Watch the SECTION 4: Final Performance Study online guitar lesson by Andrew Leonard from Beginner Method for Classical Guitar

Welcome to Section 4! This is the final section of the course. Here we combine all the different aspects of classical guitar we have studied to play Luys Milán's "Pavan 1".

Luys Milán or Luis Milán (1500-1561) lived in Spain during the Renaissance. "Pavan 1" was originally written for the instrument Milán played, the vihuela, a Spanish instrument similar to the lute. The guitar did not exist during the Renaissance or the Baroque period. Thus, the only way to play music from these eras on guitar is through transcriptions or arrangements. "Pavan 1" has become favorite among professional classical guitarists and audiences. I first learned this piece when I was a teenager and have returned to it many times since then.

This pavan is one of six pavans found in Milán's book El Maestro (The Teacher), a collection of music he wrote for the vihuela in 1536. All six pavans are worthy of listening to and learning to play.

A pavan is a slow, stately court dance that was popular in Europe during the Renaissance. Court dancing is a lot different than dancing is today. The court dance steps were much slower and contain many pauses. I imagine the goal was to look dignified while dressed in your finest attire! Keep this in mind as you play the piece.

Another piece of important information is the use of the word "strain". In Renaissance music, the phrases within a piece of music are called strains. Our learning approach is to treat each of the seven strains as its own short piece. In fact, the Milán Chordal Passage you learned in Section 2 is Strain 6 in its entirety.

One of my favorite things about playing classical guitar is being able to play music written during different eras. It's amazing to think that a piece of music written in Spain 500 years ago is studied and performed regularly.