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Easy Classical Guitar: Giuliani—"Opus 50 No. 5" in Standard Notation, Guitar Tab and Audio

Chasmac is a semi-retired guitar teacher who has taught in various schools in London and elsewhere for over 30 years.

Giuliani Classical Guitar study in notation and guitar tab

Giuliani Classical Guitar study in notation and guitar tab

"Opus 50 no. 5" by the 18/19th-century virtuoso guitarist Mauro Giulani is considered an easy classical guitar piece. That's relatively speaking, of course. It's not for complete beginners, but any guitarist, whether they play classical guitar pieces or acoustic fingerstyle guitar arrangements, should have no difficulty if they know simple chord shapes and can play arpeggios across the strings using their picking-hand fingers. Playing this piece with a pick would only be possible if you modified it to avoid playing two non-consecutive strings at the same time. Playing it with thumb and fingers makes it easy.

"Opus 50 no. 5" is from a collection of pieces that Giuliani published under the name of 'Papillon' (butterfly).

Video and Score

The video contains the score in standard notation and guitar tablature. It displays line by line as the audio track progresses. It's best viewed at a high-quality playback setting to ensure that the score displays clearly.

The MIDI soundtrack generated from the score is used as the audio track to let you know how the piece sounds. Don't look for any artistic interpretation; it's purely machine generated.

The same score can also be viewed underneath the video, displayed in full.

Giuliani—"Opus 50 No. 5"

Classical Guitar Fingering labels

Classical Guitar Fingering labels

Learners' Notes

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you learn this piece.


As it's an arpeggio-based study, I've left out the picking-hand fingering as it should be pretty straightforward to work out, and the score is already looking a bit crowded. I've included a good amount of fretting-hand fingering, though. See the chart if you're unfamiliar with the fingering labels used in classical guitar music.

Timing and Metre

The time signature is 24 indicating a metre of two beats per bar or measure, each of which is worth a quarter note. Almost every bar is filled with sixteenth notes, and those bars contain four notes per beat. If you need to physically count them (rather than feel them) then count them as: 1 e & a 2 e & a.

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Chord Tones of the chords used in Giuliani's Opus 50 no. 5

ChordsChord TonesFunction

A minor


Tonic (home chord)

E (E7)

E G# B (D)

Dominant (leading home to the tonic)

G (G7 and B dim)

G B D (F)

Subtonic (secondary dominant leading to the tonic of the relative major key, C major)



Mediant and Tonic of Relative major key

D Minor


Subdominant (passing chord)

Key and Chords

The key of this piece is A minor, throughout. There are no key changes anywhere within the music, although there's a hint of a key change to the so-called' relative major' key of C major at bars 6, 7 and 8.

The key signature used for music in the key of A minor is the one with no sharps or flats. It's there - we just can't see it. The 'foreign' G sharp notes that crop up throughout the music are chromatically raised G notes that are commonly used in the key of A minor. If you know scales, you'll know that in the key of A minor, the note G sharp, while being absent from the key signature, is the 7th scale note of A harmonic minor and also of the ascending form of A melodic minor. Those G sharp notes provide a strong leading note that minor keys wouldn't otherwise have. Another use of them is that they help you determine whether a particular piece of notated music is in a minor key or its relative major key, which shares the same key signature. In the case of A minor, the relative major key is C major.

The only other note not included in the key signature is D sharp, a chromatic auxiliary note (neighbour tone) in bar 19.

Mauro Giuliani

Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) was an Italian guitarist and composer of guitar music, much of which still forms an important part of the classical guitar repertoire. You can learn more about the life and times of Giuliani on Wikipedia.

More Classical Guitar Pieces to Try From Giuliani's Opus 50 (Papillon) Collection

Giuliani Opus 50 No. 1

This piece is in 'theme and variations' form. It starts off with a very simple theme but gets a little more busy and interesting in the subsequent sections.

Giuliani Opus 50 No. 13

This piece is an etude (study) and is one of the best known and most popular pieces in the classical guitar student repertoire.


The music is composed by Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) and is in the public domain.

The score, audio track and images are created by chasmac.

© 2014 Chas Mac


Chas Mac (author) from UK on November 24, 2014:

Sorry Lorne, I meant to get back to you. Yes - it's a monster program, isn't it? What annoys me (about me more than the program) is that when I learn how to do something fancy but don't do it for a while, I've got to search through that enormous help file to figure out how to do it again.

Lorne Hemmerling from Prescott on November 12, 2014:

Great program, very powerful. I am still discovering features after using the program for many years.

Chas Mac (author) from UK on November 12, 2014:

Yes - Finale plus Photoshop

Lorne Hemmerling from Prescott on November 12, 2014:

Are you using Finale for your transcriptions?

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