The 10 Easiest Classical Piano Pieces For Beginners
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Are you a new piano student who’s looking for a fun classical piece to learn? Fortunately, there’s a lot of choices that are enjoyable to play and will also further your technique and skill at the piano. Many people will instantly recognize these famous pieces and applaud your success at playing them!
Serenade In D Minor By Schubert
Schubert is often described as the greatest melodist in the history of music. It is debatable whether his works should be attributed to the Classical or Romantic period. t one hand, his music clearly displays Classical forms, and, with few exceptions, is almost always missing any descriptiveness or external allusion on the other hand, his music is very dependent on the almost hedonistic pleasure for its own sake, which the melody brings and is often sacrificing the balance, so distinctive for Classical music, for the sake of spontaneous imagination.
The Serenade in D minor, also known as Ständchen, was written by the composer as a song for solo voice and piano on July 1826. It was originally created as a Song in act 2, scene 3 of Shakespeares Cymbeline. The adaptation for solo piano, which is also used in this tutorial, was made by Liszt, published in 1838 as no. 9, Ständchen von Shakespeare. The emblematic melody of this song is what makes it unique. It is definitely an interesting piece to start your piano journey with and without a doubt it will intrigue anyone, who hears you play for the first time.
Adagio In G Minor By Albinoni
Today, the Italian Baroque composer Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni is mostly known for his instrumental music, which captures the attention of Johann Sebastian Bach, who later wrote at least two fugues on Albinonis themes. A big part of Albinonis work was lost in World War II with the destruction of the Dresden State Library, which is the reason why we have so little information about his life and work. Ironically, one the most famous pieces, attributed to him the Adagio in G Minor, was actually composed by Remo Giazzoto, a composer and musicologist, working as a cataloger of the compositions of Albinoni. This is pretty funny, considering the fact that the fame of the Baroque composer rests on this piece.
The Adagio is suitable for any beginner musician. Its in a slow pace, with an easy rhythm and beautiful Baroque harmonies. The piece is also widely used in film scores, as it adds a beautiful, haunting, and melancholic atmosphere.
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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/the Alphabet Song
In case you havent already noticed, these two songs are basically the same but with more or fewer notes. Therefore, if you learn one, you will also know the other. I know these are little kids songs, but learning them helps you to know the basics, so, these are great songs to start you off on your musical journey. Its very easy to learn, and its probably already stamped in your head.
Sonata In C By Mozart
When writing Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, Mozart intended it to be played by beginners. The piece is even known for its nickname Sonata semplice. It consists of 3 movements 1. Allegro in 4/4 meter 2. Andante in 3/4 and 3. Rondo: Allegretto in 2/4.The Allegro is written in sonata form in C major. Here we can notice the familiar opening theme. Mozart wrote the second movement in G major the dominant key of C major. In the development, the chord progression starts with G minor, then B major, then C minor, then G minor, and finally back to G major, at which point the recapitulation occurs followed by a short coda. The third movement is written as a Rondo in the original C major key. Here, the theme of the first movement appears again and is followed by a third theme, which is in A minor key and modulates through many different keys before modulating back into C major. Then, the original theme appears again, followed by a coda, and finally ends in C major.
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Schumann Kinderszenen Movement 7
The seventh movement of Schumanns Kinderszenen is titled Traumerei. The title translates to Dreaming, and the piece follows that style very much. Its written in F major, so there is only the B flat in the key signature to keep in mind.
The musical form is easy to understand and its a basic AABA structure. Rhythmically the pianist has to deal with eighth notes, mostly moving at intervals of a 2nd. There are also the occasional grace notes sprinkled into the piece.
Because the piece is written mostly in 6 voices, it does present some challenges, particularly when lining up the rhythms between both hands. There are some large chords in the left hand, but they can easily be rolled and are all tonal.
The piece moves at a slow tempo, so its easy to place notes and difficult rhythms as they come up. There are also very few musical markings, so Schumann leaves it up to the artist to apply their own interpretations.
Bach Minuet In G Major
This is an excellent starter piece for Bach. The melody is in the right hand and the left hand supports that melody with moving dotted half notes. Those notes all move at intervals of a 2nd, so its easy to read it from line to line.
Each repeated section of the piece ends in some sort of a cadence, usually V and then moves to the tonic.
While the left hand maintains its simplicity in the second half of the piece, the right hand develops more. The pianist plays in the higher register starting on high B, and has to account for a few C-sharp accidentals along the way.
Technically theirs nothing technically difficult about the piece. Pianists only need to have a firm grip on dotted half notes, quarter notes, and eighth notes. Its written in 3/4, so it has a swinging rhythm to it. The piece is really repetitive, and the same logic can be applied throughout.
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Debussy: Clair De Lune
Debussys works are often considered to be some of the more detailed out there, however his Clair de Lune is one such example that sets the bar of what beginner-intermediate players can achieve with a littler perseverance and dedication.
This haunting piano work is for any intermediate players out there. And if youre a beginner, this is a great piece to work towards.
So there we have it, just a few simple titles to get your piano creativity flowing and to prove that even the most beautiful and subtle of piano pieces can become accessible to the complete beginner. Want to learn more about classical? Read our guide to our top classical pianists of all time, or if youre looking to begin your own piano journey, why not explore our guide to pianos here.
Clair De Lune Claude Debussy
One of Debussys most famous works, Clair de Lune captures the peaceful feeling of simply staring up at the moon at night. The introduction of this piece is probably the part that most people know best and its also the easiest to learn. You play a slow, gentle melody in the right hand and some simple broken chords in the left. There are only a few moments where both hands are working at the same time, leaving you free to focus on the notes and beautiful rhythm.
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Canon In D By Pachelbel
Pachelbel was one of the dominant figures in late 17th-century European Baroque music. Today he is mostly known for his Canon in D, which was originally written for three violins and a ground bass . The piece was composed around 1680-90, but it was published for the first time in the early 20th century. Although the canon was not meant to be played on the piano, this transcription fits perfectly the musical idea of the piece.
The canon is a polyphonic musical work, in which several voices play the same melody, entering in sequence. Pachabels canon engages three voices. There is also an additional voice, the basso continuo. It differs from the other three, which all play the same melody and plays an independent role in the composition. All in all, this is one of my favorite beginner classical piano songs and I definitely recommend giving it a try!
Easy Classical Piano Songs For Beginners
You dont have to practice for years to be able to play classical music. There are many easy classical piano songs out there for beginners, which are composed by some of the best classical music composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach.
There are many benefits of playing classical music, especially if you are just starting to learn the piano. Because classical music pieces are very rich in harmony and texture, your piano skills will improve much quicker compared to playing other genres.
On this list, you will find some of the easiest yet most beautiful classical piano songs for beginners. Get the sheet music and start learning!
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Gymnopdie No 1 By Erik Satie
Saties Gymnopédie No. 1 is absolutely gorgeous and has made a few appearances in movie soundtracks. This song is in D major, so every time you see an F or C, remember to sharp those!
The left hand in this song is quite simpleyou basically rock between the notes of broken chords. Practice the left hand by itself a few times to get a feel for the songs steady rhythm.
The melody in the right hand is also sparse. But while this song may seem simple on the surface, it leaves room for plenty of expressive phrasing and dynamics.
This splendid thing about Gymnopédie No. 1 is that it sounds beautiful at a slow pace, so dont rush. Relax and enjoy yourself.
What To Look For In Beginner Piano Songs
If you want to look for easy piano songs to impress without going over your skills, here are some helpful qualities to look for:
- Repetitive parts
- Not jumping around with your hands
- Songs that can be simplified
- Repeated left hand parts
- Single line right hand parts
All of the songs on this list have these elements to some degree.
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Claude Debussy Clair De Lune
Claire de Lune is a song that almost every beginning classical pianist will learn.
It sounds simple and beautiful, but I will warn that it is slightly harder than it looks.
It starts off with melody that is played in thirds with your right hand. As the song moves along, more decorative chords are added, and some faster sixteenth note passages are added, which can be tough to get under your fingers.
An intermediate student should be able to play this piece well, with a little bit of work.
For true beginners who want to take a stab at it, I would recommend looking for a simplified arrangement of the song. Because the song is so popular, it is not hard to find alternate versions.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Traditional
Twinke Twinkle Little Star is one of the most famous piano tracks in the world.
The lyrics of the song come from a 19th century English poem composed by Jane Taylor, intitled The Star.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was covered by Cartoon Studio English, Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs, Nursery Rhymes, released in 2019.
The easy piano song is perfect to children or beginners who want to start to learn piano.
If you want to access the piano sheet music and midi file of the song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, .
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Robert Schumann Kinderszenen Movement 1
This is a great piece it has a playful melody that is supposed to invoke childhood memories. Its a short song, only a little under two minutes long, and its mostly in G major with a quick shift to E minor for the B section.
The song is broken up into passages of eight measures. Its easy to digest the song, learn it bit by bit, put it all together and memorize it.
Something that some students have trouble with is the B section, where the melody moves from the right hand to the left hand. Its a good exercise in hand independence and can be mastered.
There is also a funny triplet rhythm that spans across both hands.
River Flows In You Yiruma
The most famous piano song of the South Korean composer Yiruma continues to be a hit since its release in 2001. Reprinted in the original soundtrack of the Twilight saga, River Flows in You is a magnificent and easy piano song that has since then continued to win hearts and remains much learned by piano lovers. It can still be heard very frequently played in train stations by passers-by, surrounded by many spectators amazed by the beauty of the piece.
If you want to access the piano sheet music and the midi file of the song River Flows in You by Yiruma, .
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Moonlight Sonata By Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven, an iconic figure of Western music, was a German composer and pianist. He plays a leading role in the transition between Classical and Romantic eras. He is also the author of the concept of the artist, who surpasses personal tragedy, separate from society, in order to achieve his goal, and in that way, he becomes a hero.
Beethovens Moonlight Sonata is the byname of Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2. It was published in 1802, premiered by the composer himself. The name Moonlight Sonata comes from a review by the German Romantic poet Ludwig Rellstab, in which he compares the first movement of the piece to a boat, floating in the moonlight on Switzerlands Lake Lucerne.
The tempo of the first movement is what makes the piece beneficial for beginners. It was written in C# minor in a modified sonata-allegro form, opening with a triplet figuration in the right hand against each octave in the left hand.
Gioachino Rossini/franz Liszt William Tell Overture
Composed by Rossini and transcribed by Liszt, this song is the overture from the opera, William Tell.
Its a popular song and a crowd pleaser.
That said, it’s a long song. The piece is divided into four sections, which are meant to be played back-to-back without pause. Still, most students only learn one section.
The first section is probably the most common to learn, as its a slow passage in E minor, with some cool trilling sections.
After the first section, things get tricky. Be warned!
Liszt is a fascinating musical figure and this song was a staple of his live performance repertoire for many years put it in yours!
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Morning Mood By Edvard Grieg
Norway considers Edvard Grieg as its greatest composer. Together with Sibelius and Nielsen, he is responsible for putting Scandinavia on the musical map. Morning mood is a piece, based on Norwegian fairy tales. Peer Gynt was originally written as a prose-poem by Ibsen. But when his work became more popular, the writer decided to turn it into a play in 1876.
Grieg, as the master of miniature, saw a big opportunity in the stage version of the poem. He wrote the music for its first production and the final result sounds solemnly, captivating, and a little mysterious. Its written in E major with 6/8 time signature.
The magical sound of the composition compensates its simplicity and that makes it the perfect piece for any beginner piano player.
Pavane For A Dead Princess By Ravel
The music of the French composer Maurice Ravel is characterized by exquisite craftsmanship. Another famous composer, Stravinsky, once described him as the most perfect of Swiss clockmakers. His music has a scent of luxurious exoticism very similar to Debussys. He often blurred the boundaries between serious and light music, making his works eclectic and adventures.
Pavane pour une infante défunte or translated in English Pavane For a Dead Princess was written in 1899. The piece was dedicated to the French-American musical patron Princesse Edmond de Polignac. he title of the piece is actually misleading, as this work is not telling a story about the death of a young girl, or as Ravels said with his own words: Do not attach any importance to the title. I chose it only for its euphonious qualities. Do not dramatize it. It is not a funeral lament for a dead child, but rather an evocation of the pavane which could have been danced by such a little princess as painted by Velázquez.
This tutorial is a simplified version of the original composition. It is made to be suitable for beginners, without taking away from its beauty and richness. All in all, this is easily one of my favorite easy piano songs.
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The Heart Asks Pleasure First
- Movie:The Piano
- Composer:Michael Nyman
Next, we have this masterpiece from the Oscar-winning movie The Piano. I highly recommend you to watch this movie if you are a piano player. Most of the soundtracks in the movie are for solo piano, which you may enjoy listening to.
Released the same year as The Schindlers List in 1993, the soundtrack of The Piano was also nominated for the best movie score at BAFTA awards. However, it lost to Schindlers List.