Moonlight Sonata comes from Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 (Op. 27, No. 2). This song is the first of the three movements in the sonata also known as Adagio Sostenuto. The spanish translation of this song is referred to as “Claro de Luna”.
The sheet music covered here is based on Francisco Tarrega’s guitar arrangement of this song. However, some edits have been made for ease of reading in a modern context.
Music symbols to know for this piece
sempre pp = very quiet (throughout the piece)
p = piano (quiet) (slightly louder than pp)
> = Decrescendo (gradually play softer)
> = Decrescendo (gradually play softer). Also written above the music as “Descresc”
< = Crescendo (gradually play softer). Also written above the music as “Cresc”
/ or \ = diagonal lines between two notes represent a slide (only pick the first note and slide/move your fretting finger to the next note).
= fermata (sustain the note, longer than the length of the note indicated at the performer’s discretion)
If needed, here is a guide to understanding music symbols.
Note on barre chord symbols
You might see barre chords written as C.1, C.2, etc… to represent the Spanish word “cejilla” which means barre. I replace this with B.1, B.2, etc… to represent a barre on a certain fret.
Note that these symbols don’t always require barring all strings, so check the notation to see which string the barre starts on. The dashed lines indicate how long to hold each barre.
There are also some instances where a partial barre is played with the second finger within a chord.
Moonlight Sonata – Guitar arrangement with tabs
Note that the repeating rhythmic pattern in the arrangement is a triplet for every beat. Also, this arrangement is in drop D tuning, meaning you have to lower your 6th string (low E) to a D note.
If you enjoyed this piece based on Tarrega’s arrangement, I also recommend checking out his other piece Lagrima.
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Want to learn more songs? Check out the sheet music with guitar tabs resource on this site.
All the best,