Chasmac is a semi-retired guitar teacher who has taught in various schools in London and elsewhere for over 30 years.
This easy classical guitar waltz in G is the second of Carulli's 5-waltz publication. You can hear a demo version in the video capsule and see the score displayed staff by staff, or, alternatively, you can see the score printed out in full underneath the video. If the video is unclear, you can increase the playback quality on the video player to 1080HD to match the recording quality.
All of the waltzes in that series are considered easy guitar pieces of around grade 1 or 2 level in line with the standards set by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, the foremost examining body in the UK.
Carulli Waltz in G - Standard Notation and Guitar Tab
Learners' Playing Notes
Let's take a closer look:
There are no fingering difficulties in this piece. It's mostly in first position with a small detour to the second position where you need to place your 1st finger on string 3 fret 2. All downward pointing note stems in the notation are bass notes (except for the last beat of the first bar which is a notation error), and are played with your thumb.
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Melody and harmony notes are shown with upward pointing stems and are played with your picking hand fingers according to what feels most practical. The doubled notes shown in the notation at the start of almost every bar are there because the first note is both a bass note and melody note.
Waltz in G consists of four 8-bar musical section each of which is repeated once before proceeding to the next. On reaching the end of the fourth line, after having repeated it once, the DC al Fine sign sends you back to the beginning where you play through without repeats until you reach the end of the second section and the fine sign at the end of bar 16. The waltz can be considered as two equal sixteen bar sections, A & B. The playing order is A - B - A and this very common form (at least in the 19th century), is called ternary form.
As it's a waltz, it's in triple time as the three-four time signature shows. The tempo in the recording is a bit too fast for most people to dance a waltz to, but that's no problem as guitar waltzes weren't designed for dancing to, anyway. Guitars in the 19th century didn't have enough volume to be heard other than in recitals for a hushed audience.
G B D
Tonic (home chord)
A C E
Supertonic - Brief passing chord
C E G
D F# A C
Dominant (leading to tonic)
E G B
Tonic of E minor key
B D# F# (A)
Dominant of E minor
If you're interested in how this easy classical guitar piece is put together, musically, read on. Otherwise ignore it and play on!
The first half of the piece is in the key of G major, while the other half is in the relative minor key of E minor. The key signature is the one sharp key signature used by both G major and E minor, but note the use of D sharp notes in the E minor sections. G major and E minor have the same key signature and the same set of notes, but composers composing music in the key of E minor or in any minor key often chromatically raise the 7th note a semitone. In the key of E minor, the 7th scale D will often be raised to D sharp, especially when it's being followed by the key note or tonic of the key (E). Even though it doesn't belong to the key or the natural minor scale, it makes a strong progression to the tonic and confirms the key more convincingly than D natural does. The E harmonic minor scale features the raised 7th, so too does the ascending form of the melodic minor scale.
Compare the scales of G major and E minor
- G Major Scale > G A B C D E F# G
- E Natural Minor > E F# G A B C D E
- E Harmonic Minor > E F# G A B C D# E
- E Melodic Minor > E F# G A B C# D# E D C B A G F# E
In simple pieces like this the texture is very light. Full chords are rarely used with notes played all at the same time. Instead they're spread out through the bar. If you were to analyse the piece, the chords would be:
- G - Am |G - - |C- - |G - - |G - Am|G - - |D7 - - |G - - ||
- D7 - - |G - - |D7 - -|G - - |D7 - - |G - - |D7 - - |G - - ||
- Em - - |Em - - |B - - |Em - - |Em - - |Em - - |B - - |Em||
- B7 - - |Em - - |B - - |Em - - |B7 - - |Em - - |B - - | Em - - ||
Carulli was a highly prolific composer of guitar and other instrumental music. He was also a virtuoso guitarist and a famous guitar teacher who produced a guitar method that is still in use. You can learn more about the life and work of Ferdinando Carulli on Wikipedia.
© 2014 Chas Mac