One of my favorite little pieces is Schumann’s Almost Too Serious from the piano suite Scenes From Childhood. Simple, yet bittersweet. Also used to great effect in the 1996 film, Shine.
I’ve arranged it as a duet with soprano/concert ukulele and baritone ukulele. Although I have some vague plans to, I have yet to play it with anyone myself. That said, I’ve played through both parts, and I think they work pretty well. One or two places where the fingering is a bit cumbersome for the baritone, but honestly better than I expected.
If you play it as a duet, send me a copy, or comment and let me know how it went!
As always, transcription was done in the open-source WYSIWYG music notation editor MuseScore. The MuseScore file is in the .zip, so feel free to edit as you please, particularly when it comes to the soprano fingerings. I was working on a version that made better use of re-entrant tuning, but I’ll admit I don’t have a feel for that yet, so it’s not included.
Schumann – Scenes from Childhood – 10. Fast zu Ernst – Soprano Ukulele
Schumann – Scenes from Childhood – 10. Fast zu Ernst – Baritone Ukulele
Schumann – Scenes from Childhood – 10. Fast zu Ernst – Score & Parts
.zip with .pdfs & MuseScore file
I heard this on the radio and had to transcribe it. It’s a gorgeous little study that sounds like a heart on the verge of breaking. Such emotion!
I feel that my transcription has a few issues. The same thing that vexed the Calatayud transcription vexes this one. The small range of the baritone ukulele forces the some notes on top of each other, making for some difficult transcription decisions. As you can see in the snippet to the right, a dotted half-note marks out the bassline. Although in this measure, the note can ring for the entire measure, other measures find that note played over almost immediately. I decided to leave these as dotted halves for conceptual reasons.
A different bari transcription I found on the web discards the bassline entirely to avoid these conflicts. I think that was a poor choice, as the piece benefits immensely from having that extra harmony, particularly in the bridge. Fingering can be a little awkward at times, but feel free to fake it or to adjust as you see fit to make it easier. For example:
Measure 3: The dotted-half on the 4th fret can be happily played on the 2nd fret
Measure 10: I find the dotted-half (7th fret) is easily played with my thumb, while barre-ing 5 with my index finger
As always, transcription was done in the open-source WYSIWYG music notation editor MuseScore. The MuseScore file is in the .zip, so feel free to edit as you please!
Tarrega – Estudio en mi menor.pdf
.zip of .pdf & MuseScore file
With the end of the first week of classes for the new semester, I decided to celebrate by transcribing a short piece for baritone ukulele. It’s Bartolomé Calatayud’s Pasodoblillo, originally for guitar.
It transcribes… okay. The range of the uke is much smaller than the guitar, so the pulsing baseline of the original gets sort of thrust into the melody at times on the smaller instrument. There are one or two places with awkward fingerings, as well (which is sort of unfortunate, because the fingerings of the original are so elegant).
As usual, the transcription was done in the open-source WYSIWYG music notation editor MuseScore. The MuseScore file is in the .zip file so feel free to edit it yourself if you have better fingerings or if you want to transpose into a different key!
.zip file of .pdf and MuseScore file
As a hobby, I play the baritone ukulele. I’m also a huge fan of Roger Ruthen’s site, pdf-minstrel, which has a large section of music transcribed for bari uke, including many classical and Renaissance pieces. Huge Fan!
There were some pieces that I felt were missing, though, so I decided to transcribe them for bari uke myself! I’m currently working on transcribing (and memorizing) the six suites for cello by Johann Sebastian Bach. So far, I’ve got the first suite done. The transcriptions are done in the amazing open-source WYSIWYG music notation editor MuseScore, and I’ve included the MuseScore files in the .zip file in addition to the .pdfs in case you want to edit them yourself. And you should! Customize! Personalize! Play around! MuseScore is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, so you have no excuse.
JS Bach – Cello Suite 1
.zip archive of all 6 pdfs and the original musescore files