Lathkill Music Publishers

Guitar Orchestra : Handel arranged by Gary Spolding

Sarabande 'La Folia' by Handel arranged for guitar orchestra by Gary Spolding

Handel’s Sarabande theme and variations on 'La Folia' from the Harpsichord Suite in D minor HWV 437 is one of classical music’s most ubiquitous and instantly recognisable pieces. This arrangement for four guitars or guitar orchestra by Gary Spolding is perfect for a somber and stately addition to any concert.

Lasting approximately 3 minutes, the arrangement will suit an ambitious and enthusiastic group of guitarists who have reached grade 1 to 4 standard. Guitar 1 carries the melody for the theme, Guitar 2 has the majority of work to do in the 1st variation, and the Guitar 4 bass line is the feature for the 2nd variation. Guitar 3 has been made as easy as possible in order to get less experienced players involved - aside from note lengths the music for the theme and each variation is the same and is accessible to someone who is little more than an absolute beginner.

If you work in education, this arrangement has these useful features…
- 3/2 time signature.
- guitar 4 in drop D tuning.
- tutti rests that need to be ‘played’ simultaneously and accurately.
- many ‘same bar rule’ accidental moments.
- the potential to move simple phrases into higher positions.


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.

If you like the look of this arrangement then Mendelssohn’s Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream may also be of interest.

3 page score and separate parts each 2 pages.
Grade 1-4
£7 book
£5 pdf
LMP174