Moonlight Sonata - Basic Membership


Ludwig Van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# minor Quasi una Fantasia or 'Moonlight Sonata' as it is more commonly known is one of the world's most atmospheric and memorable pieces. Although it was originally composed for piano it also sits admirably on the classical guitar. The classical guitar transcription represented here is the 1st movement 'Adagio Sostenuto'


The original is written in the key of C# minor however on the guitar it has been transposed to A minor for easier fingering. It is possible to play it in keys that are closer to the original by using a capo. 

  • Place a capo at the 4th fret to play in the original key
  • Think of the piece in terms of chords rather than individual notes
  • Keep dynamic variations between piano & mezzo forte

This piece isn't overly difficult on the guitar but particular attention should be paid to phrasing particularly in certain areas where the phrases last over several bars and almost sound syncopated because the phrases are so long. It is easy to 'lose your way' in these sections. I do suggest listening to the great piano masters playing this piece for guidance. Often guitarists for some reason have a completely different way of interpreting pieces yet I believe we should follow pianists as closely as possible if the piece was originally written for that instrument. 

Let your fingers fly!