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Giuliani: Classical Guitar Opus 50 no.2 in Guitar Tab and Standard Notation

Updated on October 8, 2015
Opus 50 No.2 "Grazioso" by Mauro Giuliani in Guitar Tab and Standard Notation
Opus 50 No.2 "Grazioso" by Mauro Giuliani in Guitar Tab and Standard Notation

Here's another great classical guitar piece from Opus 50 (Papillon Series) in "theme and Variations" form by the 19th century Italian composer, Mauro Giuliani to add to my HubPages collection of classical and fingerstyle guitar pieces. The video has both the score and an audio track generated from the MIDI output of the notation software. View the score in full screen mode at HD playback quality for a clear display. Alternatively, see the tab and notation below the video. Enlarge it if necessary by clicking on it to open the HubPages gallery feature. For offline viewing and printing, download the score in PDF format from the link below the score.

Giuliani: Opus 50 No.2 "Grazioso"

Giuliani: Opus 50 No.2 "Grazioso"
Giuliani: Opus 50 No.2 "Grazioso"

Learners' Notes

Giuliani's Opus 50 no 2 is around pre-intermediate level. It's easy to play in terms of fingering as it never leaves the first fretboard position, and it makes a lot of use of open string notes, too. The main difficulty, as you might have guessed, is in the 'variations' section. It needs to be played quite fast to make the most of all those 16th notes that fill in between the melody notes.

There are just two sections and no repeats: the plain melodic section, which lasts for sixteen bars (or measures), and the variation section, which is also sixteen measures, plus an extra measure to finish with a flourish.

Time Signature

The 24 'two-four' time signature means each bar contains two quarter note beats. The first section is mostly 8th notes, so it's an easy count of 1 & 2 &. When it comes to the variations section, the count will be 1 e & a 2 e & a. Counting like that is good to begin with if you're not sure of the timing, but when you've got it, just feel the beat as you play. Don't think numbers.


The melody is shown in the notation with upward pointing note stems. Try to emphasise the melody to make it sound clear of the bass notes underneath.


The tempo in the audio track is 72 BPM (beats per minute). Start slow so that you can ensure that you play the 16th notes accurately and evenly. Make the second section the section that decides the tempo. You don't want to play the first section well and at speed only to have to slow down for the second section.

Key and Chords

The key is C major throughout, and the chords are mainly just the main chords of the key. The 'home' or tonic chord is C major, and the dominant chord that leads home to C is G major. These are the chords that are formed from the melody and bass notes mostly as arpeggios. They're not played as full chords anywhere except right at the end where C major is played with a flourish.


Bass notes are shown in the notation with downward pointing stems and should be played with your thumb. The fill in notes are also shown with downward pointing stems, but they're not bass notes; they're the fill in notes that add to both the harmony and melody. Play those with fingers not thumb. Play only notes on the 4th string or lower in pitch with your thumb - those are the true bass notes. For the other notes, use the fingers that feel most practical. Always alternate fingers where possible, and try to avoid using the same finger twice in a row with successive notes on the same string.

As for your fretting hand, the fingering is straightforward as you're mostly holding cut-down chord shapes. Use the fingers that need the least movement from one location to the next.

Opus 50 no. 1
Theme and variations
Opus 50 no. 3
Theme and variations
Opus 50 no. 5
Composition in A minor
Opus 50 no.13
Arpeggio Etude

More guitar pieces to learn like this one

Mauro Giuliani is considered one of the greats of the classical guitar world. He was a virtuoso performer as well as a prolific composer of guitar music. You can read more about Giuliani on Wikipedia. The table opposite shows other Hubs of Giuliani's guitar music from his 'opus 50' collection of guitar pieces in the same format as this one - with tab, notation and an audio demo. They're worth knowing as they sound good, aren't difficult and are enjoyable to play.

See the "next" and "previous" links at the bottom of this hub to find them. There are also classical guitar pieces by Fernando Sor and Ferdinando Carulli - two more giants of the classical guitar world, and transcriptions of music by Bach and Beethoven. If you enjoy Renaissance or Elizabethan music, there are guitar arrangements of lute music by John Dowland and others.


The music is by Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) and is in the Public Domain.

The score, audio track and cover image are by chasmac produced on Finale, Goldwave and Photoshop.

© 2014 chasmac


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    • chasmac profile image

      chasmac 2 years ago from UK

      Thanks, Stella. I agree about Giuliani - lots of tuneful pieces that are easy to play.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi, I enjoyed reading your hub and playing the music. I love Giuliani because he wrote for the beginners and in easy keys.