Canarios by Gaspar Sanz

The energetic Canarios by Baroque composer Gaspar Sanz is a fast dance inspired by the dances of the Canary Islands. It first became famous in the court of Spain. The Canarios dance alternates 6/8 with 3/4 time signatures using a technique known as “hemiola.” Thus the accent of the dance changes, which is quite challenging.

Below you can listen to a duet arrangement of Canarios by Nicoletta Todesco from our new Graded Duets course at CGC Academy. The melody in guitar 1 is cheerful and starts in 2nd position, but will eventually reach 7th position. The arrangement uses slurs to make the articulation of the melody more interesting and to help give a more rhythmic feel to the dance.

The bass line in guitar 2 features dotted quarter notes and marks the stronger beats of the measures that alternate with syncopated passages. It also uses a lot of open strings and a few double-stops (playing two notes at the same time). The chords at the end of the piece can be strummed — three times per chord — if you’re feeling confident. It’s entirely stylistic for Spanish Baroque guitar music and, well, it’s a lot of fun too!

Graded Duets for Classical Guitar

The above performance features CGC Team members Niki and Dave playing Niki’s duet arrangement of Canarios by Gaspar Sanz. This is a recording made at Yale University in June 2022. Our new Graded Duets course includes performance videos of nearly 20 duets, all from these same Yale sessions.

If you’d like access to the full course, which includes video lessons, video performances, audio backing tracks of both parts together and individually at different tempos, a pdf download of the score, and a Q&A for every single duet, join CGC Academy today!

Go here to purchase your own copy of Graded Duets for Classical Guitar.