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|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 5 to 7|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||7.5|
By Colleen Messina
1 Andres Segovia loved music, but he couldn't find an instrument that he liked. He thought the piano was "a monster that screamed when you touch its teeth!" One night at a friend's house, he heard deep, rich tones, and he decided that the guitar was the right instrument for him. He became the best classical guitar player in the world when he grew up.
2 Andres Segovia was born on February 21, 1893, in Linares, Spain, and he grew up in Granada. At that time, most people thought that guitars were only for playing in taverns. Andres' father didn't want his son to play in a tavern! He was a lawyer and wanted his son to be a lawyer, too. He wanted to give his son some classical music instruction, so he arranged for piano and violin lessons. Andres didn't enjoy either one. Then, his life changed when he heard a guitar.
3 When Andres decided that he wanted to play the guitar, it caused a commotion. His family objected. His music teachers at the Granada Musical Institute objected. They told him that guitars were not respectable. They belonged in taverns. Then, his music teachers had an even stronger argument. They told him that no one even wrote real music for the guitar. But Andres believed that guitar music belonged on the concert stage.
4 Andres did not care what other people thought. He taught himself to play the guitar anyway. He figured out that certain piano exercises helped make his fingers stronger, which helped him play his guitar. He developed his own technique. He studied hard. Soon, everyone noticed how incredibly well he played, and he had a great opportunity to share his music.
5 At the tender age of 15, Segovia gave his first concert at a local cultural organization called the Circulo Artistico. He traveled to Madrid and Barcelona to give more concerts. His first large tour was in 1919 to South America. Many people loved his music. When he gave a concert in London, one critic became a big fan and wrote, "We remained to hear the last possible note for it was the most delightful surprise of the season." Soon, Segovia's glorious guitar music became well-known around the world.
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English Reading Comprehension: Andres Segovia
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