

The Classical Guitar, by Frederick Noad

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