The general public isn’t too familiar with the most famous songs in the classical guitar world. But when most people hear Romanza, they’ll recognize its distinctive rhythm. Not much is known about the history of this song (even its composer is anonymous!), but this world-famous piece has found its way into classical songbooks all over the world. We’ll introduce you to the Romanza tab so you can start playing this lovely song!
Almost every classical guitarist is familiar with Romanza. This isn’t the song’s only title; you may hear it called “Spanish Romance,” “Romance d’Amour,” “Estudio en Mi de Rubira,” or even “Anonymous Romance.”
That last name is a nod to the fact that the composer of Romanza is anonymous. Though lots of people have tried to claim they wrote it, Romanza remains solidly in the public domain.
This song can thank the 1952 movie Forbidden Games for its worldwide fame! It was the film’s theme song, and the success of the movie made the song an enduring favorite.
This video of a live performance will let you hear it for yourself.
Romanza Guitar Tabs
As many beginning classical guitar players soon discover, sheet music with standard musical notation is more common than tablature. It’s probably a good idea to learn to read sheet music if you want to get serious about classical guitar. But there’s nothing wrong with learning to play a piece or two from reading tablature notation.
Here are the Romanza guitar tabs you’ll need to play this classic. Make sure your guitar is in standard tuning!
Romanza or Spanish Romance is divided into two sections: an A section and a B section.
Here’s the beginning part of the A section. The picking pattern is based on E minor and A minor:
The second part brings in both B major and B7:
It’s worth noting that many beginning players learn only this first section to start. This part doesn’t require barre chords, and it’s more straightforward than the second section. The melody is beautiful enough to stand on its own, so it can sound like a complete piece even when played alone.
Now we switch to a major key. This section is a bit more complex. That’s largely because it asks you to form barre chords. If you aren’t already pretty comfortable playing with barre chords, this section might be especially challenging.
In the first bit, you will need the chords E major, B7, Badd9, and A major.
The next part just includes E major, A major, and B7:
Combining the Sections
Every experienced classical guitarist knows that Romanza has seemingly been around forever. As a result, countless versions exist. There is no single right way to combine the A section and B section. A lot of guitarists use AABB, as the transition from minor key to major key is striking and makes a great middle point of the song.
Other players prefer alternating — some play AABBA, ABA, or ABAB similarly to how verses and choruses are incorporated into contemporary songs. However the two sections are arranged and repeated is up to you. It’s a great opportunity to really listen closely to the music and play what sounds right to your ear!
Keep Building Your Repertoire!
If you’re a newer player, the anonymously-composed Romanza is a great introduction to solo instrumental guitar work. And though it’s a mainstay in classical guitar music, you can play it on a steel-string acoustic guitar, too! Whether you want to focus on playing individual notes or work on mastering barre chords, this piece is a great addition to your practice routine.
Still have some questions on the Romanza guitar tab and how to play it? Here are some answers:
Most classical guitar schools use a well-established grading system to help students track their progress. Romanza is usually considered to be part of the Grade 5 repertoire. Grade 5 is right on the line between beginner-level pieces and songs at the intermediate level.
The first part of Romanza is in the key of E minor. The second part switches to the key of E major.
This piece is usually played in 3/4 time. However, different arrangements may use different time signatures.