Workshop with Steve

No 4 In the Round Tower of Echoes

No 4 In the Round Tower of Echoes
4th movement from The Gothic Suite

As in previous movements there is a paragraph preceding the music which should be read aloud before beginning to play:  "...and the cold wind blew through the only window of the high, brooding tower, causing the candle flame
to cast gigantic, tortuous shadows on the glistening walls. I stared at the massive, green trapdoor at the centre of the room. Slowly ... very slowly, it began to lift."


This begins in a conventional waltz style. In bars 1 and 5 hold on to the D# to get the minor second 'clash' between strings 1 and 2, and try to emphasise the chromatic melody in bars 3 and 4. When bar 9 is reached, a chromatic bass line occurs over the next twelve bars, this should be emphasised a little (but not at the expense of the melody line above). Make sure the rit. is followed at the end of this section.

In bars 23, emphasise, the final two quavers and the whole of the next bar (this is not marked on the score), perhaps playing these notes with a hard ponticello.  The scale passages in bars 30 - 34 should be played semi-staccato if possible and with more strength in bar 34 where the volume should increase to the level of the following bar.

Where the instruction piu lento occurs, let the music almost grind to a halt and in bar 46 where molto rall is given, really drag the bar out very slowly with quite a long pause in the following bar (on the tied notes).

The bars where the player is required to scrape the thumb nail along string six should not really be counted strictly, just play them as long or as short as required. The reference to the green trapdoor in the 'read' paragraph above, refers to a recurring nightmare I used to have as a child; the scraping of the nail on the string represents the sound of the rusty hinges.

The score for Diabolo can be purchased via the The Spanish Guitar Centre (Guitarnotes)
Click here

See below to print this article in Word and PDF formats


Next Workshop: Diabolo - Final Confrontation  (5th movement from The Gothic Suite) ... online soon


Previous workshops:
The Gothic Suite - 1st movement - DIABOLO...online now Click here
The Gothic Suite - 2nd movement - LAIR... online now: Click here
The Gothic Suite - 3rd movement - DAEMON DANCE ...online now: Click here

updated: 7 years ago