Waltz in Progress

12 original waltzes for solo ukulele

Cover of Waltz in Progress

This set is inspired by the collections published by the great guitarists of the romantic era. Each of these 12 waltzes is named after some ukulele player I appreciate.

All pieces are written for re-entrant tuned ukulele and presented in notation and tablature. Their performance difficulty ranges from fairly basic fingerpicking to advanced playing. Styles include classical, romantic, jazz and even latin-american grooves and avant-garde harmonies, always within the realm of ternary rhythms. Shall we dance?

Print edition

28 pages, A4 format, stapled

Digital edition

PDF printable file, 28 pages, A4 format

From the back cover

How many different forms can a waltz take? Ukulele player Choan Gálvez offers us a handful of answers in this beautiful collection of music for ukulele where he thoroughly explores the confines of the waletz and its possibilities.

Waltz in Progress is not only a testament to the creativity of its composer but also to the diversity of meanings that coexist within this musical form. Choan seamlessly reconciles expressions of his personal universe with twists of the Viennese waltz, jazz waltz, Creole waltzes, and the guitar repertoire of romanticism. Likewise, the skillful handling of ukulele technical resources reveals the intertextuality of this work with the music of Ernest Ka’ai, Roy Smeck, and other great ukulele composers. The educational value of this collection is undeniable: throughout these twelve pieces there are challenges alike for amateur and experienced ukulele players, something the author admirably achieves by avoiding virtuosity without underestimating the instrument.

The titles of each of these waltzes are a reminder of the generous role that Choan—undoubtedly one of the most knowledgeable people on the contemporary ukulele scene—plays as a teacher and promoter of the music of ukulele players from around the world. Those of us who love this instrument are fortunate to share our passion with such a dedicated artist as Choan Gálvez.

It seems that one of the historical reasons for the success and diffusion of the waltz lies in the fact that the dancers perform it in closed position. Each one of these twelve new waltzes for solo ukulele by Choan Gálvez is dedicated to a ukulelist, somehow representing something of the dedicatee, as both theirhis/her character and the one of the composer are mixed, ideally dancing together. The music is incisive and vivid and—as it’s always the case with Gálvez’s—a pleasure to play.

Sample scores

Al Wood, from Ukulele Hunt, took me as a guest to publish the tablature for Larry’s, the fifth of the waltzes.

The twelve waltzes

This is the list of waltzes, with links to the videos in YouTube, info about key, tempo and time signature, and where available, a playable audio recording.

No. 1 – Reid’s

Key: F major. Tempo: Allegro. Dedicated to Reid Heipworth.

First bars of Reid’s

No. 2 – Christopher’s

Key: F major / C major. Tempo: Andante moderato. Dedicated to Christopher Davis-Shannon.

First bars of Christopher’s

No. 3 – Fabrizio’s

Key: F major. Tempo: Allegro. Dedicated to Fabrizio Roselli.

First bars of Fabrizio’s

No. 4 – Larry’s

Key: C major. Tempo: Allegro assai. Dedicated to Larry Usselman.

First bars of Larry’s

No. 5 – Bill’s

Key: C major / C minor. Tempo: Allegro. Dedicated to Bill Kruczynski.

First bars of Bill’s

No. 6 – Todd’s

Key: F. Tempo: Allegro. Dedicated to Todd Fiegel.

First bars of Todd’s

No. 7 – Cat’s

Key: A major / C major. Tempo: Presto. Dedicated to Catherine Goykhman.

First bars of Cat’s

No. 8 – Endika’s

Key: C major. Tempo: Allegretto. Dedicated to Endika Portillo.

First bars of Endika’s

No. 9 – Graciela’s

Key: A major. Tempo: Moderato. Dedicated to Graciela Cano.

First bars of Graciela’s

No. 10 – Davide’s

Key: G major. Tempo: Allegro con swing. Dedicated to Davide Donelli.

First bars of Davide’s

No. 11 – Donald’s

Key: G major / C minor. Tempo: Allegro. Dedicated to Donald Bousted.

First bars of Donald’s

No. 12 – Julián’s

Key: D minor / F major. Tempo: Allegro. Dedicated to Julián Rodríguez.

First bars of Julián’s

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