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A concise guide to Greensleeves piano sheet music

greensleeves piano sheet music

“Greensleeves” is a very famous traditional song that has its roots in Tudor England. Nobody knows for sure who wrote the Greensleeves sheet music, but we do know that it was registered by the printer Richard Jones at the London Stationer’s Company in September 1580.

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Learning how to play Greensleeves on piano will teach you one of the finest and best-known traditional songs, as well as enhance your understanding of rhythm, time signatures, and chords.

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:bulb:Please note that the lesson is also available on mobile app

You can learn how to play the Greensleeves piano notes, how to read the Greensleeves piano sheet music, and get instant feedback on your playing, right here on Skoove.

Cheat sheet


Unknown (allegedly by King Henry VIII but no evidence to support this)

Release Year



Traditional English folk song

Difficulty level





E minor




Pedals, piano chords

What are the Greensleeves piano chords?

Greensleeves was originally written as a song about love and emotions. It is a fine example of an Elizabethan broadside ballad, which was essentially a short piece of music that was printed on one side of paper. 

Today it’s easy to learn the piano chords for Greensleeves by completing this easy-to-follow piano lesson with Skoove. The Greensleeves piano chords in this version are played in the left hand and consist of two notes per chord. Most of the chords to Greensleeves are minor, which helps give them a sadder, more emotional feel. Furthermore, the regular appearance of a minor 3rd interval in the melody also enhances the song’s melancholic emotional effect. 

Greensleeves is also a good way to practice using the soft pedal on the piano, which creates a beautiful, if sometimes fragile, sound. Using the soft pedal here will really help evoke the atmosphere of love and deep emotions contained in the song. 

Tips for playing the song

  • Practice each hand separately before trying to play it with both hands
  • The song is in 3/4, which means 3 beats per measure  
  • Pay attention to the rhythm in the right-hand part
  • Watch out for accidentals – the F# in the key signature and all the extra ones
  • Be sure to establish a clear tempo and keep the melody moving
  • Practice slowly to begin with

By following these tips and experiencing Skoove’s interactive, step-by-step lesson, you’ll master the tune and accompaniment in no time!

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Interesting fact

For centuries it was widely believed that the English King Henry VIII wrote Greensleeves for his future love, Anne Boleyn. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that this is true…

Most historians now believe that the song dates from Elizabethan times (c.1580) – some decades after the reign of Henry VIII.


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