Easy Classical Guitar: "Allegretto" by J. Küffner in Guitar Tab, Standard Notation and Audio

Updated on February 11, 2019
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Chasmac is a semi-retired guitar teacher who has taught in various schools in London and elsewhere for over 30 years.

Allegretto by Joseph Küffner - Tab, notation, audio
Allegretto by Joseph Küffner - Tab, notation, audio | Source

This is an easy classical guitar piece by the 18/19th-century German composer, Joseph Küffner that beginners can play quite easily by following the standard notation or guitar tab. It's written in a single musical part as It's really just a melody that is composed to imply harmony and bass. There's no separate harmony part or bassline. The melody supplies it all. Hold down the notes that form chords like C major (C, E & G) in the first bar, and many other places to let them ring out so they can be heard as harmony notes all sounding at the same time.

The video capsule contains the score of the piece as well as a software-generated audio track, (converted from MIDI). The score changes staff by staff as the music plays. View it in full-screen mode at a high quality setting on the video capsule to ensure it displays large and clear. Feel free to play along with it, too.

To study and learn the piece, use the score underneath the video.

The same score is shown below as it appears in the video. You can see the whole score at the same time, but if you want to see any individual staff line enlarged, just click on it.

"Allegretto" Opus 168 - No.4 by Joseph Küffner

Solo Guitar Playing - Book 1, 4th Edition
Solo Guitar Playing - Book 1, 4th Edition
Improve your ability to read the standard notation staffs of "Allegretto" and other guitar pieces instead of using tab with its many limitations. Solo Guitar Playing by Frederick Noad is an excellent teaching resource that I've used for teaching notation to my fingerstyle and classical guitar students. It takes students from complete beginner level to sight reading intermediate level pieces.

Playing Tips

The piece consists of two sections, A & B, each being immediately repeated. Section A is 8 bars long and section B is 16 bars long. The playing order is:

A - A - B - B

The rit sign (short for 'ritardando' means slow down; the 'a tempo' sign means resume your original playing speed (tempo).

Time Signature

The time signature is 44 ('four-four') so each quarter note lasts exactly one beat. As it's almost all quarter notes, it's very easy to count as 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 for every bar including those bars with half notes, each lasting two beats each.

Key and Chords

While you can play the piece just by playing the written notes at the right time, a basic understanding of how its put together gives you a lot more confidence to play it.

The key is C major, so treat the chord, C major as the tonic or 'home' chord. G major (or G7) is the so-called dominant chord, (or dominant 7th chord). It's the one that sends us back home to the C major chord. The chord in bar 7 is B diminished (notes B D F), which is really just like G7 (notes G B D F) without a G root. The D7 chord occurs in bars 13 and 14. It's a 'secondary dominant' chord, ie., a chord that's foreign to the home key of C major but which is the dominant chord of another key (G major in this case). Its job is to lead us briefly to the new key of G major, which happens on the first beat of bar 16. It doesn't last, though; in the same bar, G7 comes back and leads us away from the key of G major and back to the home key, C major, in bar 17, until the last bar.

Chords of Allegretto

B diminshed
Optional accompaniment chords for Allegretto


Recommended fretting-hand fingering is shown by the finger numbers (1 - 4) in a few places, but it's pretty straightforward all the way. Picking-hand fingering (p-i-m-a, etc.) is shown at the start as an example of a typical classical guitar fingering that fits the shape of the melody. Feel free to do it your own way. See the fingering chart below if you're not familiar with classical guitar fingering labels.

Classical Guitar Fingering chart

Right-handed and left-handed fingering chart
Right-handed and left-handed fingering chart | Source

Joseph Küffner

Joseph Küffner (1776-1856) was a composer from the Bavarian city of Wurzbug in Germany. He's not especially remembered as a great guitarist, but he did compose a lot of guitar music. He's better known for his orchestral works, which include seven symphonies.


The music featured in this article is composed by Joseph Küffner (1776 - 1856) and is in the Public Domain.

The score, audio track and images are by chasmac and produced on Finale, Goldwave and Photoshop.

Questions & Answers

    © 2014 chasmac


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