In what I hope will become a weekly feature, I am offering a free song again. Again, feel free to burn this song, trade it, do whatever.

This weeks song is “Fandango (Danse Espagnole)” by Ferdinando Carulli, op. 73, no. 2. This is one of my favorite solo guitar pieces. In many ways it is a very simple song, but Carulli accomplishes a lot with it.

The song is in ¾ time, and is in the key of A harmonic minor. Harmonic minor is a popular scale used in classical music, and Arabic music. In this scale, the seventh note is raised a half step (one key on a keyboard, or one fret on a guitar). In this song, that means that the G is sharp, rather than natural in natural minor. The most obvious examples of harmonic minor from recent rock music are “Last Stop” by the Dave Matthews Band off Before These Crowded Streets, and “Worlds Apart” by Bruce Springsteen from The Rising.

After the first two measures, the song starts its basic progression that will continue for most of the song. The progression is V – i, specifically E to Am. The easiest way to tell that this song is in harmonic minor is the fact that the E is major. E major is comprised of E – G# - B. If we were in natural minor, the chord would be E – G – B, and thus minor. The song is basically different arpeggios going from E to Am.

In measure 23, :53, we get a brief melody that will return at the end of the song, measure 72, 3:30. At measure 39, 1:37 the song switches to the key of C major, with the G dominant 7th chord. At measure 42, the song starts a I – V progression in C major. Until the very end of the song, at measure 84, the song uses only tonic and dominant chords, I and V. The song returns to A harmonic minor in measure 52, 2:23, and stays in that key for the rest of the song.

One part I particularly like begins in measure 60, 2:50. The way he uses thirds, hammered off to the open E, and moves them up a second each time does a fantastic job of building tension, while keeping the V – i progression intact. This tension is released by the high E chord in measure 68.

I have tried to point out some of the interesting, but by no mean all, of the things I find interesting about this song. I hope you enjoy it.

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