Fernando Sor (1778-1839) was a composer of music for the classical guitar and arguably the greatest guitarist of the romantic era. Together with Andres Segovia, he is credited with legitimizing the use of the guitar for classical music.

Born in Barcelona in 1778, Sor lived there until 1812 and spent the rest of his life in Paris, Moscow and London, also touring Europe extensively to play his compositions.

Sor wrote over 250 pieces of music. His first published piece was an opera at the age of eighteen. Later in life he composed piano, orchestra and voice pieces, but the majority of his work was for the guitar. He was also very accomplished with the instrument himself; one contemporary called him "the most perfect guitarist in the world", and he was chosen as the first guitarist to perform with the London Philharmonic Society.

He published guitar music for players of all skill levels. His crowning acheivement was his "Method for the Guitar", but he is perhaps most famous for his several studies, which are oriented towards beginners. The famous guitarist Andres Segovia was so impressed by Sor's studies that he chose twenty and published them for use by beginning students of guitar. These studies are favorites because they're challenging and entertaining (and often quite beautiful) yet still very playable.

MIDIs of the twenty studies can be found here, for use as a guide in playing:


Fernando Sor was born in 1778, and passed away in 1839. A Spanish classical guitarist who has revolutionized the instrument.

Sor, a classical guitar master, demonstrated his vigorous talents in one of his most appreciated works - The Twenty studies for the guitar. These 20 studies can be performed to develop motion and strength throughout the guitarist's fingers, as well as a strong sense of appreciation of his works.

Unfortunately, the guitar has not been played as much as other instruments which won public admiration in concert halls. It had but a few Masters who could contribute more wealth to the achievements of their predecessors; but a few students who devoted themselves with loving patience to the study of pedagogical experiements of the old as well as the new Masters.

The 20 studies varies with incrementing difficulty levels, and can be considered a complete classical guitarist's study.

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