Spanish Romance – Romanza (Free PDF)

Spanish Romance (Romanza) – Free PDF Sheet Music or Tab for Classical Guitar. Comes with both a Notation-Only Editions and a 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 in my Grade 5 Repertoire Lessons Book

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.

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  1. There is an interesting article on Narciso Yepes ( 1927-1997 ) and “Jeux interdits ” (Romanza )
    by Rafael Andia in Guitare Classique ( #52, March-May 2011). Yepes would have revealed in 1982 on Spain National Radio that he composed the Romance on his 7th birthday as a gift to his mother. The piece is the soundtrack of the movie Jeux Interdits ( 1952 ) and is often given that title in French. A note: on the free PDF for which I am very grateful there is a typo in measure 19 which was no doubt already brought to your attention.

  2. There appears to be a small error in the sheet music. Bars 19&20 have an E in the bass, but F# is typically played as seen in the video (second position).

      • Completely down to preference of course. I just don’t think it’s what learners will expect to find in those bars. It is less traditional and less harmonically stable, but as you say, whatever sounds best to your ears.

  3. Any tips for how to practice the quick barre transitions like 20->21 or 26->27? Also getting F# to sound properly in 10 is quite hard. I must have a long way to go in my barre technique.

  4. Why c## in bar 20? That would make the chord something like E(##6) in Lydian #2 # 6 mode, which seems way over complicated. Why not a simple Em7 with D natural?

  5. In the video, you say that c## (double sharp! is there “because that’s how the harmony works out”. Why? It is a melodic line, which is chromatic in this case so that d# goes down to d, which is not a part of E major scale, but… neither is c##.

    Wy question is, why did you write is as c##? Is it because for that short part the piece modulates to another scale? If so what scale is it (the one I mentioned before doesn’t match)? Or what roman numeral would you put to that chord so it works out like that?

    I’m just trying to understand why. It doesn’t help there are so many different variations out there, some with E, some A, F# or even B or in the bass.

    I guess it’s some kind of ii chord (F#m7/E?) in your case. If you write c##, that would be F#m7(#5)/E, right?

    But it’s easier to say the piece modulates to E Mixolydian, which has F#m7 chord, and the melody is using D natural which is in that scale.

    Sorry if I’m talking nonsense, I’m self-taught and trying to figure it out, might be I’m missing something obvious.

    • C double sharp is the lower auxiliary to D sharp. Writing it as a D natural would be incorrect. Not every note in a piece is from the key or scale, chromatic notes will come into play in many different circumstances. In this case, it’s just a non-chord tone and a spicy chromatic lower auxiliary to the D sharp. Nothing to overthink and it does not get analyzed as part of the chord. Furthermore, there is a pedal low E in the bar which is also not part of the chord. Actually the whole section functions as a dominant chord (with secondary dominants) that lead to E major. In short, it’s all tension leading to a resolution in E.