Spanish Romance (Romanza) – Free PDF Sheet Music or Tab for Classical Guitar with Free Performance and Video Lesson. Comes with both a Notation-Only Edition and Tab Edition. Level is Intermediate, a few big chords, stretches, and upper position (Grade 5-6). YouTube Performance & Lesson.
Spanish Romance (Romanza) – This is an iconic work and may the most popular and well recognized works for classical guitar by the general public. The composer is anonymous. Also known as “Romance Anónimo” (Anonymous Romance), “Estudio en Mi de Rubira” (Study in E by Rubira), “Romance de España”, “Romanza” and “Romance d’Amour” and more titles. Includes fingering.
Free PDF – Comes with both notation-only and tab editions
Or find it in my Grade 5 Repertoire Lessons Book
- Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 5 – Includes a dedicated lesson for this work.
Quick Lesson Tips for Spanish Romance
Play the melody on its own. The melody to Spanish Romance is the most important element in the piece. You want to practice the melody on its own and get the phrasing and dynamic shaping to be as high quality as possible. Then, when you add in the accompaniment you try to keep the legato melody as high quality as possible despite of the chord changes and fingering. The melody is the upper voice as shown on the first two lines below.
Balance the Voices. You want the melody to be the most prominent. The melody should pop out of the texture without interference from the bass or accompaniment. The bass voice is the next most important and can be fairly present so it can sustain through the measure. It’s quite far away in register from the melody so it won’t interfere much. The accompaniment should be the softest. Try to under-play it so it never interferes with the prominent melody.
Practice the chord shapes on their own. Getting comfortable with the chord shapes is another aspect of the piece that will need to be practiced. You can do this by practicing the combined notes in a measure or quarter note beat.
Some History on Spanish Romance
More info on the piece via its Wiki: “Its origins and authorship are in question. It is suspected of originally being a solo instrumental guitar work, from the 19th century. It has variously been attributed to Antonio Rubira, David del Castillo, Francisco Tárrega, Fernando Sor, Daniel Fortea, Miguel Llobet, Antonio Cano, Vicente Gómez, and Narciso Yepes. The Anónimo (anonymous) part of its name has been incorporated over the years due to this uncertainty. The question of authorship has probably been propagated by three main reasons: the lack of claim by its true author, the desire to avoid paying copyright fees, and the desire of publishing companies to claim the lucrative copyright of this world-famous piece. The style of the piece is that of the Parlour music of the late 19th century in Spain or South America, having a closed three-part form: the first in the minor key and the second being in the major key, with the third being a restatement of the first.”
The piece is certainly not by Sor, that is just way off, but Tarrega would not be a huge stretch. Though, if it was by any legit composers I would imagine the piece has been altered overtime to simplify it and make it more pleasing for mainstream consumption.
Check out my educational book series
- Classical Guitar Method – Vol. 1, with Video Lessons, 100 pages, Free PDF
- Classical Guitar Method Vol. 2, with Video Lessons, 89 pages.
- Ten Classical Etudes – Progressive etudes for intermediate level.
- Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, & Arpeggios – Hundreds of exercises and tons of video lessons. Notation.
- 20 Favorite Exercises, Technique book includes notation and TAB, Video lessons.