Si amanece, nos vamos for solo guitar: Using multiphonics in a new way

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  • Rita Torres CESEM – NOVA FCSH, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa



Unconventional performing techniques, Unusual timbres, Tone colour research, Contemporary guitar music, Los Caprichos


The technique of guitar multiphonics is an unconventional performing technique that gives rise to sounds of unusual colours, in which it is easier to perceive multiple pitches. In most compositions that employ the technique, this is done conventionally – there is hardly any variation in the beginning and/or end of the sounds. The piece presented in this article uses multiphonics in a new way. This was arrived at by the author unintentionally when conducting artistic research during the compositional process of the third piece in which she used guitar multiphonics. With the new form of usage of this technique there is variation in both the beginning and end of the sounds, as these gradually arise from, and vanish into the continuous sound of an open string. In the piece, this is used as a pedal tone that sounds insistently most of the time.


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Biografia do Autor

Rita Torres, CESEM – NOVA FCSH, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Rita Torres is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of the Sociology and Aesthetics of Music (CESEM) of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (NOVA FCSH). She holds a PhD in Science and Technology of the Arts from the Portuguese Catholic University, as well as degrees in Chemical Engineering, Guitar, Musicology/Music Informatics and Composition. Her work as a researcher and as a composer has been presented worldwide in events such as international festivals and conferences and is currently centred on guitar multiphonics. ORCID:


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SCHNEIDER, John. The contemporary guitar. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1985.

TORRES, Rita. A mysterious black silhouette: from a print to a new form of usage of guitar multiphonics. Leonardo Music Journal, Cambridge, MA, v. 30, pp. 73-78, 2020. DOI: 10.1162/lmj_a_01083

TORRES, Rita. Cyrano-Szenen. Karlsruhe: the composer, 2004. Score. 6 pp. Guitar

TORRES, Rita. Le tombeau de Falla. Karlsruhe: the composer, 2012. Score. 6 pp. Guitar and medium voice.

TORRES, Rita. Luminescências. In Nova Música para Novos Músicos, Vol. 2. Aveiro: Arte no Tempo, in press. Score (composed 2018). 4 pp. Amplified guitar and live electronics.

TORRES, Rita. Si amanece, nos vamos. Karlsruhe: the composer, 2015a. Score. 4 pp. Guitar

TORRES, Rita. The fireflies, twinkling among leaves, make the stars wonder. Lisbon: the composer, 2015b [revised 2018]. Score. 9 pp. Amplified guitar and live electronics.

TORRES, Rita L. A new chemistry of sound: the technique of multiphonics as a compositional element for guitar and amplified guitar. (Doctoral thesis). Universidade Católica Portuguesa, 2015c. Available from: <>.




Como Citar

Torres, R. (2020). Si amanece, nos vamos for solo guitar: Using multiphonics in a new way. Revista Vórtex, 8(3), 1.7.