a flutist is playing a duet with a guitarist

15 Captivating Flute And Guitar Duets

August 20, 2023 Selin Gökova 9 min read No Comments

While the combination of flute and guitar creates a splendid harmony, the repertoire dedicated to flute and guitar duets has often been overlooked, leaving behind an unexplored forest of beatiful music.

In this post, I will try to unravel the hidden and untouched parts of guitar-flute repertoire. You will find pieces written for flute and guitar as well as flute and guitar arrangements of pieces written for other instruments.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, you’ll find something for your skill level to play with your duet partner.

Best Flute and Guitar Duet Songbooks – Quick Overview

By the way, if you’re a flutist or guitarist looking for duet pieces, you might enjoy these posts as well:

Now, let’s start exploring the most beautiful duets for flute and guitar.

Pavane Op. 50 by Gabriel Fauré

“Pavane” is a well-known musical composition by the French composer Gabriel Fauré, and it may be my favorite in the list.

The “Pavane” is characterized by its graceful and elegant melody, and it has a nostalgic and slightly melancholic side, typical of Fauré’s style. The piece is often performed at a slow and stately tempo, evoking a sense of refined beauty and emotional depth.

The “Pavane” gained popularity not only as an orchestral piece but also with various arrangements for different instruments and ensembles, and you should try the flute and guitar duet version as it fits perfectly to the main melody.

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Sérénade Op. 109 by Ferdinando Carulli

Serenade. Op. 109 is one my favorite classical guitar and flute duets.

Ferdinando Carulli (1770 – 1841) was an Italian composer and guitarist known for his significant contributions to classical guitar music during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He played a vital role in popularizing the guitar as a solo instrument and helped shape its development as a concert instrument.

Carulli composed numerous solo guitar pieces, duets, and chamber music that were well-received during his time. His compositions often blend elements of classical style with folk influences, creating pieces that are both enjoyable to play and to listen to.

You can check this guitar and flute duet if you are looking for fast paced and cheerful harmonies.

Sheet music

Grand Potpourri Op.126 by Mauro Giuliani

“Grand Potpourri” is a well-known composition by Mauro Giuliani, an Italian guitarist and composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras. Giuliani (1781–1829) was highly regarded for his virtuoso guitar playing and his significant contributions to guitar music during his time.

The term “potpourri” in music refers to a medley or collection of various melodies, often from well-known tunes or themes. In Giuliani’s “Grand Potpourri,” he takes several familiar themes and weaves them together into a single piece, allowing the guitarist to showcase both technical skill and musicality.

The “Grand Potpourri” typically features a sequence of contrasting sections, each based on different popular melodies of the time. Giuliani’s skillful arrangement and development of these themes, along with his virtuosic passages, make the “Grand Potpourri” an engaging and entertaining piece to perform and listen to.

If you are looking for a both complex and contrasted piece, give this guitar and flute duet a try.

Sheet music

Duettino Facile Op.77 by Mauro Giuliani

“Duettino Facile” is another piece by Giuliani, specifically written for flute and guitar. It’s one of the easy flute and guitar duets.

If you are looking for an easier classical guitar accompaniment while still having a fast-paced flute part, this duet might be a true fit for you.

Sheet music

Fenesta ca lucive by Vincenzo Bellini

“Fenesta ca lucive” is actually a traditional Neapolitan song and not a composition by Vincenzo Bellini. According to oral tradition, the song derives from a seventeenth-century Neapolitan melody dating back to the time of Masaniello, and is said to be inspired by a sixteenth-century poem by the Sicilian poet Matteo di Ganci, centered on the tragic murder of the noblewoman Laura Lanza di Trabia.

The title “Fenesta ca lucive” translates to “The Window That Shines” in English. The song is a classic Neapolitan serenade that speaks of love and longing, often expressing the sentiment of looking out of a window to catch a glimpse of a loved one.

While not composed by Bellini, he made this song a part of Italian musical culture and is performed by various artists in the traditional Neapolitan style.

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Histoire du Tango by Astor Piazzolla

“Histoire du Tango” is a captivating four-movement composition by the Argentine composer and bandoneón player Astor Piazzolla. This piece, which translates to “History of the Tango” in English, was composed for flute and guitar in 1986 and showcases the evolution of the tango genre through the 20th century. Each movement of “Histoire du Tango” represents a different era of tango music, highlighting its transformation and development. The movements are:

  1. Bordel 1900: This movement depicts the tango as it was played in the bordellos of Buenos Aires in the early 20th century. It captures the sensual and intimate nature of the dance during its formative years.
  2. Café 1930: Moving forward a few decades, this movement portrays the tango’s shift from the bordellos to the cafés of Buenos Aires. The mood becomes more subdued and introspective, reflecting the changing social atmosphere.
  3. Night-Club 1960: In this movement, Piazzolla introduces the tango’s fusion with jazz and other contemporary musical elements. It reflects the influence of Piazzolla’s innovative nuevo tango style, which blended traditional tango with elements of classical and modern music.
  4. Concert d’Aujourd’hui: The final movement represents the tango’s transformation into a concert performance piece in the present day. Piazzolla’s own avant-garde compositional style is evident in this movement, showcasing his unique approach to tango music.

“Histoire du Tango” not only traces the historical development of the tango but also serves as a testament to Piazzolla’s virtuosity and creativity as a composer and performer. His fusion of traditional tango with elements from classical and contemporary genres expanded the possibilities of the tango form and elevated it to new artistic heights. “Histoire du Tango” remains a popular and influential work that highlights the richness and complexity of tango music.

Sheet music

Pavane pour une infante defunte by Ravel

“Pavane pour une infante défunte” is a famous musical composition by the French composer Maurice Ravel.

Written in 1899, this piece is a pavane, which is a slow, stately dance that was popular in the Renaissance courts of Europe. The title translates to “Pavane for a Dead Princess,” although Ravel himself indicated that the title was chosen more for its aesthetic qualities than to convey a specific narrative.

Although the composition is originally created for solo piano, the flute and guitar arrangement of the piece offers a unique and captivating rendition.

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La fille aux cheveux de lin by Claude Debussy

“La fille aux cheveux de lin” (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair) is a musical composition by the French composer Claude Debussy. It’s a part of his collection of preludes for solo piano, known as “Préludes, Book I,” published in 1910.

The title itself evokes imagery of a young woman with flaxen, or blonde, hair. Debussy’s music captures the delicate and tender nature of the girl’s hair as it sways in the breeze.

This piece is among Debussy’s most famous and cherished works, and if you’re looking for a simple flute and guitar arrangement, this piece might be worth a try.

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Mountain Songs by Robert Beaser

“Mountain Songs” is a series of compositions by American composer Robert Beaser. It’s a collection of folk-inspired pieces for flute and guitar, composed in 1985.

The piece captures the essence of Appalachian folk music and evokes the sounds of rural mountain life through its melodies and rhythms. Beaser’s work often blends classical and folk elements, creating a unique and engaging musical experience.

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Serenade Op. 127 by Mauro Giuliani

The “Serenade, Op. 127” is another composition for flute and guitar written by the previously mentioned Italian guitarist and composer Mauro Giuliani. The piece is still performed and enjoyed by musicians and audiences today as a fine example of the chamber music repertoire for flute and guitar.

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Mouvements Perpetuels by Poulenc

Originally, “Mouvements Perpetuels” is a set of three short piano pieces composed by Francis Poulenc, a French composer, in 1918. These pieces are known for their playful and light-hearted character, reflecting Poulenc’s distinctive style that often combines elements of neoclassicism, wit, and charm.

The title “Mouvements Perpetuels” translates to “Perpetual Movements,” which is apt as the pieces feature continuous motion, intricate rhythmic patterns, and shifting harmonies. Despite their brevity, these compositions offer a glimpse into Poulenc’s skillful composition technique.

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Fish Tale by Osvaldo Golijov

“Fish Tale” is a composition by the Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov. When he finished writing Fish Tale, Osvaldo Golijov called it a ‘watercolor’, a poetically apt description of its slippery, fluid, evanescent nature.

It tells the surrealistic tale of the journey of a fish that begins in the ocean, stops to contemplate the sounds of an African thumb piano, continues on, propelled by the wind, which then becomes a tornado, leading to a waterfall, then is suddenly contained in a little fishbowl, and scurrying on to a long swim in a ‘rainbow brook’, stops to contemplate the passage of time, gets caught by a fisherman who fervently promises to return him to the water, dances a bit of samba, considers anew the passage of time with a sigh, and finally meets the love of his life at the bottom of the sea, dancing a slow waltz to the Brazilian folk music of a ‘marine music box’, which, like an oyster, opens and closes, to music and to silence.

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Petite Suite Medievale by Francis-Paul Demillac

Composed by Francis-Paul Demillac, Petite Suite Médiévale is a small, quite easy work for flute or violin, and guitar. This suite lasts six minutes and features five short pieces influenced by medieval sounds: I. Sicilienne – Moderato II. Sonnerie – Allegretto III. Après une page de Ronsard, “À une jeune morte” – Andante IV. Ronde – Allegretto.

If you enjoy medieval harmonies, check out this duet by Francis-Paul Demillac.

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Bossa Nova – Wave by Carlos Jobim

“Bossa Nova” is a genre of Brazilian music that emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It blends elements of samba and jazz, characterized by its smooth, rhythmic feel and distinctive guitar patterns. “Wave” is a bossa nova composition by the Brazilian musician Antonio Carlos Jobim, also known as Tom Jobim. It was released in 1967 as part of his album of the same name, which is considered one of the iconic bossa nova albums.

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Nagare by Ryo Noda

“Nagare” is a contemporary piece for solo alto saxophone composed by Japanese composer and saxophonist Ryo Noda. It was written in 1985 and is known for its unique and challenging technical demands on the saxophonist.

The composition explores various extended techniques and unconventional sounds that push the boundaries of the saxophone’s capabilities. These techniques include multiphonics (producing multiple pitches simultaneously), flutter-tonguing, and key clicks, among others.

The piece has become a fundamental piece in the contemporary saxophone repertoire. Although it is often performed by advanced saxophonists looking to challenge themselves and display their technical prowess, it has also a flute and guitar arrangement where all the complex techniques are still valid.

Therefore, if you are looking for a very challenging duet arrangement to show your virtuoso skills or challenge yourself, you might want to try this piece.

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Selin Gökova

Selin Gökova is a neo-classical composer and pianist from Istanbul, Turkey. Holding an ABRSM certificate on piano performance, she's been playing the piano and composing for ten years. Wandering Tunes is her side project where she combines her two passions: writing and music.

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Hi, my name is Selin. Playing the piano and composing are my biggest passions. I've founded this blog to share everything I've learned throughout the years about piano playing and learning. I hope you stick around! Read More

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