Sheet Music: Habanera

from Carmen
ComposerGeorges Bizet (1838–1875)
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyD minor
Time signature2/4
Tempo72 BPM
Performance time2:30
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (115 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (2.1 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (2.1 MB)
Date added2009-06-24
Last updated2009-06-24
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 23.4 (extremely popular)
Arias, Dance tunes, Habaneras, Opera excerpts, Romantic


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Wednesday 24 June 2009

Tune of the Day: Habanera

from Georges Bizet's opera “Carmen”

The habanera (from the Cuban capital Havana, which in Spanish is La Habana), a most popular music genre at the end of the 19th century, originated in Cuba and spread all over the Spanish colonies and subsequently to Europe. Many French musicians composed beautiful habaneras, Saint-Saëns among them.

The famous aria from the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet was adapted from the habanera “El Arreglito”, originally composed by the Spanish musician Sebastián Yradier. Bizet used the melody in the belief that it was a folk song; when he was made aware that it had been written by a composer who had died only ten years earlier, he added a note to the vocal score of Carmen, acknowledging its source.

The piece is based on a descending chromatic scale followed by variants of the same phrase, first in minor and then in major, corresponding with the vicissitudes of love expressed in the lyrics.

Other Movements from the same Work

Aragonaise Flute solo
Avec la garde montante Flute solo
Entr'acte Flute & Harp
La fleur que tu m'avais jetée Flute & Piano
Les Dragons d'Alcala Flute solo
Prelude Flute solo
Seguidilla Flute solo
Toreador Song Flute solo