12 short original tunes for baritone ukulele

Cover of Brevities

Brevities is a collection of short solo pieces for baritone ukulele aimed at the intermediate fingerpicker. In this set Choan Gálvez profits from the extended range, the sustain, and the resonance that this instrument and its tuning provide.

Styles go from renaissance inspiration to Brazilian choro, melancholic waltzes to exciting ragtime.

All the pieces are written for G6 linear tuning and presented in notation and tablature format. Don’t you own a baritone uke? Not an issue: everything is also playable on your low G instrument. Follow the tab!

Brevities is available in print and digital editions from The Ukulele Bookshop.

Print edition

28 pages, A4 format, stapled

Digital edition

PDF printable file, 28 pages, A4 format

From the back cover

This collection of original pieces for baritone ukulele is a real treat for the soul. I have listened to and played many of Choan’s compositions and I marvel at his ability to create such original, modern and imaginative pieces whilst subtly infusing them at times with a traditional Spanish flavour. These new compositions work beautifully on the baritone ukulele and bring out its warm, rich sound.

Choan’s music paints characters and tells stories. You will be taken down unexpected paths, shown something intriguing and new before being led back home. It’s humbling to see such compositional skill in action.

Always engaging, charming, clever and witty, sometimes dark or melancholic, Gálvez is undoubtedly a major voice in original ukulele composition and this book will be loved and cherished by all baritone players and their audiences.

Choan Gálvez once again delivers an outstanding collection of musical works for the ukulele, this time for the often-overlooked baritone ukulele. Here Gálvez holds nothing back as he presents a set of 12 beautiful works that are packed full of his characteristic charm, wit and mystery.

No matter your playing ability, no matter what your listening preferences are, any player will find a challenge and every player will find something to enjoy in the beautiful auditory landscapes that the maestro creates.

Sample scores

The Brevities

Here’s an index of each of the 12 pieces, including previews of their first few bars and info on key, tempo and time signature, and full audio recordings. The titles link to video performances.

Brevity for Pam

Key: D. Time signature: 4/4. Tempo: Moderato. Duration: .

A two-part invention with a spicy early-romantic flavour. Pluck the low part with the thumb. Look for the right balance of dynamic and tone between the voices.

First bars of Brevity for Pam

Brevity for Jan

Key: Gm. Time signature: 3/4. Tempo: Moderato. Duration: .

A melancholic mazurka, in a minor key, with a twilight mood. A triumphal sun beam shines unexpectedly.

First bars of Brevity for Jan

Brevity for Susan

Key: D. Time signature: 4/4. Tempo: Adagio. Duration: .

I wanted to write something beautiful for Susan, and this piece is probably, the most beautiful in the set. Finish with a soft tambora.

First bars of Brevity for Susan

Brevity for Anita

Key: D. Time signature: 6/4. Tempo: Moderato. Duration: .

Let the lower voice arpeggios ring under this fluttering melody. Build up, then turn towards a peaceful ending.

First bars of Brevity for Anita

Brevity for Cathy

Key: Am, C. Time signature: 4/4. Tempo: Allegretto. Duration: .

This was going to be a 19th century style study, but developed into some kind of tango. Feel free to go wild on dynamics and timbral variations.

First bars of Brevity for Cathy

Brevity for Morgana

Key: Em. Time signature: 2/2. Tempo: Adagio. Duration: .

An exploration of high and low ends. Using harmonicsforthetopmelodyallowsforawide separation between voices.

First bars of Brevity for Morgana

Brevity for Lorraine

Key: C. Time signature: 4/4. Tempo: Moderato. Duration: .

A two-act play about two lovers. They dance, they kiss, they discuss, they agree.

First bars of Brevity for Lorraine

Brevity for Eloína

Key: C. Time signature: 3/4. Tempo: Allegretto. Duration: .

Reasonably simple to play. A danceable waltz, dedicated to one of my students.

First bars of Brevity for Eloína

Brevity for Gwendolyn

Key: E, G. Time signature: 4/4. Tempo: Allegro con swing. Duration: .

A ragtime with some unexpected rhythm and tonality changes, and the melodical syncopations that characterise the style. Play with steady pulse!

First bars of Brevity for Gwendolyn

Brevity for Elisabeth

Key: C. Time signature: 6/4. Tempo: Allegretto. Duration: .

Sun, beach, waves. This one starts over the harmonies of a Hawaiian turnaround, then moves to a second section inspired by a traditional Canarian tune.

First bars of Brevity for Elisabeth

Brevity for Sam

Key: D. Time signature: 3/4. Tempo: Allegretto. Duration: .

One of the more harmonically interesting tunes in this set due to some characteristic augmented fourths. This piece presents its own share of minor challenges.

First bars of Brevity for Sam

Brevity for Aline

Key: F. Time signature: 2/4. Tempo: Andantino.

A Brazilian choro in rondó form. Read it carefully and master its pulse before adding a pinch of rubato. Vary as you like.

First bars of Brevity for Aline

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