Chasmac is a semi-retired guitar teacher who has taught in various schools in London and elsewhere for over 30 years.
This is a short and fairly easy classical guitar piece by the 18/19th century Italian maestro of guitar, Ferdinando Carulli. The score, in both standard notation (staff notation) and guitar tablature, are provided in the video capsule and also below it. The score in the video is accompanied by an audio track that plays while the score changes line by line, so you can read and listen at the same time. The static score underneath is for learning the piece at your leisure without having to hear it and keep up with it.
Make sure to watch it in the video in full-screen mode and high-quality playback to avoid any blurring of the notes or tablature numbers.
F. Carulli - Opus 246 "Andante"
Study Notes and Info for Learners
The form of this piece is pretty simple.
- Section 1 is 8 bars long and contains the main theme.
- Section 2 is 8 bars long (bars 9 - 16) and contains a rhythmically varied contrasting theme.
- Section 3 is 8 bars long (bars 17 - 24) and is a repeat of section 1 with some modification.
The melody and some inner harmony notes are shown in the notation with upward pointing stems while the bass is shown with downward pointing stems (a common convention for two-part guitar music). The rhythmic variety in section 2 comes from the melody and bass notes coming in directly after each other with an 8th note delay.
The fretting-hand fingering is shown with numbers where it might be useful if you're having trouble figuring out which fingers to use. Otherwise, do it your way, but keep it logical to avoid any awkward finger movements that can interrupt the flow of the music. The same applies to your picking-hand. The fingering (p,i,m,a) is just an example that avoids using the same finger twice in succession. Again, you can do it your way, but keep in mind that alternating fingers, wherever possible, makes for more fluent playing. See the chart if you don't know what fingers the numbers 1 - 4 and 'p,i,m,a' refer to.
Key and Chords
The key is C major and the chords are mostly C major, the TONIC or 'home' chord, and G major (or G7), the dominant (7th) chord that leads strongly to the tonic. The next most important chord in this piece is one that doesn't actually belong to the key of C major. It's D7, and it makes its first appearance in bar 9 with the melody notes: F# - D - C - A. As this foreign chord happens to be the dominant chord in the key of G major, placing it before the chord G major (while we're still in the key of C major) causes a temporary shift of tonality. It makes us feel a change of key from C to G might be on the cards. It doesn't happen though; the F natural notes (which are foreign to the key of G major) immediately cancel any notion of a key change. This process is called tonicisation, and the foreign chord that enable this process is known as a secondary dominant.
The modification to section 3 is where yet another foreign secondary dominant chord comes in. This time it's A7 in bar 22 with chord notes, A, C# & G (the missing note, E, isn't essential). A7 is the dominant chord of the key of D minor, and Carulli has followed it with the chord D minor in the same strong way that G major followed D7. D minor then leads to the true dominant G, which finally leads us home to the tonic chord, C major, and the end of the piece.
See the chart for the chord tones and function of each chord.
C E G
G major (G7)
G B D (F)
D F# A C
A C# (E) G
D F A
The music featured in this article is by Ferdinando Carulli (1770–1841) and is in the Public Domain.
The score, audio track and images are by chasmac.
© 2014 Chas Mac