Habanera from act 1 of Carmen by Georges Bizet arranged for four guitars or guitar orchestra by Gary Spolding takes full advantage of the range of sounds capable by classical guitars to enhance this most Spanish of pieces.
Lasting approximately 3½ minutes, the arrangement will suit an ambitious and enthusiastic group of guitarists who have reached grade 2 to 4 standard. The roles of the parts fall into two categories - Guitars 1 & 2 share the melody, sometimes alternating and sometimes in canteen 3rds, whilst Guitars 3 & 4 provide the accompaniment. Guitar 3 has been intentionally made accessible to a player of grade 2 standard even though it both looks and sounds more difficult than it is. Guitar 4 can enjoy playing that iconic bassline, the majority of which is pizzicato interspersed with supporting strummed chords. A steady hand will be needed to ensure the tempo doesn’t accelerate!
If you work in education, this arrangement has these useful features… - different speeds of triplets (including a triplet within a triplet). - drop D tuning for Guitar 4. - simple 2 note chords for Guitar 3. - extreme dynamic changes (always fun in rehearsals and performances).
This piece is one in a series of arrangements by Gary Spolding for beginner guitar ensembles. Each arrangement has at least one guitar part that is accessible to a player of ABRSM grade 2 standard and the other parts are never more difficult than grade 4. They can be performed as guitar quartets with one player to a part or by guitar orchestra with multiple players per part making them ideal for guitar societies or school concerts.