Malaguena by Francisco Tarrega

Malaguena by Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909)

Francisco Tarrega Tárrega is considered to have laid the foundations for 20th century classical guitar and for increasing interest in the guitar as a recital instrument. Tárrega preferred small intimate performances over the concert stage. Some believe this was because he played without the nails needed for volume. Others say this was related to his childhood trauma.

This version is arranged for the guitar by Francisco Tarrega. Originally the 6 movement of the Suite Andalucia by Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963). The Cuban composer Lecuona first introduced Malaguena at the Roxy Theatre in New York in 1927. Written for the piano, it is the sixth and final piece in his Andulacia Suite (Cordoba, Andaluza, Alhambra, Gitanerias, Guadalquivir, Malaguena). In Malaguena, tarrega has included many different right and left hand techniques to get the fingers moving.

102 Bars. 3/4 Time Signature. This song startes off easy then builds up to more complexity. Here’s the summary of Malaguena.

Bar[51] – [57] note in triplets
Bar[55] – [57] triplets hammer/pull offs
Bar[22] – [23] rapid half step hammer ons
Bar[26] – [50] slowest part of song, play with feeling.
Bar[63] – [65] descending chords positions from fret 9
Bar[79] – [81] hardest part of song. difficult chord position. keep in tempo
Bar[91] – [102] descending scale from the 13 fret

Malaguena will give both your hands are good workout. Many different techniques are demonstrated here. Give it some time to learn this and you my pick up a good few techniques.

Category: Flamenco, Francisco Tarrega, Romantic, Spain

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2 responses to “Malaguena by Francisco Tarrega”

  1. Thomas Harrilchak says:

    It seems improbable that Tarrega arranged Malaguena, simply because the composer, Ernesto Lecuona, was born in 1895 (according to Wikipedia) and Tarrega died in 1909, when Lecuona would have been only 14 years old. According to the Wikipedia article, Lecuona first travelled to Spain in 1924, well after Tarrega’s passing. I saw sheet music for Malaguena (I think a different arrangement from the download offered here) at and it also had Tarrega as arranger. I remain skeptical.

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