“La Follia” Theme and Variations for Guitarkestra


Arranged by Heather Fortune

This is a digital score available for download only.  It is scored here for Flute, Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, and Keyboard.

This XML score can be performed “as is” or adjusted to fit your specific teaching situation! Along with the digital score and individual parts, you will receive access to the XML files that can be uploaded to your notation software of choice and adjusted/re-arranged.


This XML score is intended to serve as a starting place or suggested arrangement. It is assumed that you will modify the score to suit the needs of your particular situation. You may not resell your version of this piece. You may revise it multiple times for your specific context but you may not sell any versions you create from this template. 

Different notation software will allow for different layout and formatting options. You may need to reformat parts in your software to maximize readability and facilitate page turns. As instruments or other elements of the score are added or removed the formatting will change.

Pedagogy/Performance Notes:

  • Any variation can be cut, and for the most part, any part can be cut, and this arrangement still works. 
  • Dynamics and exact tempos are suggested but should be worked out during rehearsals or modified by you.
  • Bowings for strings should be worked out during rehearsals or added by you. 
  • Where counterpoint becomes complex, for example at m. 49, you can simplify/omit/modify as you need. You can see simplified counterpoint is included in this exact phrase in the flute part and the right hand of the keyboard part.
  • You may want to create a learning chart, where everyone learns the basic melody and basic bassline, to prepare the group for the full piece.
  • You may want to use this theme and variation as a jumping off point for improvisation.
  • You may want to add contemporary elements to this piece (improvisation on drum pads?) for fun and experimentation.

Strings – This arrangement was made with advanced viola/cello players in mind. You can easily simplify viola (copy violin 2) and cello (copy bassline and delete complex parts) if that is better for your group of players.

Flute – This arrangement was created for a beginner flutist, but this part could be used for any beginner player with potential octave adjustments. It could also be doubled or augmented for another wind part.

Guitars – This arrangement was created for an intermediate acoustic guitar player and advanced electric guitar players. The electric part could be divided when there are 2 notes indicated. The whole part could be simplified to repeat the chord progression throughout, or other modifications could be made, such as omitting certain phrases, to create an intermediate part. A beginner part for either guitar could include only the chords throughout. Guitar parts are typically set up with 2 staves – standard notation on top and TAB on the bottom. Where chord diagrams are given TAB is omitted, but you can add the chord TAB if you prefer.

*Note – the full score can include the TAB lines if you like, but often you can omit that line for your score (for example, “Focus On Staves” in Sibelius) and still include it in the part.

Keyboard – This arrangement was created for a relatively advanced player who wanted some opportunities to improvise chord voicings. The part could be split between 2 players alternating phrases or each taking one hand at a time. You could use a piano or an electric keyboard set to an interesting sound, perhaps a harpsichord, or perhaps something else to give it a different character.


Heather Fortune

About the Author

Heather chairs the Music Department and conducts instrumental ensembles at Friends Select School in Center City, Philadelphia, where for 15 years in the classroom she has welcomed all players of all instruments at all levels into her groups. Her background is in performance, and she maintains an active career as a freelance flutist. She arranges symphonies, pop classics, Latin grooves, jazz standards, and modern mind-benders, and is passionate about learning many kinds of music with students. Heather blends a multi-genre sensibility with craft, attention to detail, and fun, so that each rehearsal brings something new and musically interesting, full of opportunities to ponder both what is timely and timeless, plus a lot of gray areas in between.


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