When I first engaged with John’s transcriptions of Michael Hedges’ music, I was overwhelmed by information. No, overwhelmed isn’t the right word – it was something more like being overfull; my cup was full past the brim of what I could process.
In 1985 I began working with Michael Hedges to notate his music, and in 1990 I offered the first class to an eager group of students at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. These students were, in fact, a focus group, testing the notation to see if it was up to the task.
Music notation for finger-style guitar is a curious enterprise. It draws on a long history of trying to figure out a way to describe music on paper — to transmit information that will allow others to recreate that music.