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Top 10 Easy Piano Pieces That Sound Great

Hopefully no one is coming to this looking for something they can sit down and play brilliantly in one sitting. There is no such thing as a great-sounding piano piece that can be learnt in seconds, but these are some of the simpler ones, that, if mastered, could convince everyone you’re a true pianist. Bear in mind though, the key to this, like anything, is practice. If you want something to sound good, you have to be prepared to work on it, but these are the top ten pieces, in my opinion, that sound amazing, and can be performed with not too much difficulty on your behalf. If you disagree with any of these, by all means, give your opinion in the comments.

10

Etude Op. 10 – 12
“Revolutionary Etude” – Chopin

This is far and away the most difficult piece on this list, and I’m sure there’ll be lots of criticism about the level of this piece, but when you really break it down, it’s based on quite simple arpeggios and very repetitive hand movements. The right hand theme is also relatively simple, presenting only a small challenge to someone with a particularly small hand. Chopin’s music wasn’t about creating technical difficulties for the pianist (that’s more Liszt’s field of work, some reasoned that Liszt was the world’s first three-handed pianist), but about creating flourishes and runs that are based upon the basics of piano playing. The hardest part of this piece by far is the speed factor, but even played slowly, this is sure to blow everyone away, if you have the discipline to learn it as a slow piece, and avoid the temptation of running away with it.

Learn to play piano with the book Teach Yourself To Play Piano at Amazon.com!

9

Bagatelle in A Minor, Op. 59 – “Fur Elise”
Beethoven

While not one of my favorite pieces, this constantly crops up time and time again amongst lists of the all-time classics of piano. One thing everyone seems to always overlook though, it’s dead easy! If played at a moderate speed, there are no excessively challenging passages in the entire piece. There are some slightly tricky runs in the last half, but nothing that can’t be done without a little bit of practice. This is a must-have on any dinner party list, and given how well-known it is, people will immediately recognize this piece.


8

Concord Sonata – “The Alcotts”
Charles Ives

This is one I taught myself to play – and I am not a great pianist. Some of the stretches are wide – so wide hands are helpful, but it is actually a very simple piece. It manages to sound more complex than it is through unusual harmonies but it is well worth the go. You might notice that the theme Ives uses here is the same as Beethoven’s 5th symphony – Ives is well known for his use of pastiche in his writing. The end is particularly cool.

7

In a Landscape
John Cage

If you are familiar at all with John Cage, you will be very surprised by this piece. Cage is well known for his 4’33 in which the musician does not make a sound (the music is the ambient noise). He is also known for extremely jarring and dissonant music. This item, however, is quite the opposite – it is a beautiful slow melodic piece that you can’t help but love. It also uses the sustain pedal throughout (without lifting your foot) so you can concentrate on the fingerwork not the footwork.

6

Gymnopédie No.1
Erik Satie

This piece has been used countless times in advertising and it is no wonder – it is a beautiful piece of music by one of France’s most talented composers. This set of three pieces (number 1 is the one we have here) are considered to be precursors to the modern ambient music movement. Satie himself referred to much of his music as “furniture music” – implying that it should be background music.

5

Clair de Lune
Debussy

A relatively slow piece, and yet another very popular piece, this song will forever remain remarkable to your audience if you can pull it off. Debussy’s slightly irregular harmonies combine in this piece to a gentle consonance, that creates a gentle, flowing image. The only tricky thing in this is to avoid heaviness, and maintain fluidity throughout. This will without a doubt be one of your most impressive pieces if executed correctly.


4

The Heart Asks For Pleasure First
Michael Nyman

One of the masterworks from the film “The Piano” Michael Nyman’s piece draws together arpeggios and a simple melody to create a haunting, echoing theme that lasts for long after the piece is finished. While not a mainstream piece, this small gem is an astounding portrayal of emotion through music. The simple melody, interspersed with the accompaniment, is simply beautiful. I’ve chosen a rather different video than usual, because this shows the emotional side of the piece much more succinctly than a performance video.

3

Ah! Vous Dirai-Je, Maman
“Variations on Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” – Mozart

Everyone will know the opening of this piece, it’s one of the most famous pieces of all time (it’s the alphabet song for god sake’s!) but few people know the entire thing. Mozart adapted the theme of a well known French folk song into 12 different variations, each of which focus on a different aspect of the piano. When played in it’s entirety, it is a stunning piece. It’s especially good for confusing people who don’t know what you’re playing, because when you start off, they expect something a whole lot different to where you end up. I promise you, this piece is not too difficult, but it will sound amazing if treated right. And for added benefit, here’s a video of a 7 year old playing it.


2

Comptine D’un Autre été, L’Après-midi
Yann Tiersen

One of the most beautiful pieces of film music in years, from the French film Amelie, Yann Tiersen weaves simple melodies and accompaniments to create a gradually building, yet wholly simplistic melody. This piece is technically very simple, but it takes a certain emotional maturity to play it as more than just notes. This may well prove to be one of the more challenging on the list, simply because there is a tendency to play it too fast, or too heavily, which will utterly destroy the piece. If perfected, this will be one of the most emotional pieces in your repertoire, I know many people who have actually been driven to tears by this piece. This animation is a perfect summary of the piece.

Buy Yann Tiersen’s incredible 2014 album Infinity at Amazon.com!

1

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor
“Moonlight Sonata” – Beethoven

There is no doubt (in my mind at least) that this belongs on the top spot. This is a remarkably simple piece that is potentially among the most recognized pieces of all time, and remains one of the favorite piano pieces ever written. Nothing needs to be said, just listen. [JFrater: if you like this, expand your knowledge of the piece by listening to the awesome second movement here. And for completion, here is the virtuosic talent of Glenn Gould playing the incredible third movement.]

Contributor: carpe_noctem (1 – 5, 9 – 10), JFrater (6 – 8 )



  • Sunshine

    Ludwig van Beethoven is my favourite composer, maybe typically. But his music seems to be far above everybody's, even Mozart's. That's the impression I get. He's just got such expression and emotion, I never felt any emotion in Mozart's music bar maybe his later symphonies. And the Moonlight Sonata first mvt, despite being very simple, just brims with major emotion. It's very beautiful. The third mvt is also very good! Very happy that the Moonlight Sonata got the #1 spot. Good job!

    • Mun

      Disagree, Listen to Mozart’s operas such as Don Giovanni and Magic Flute or listen to his Requiem Lacrymosa. Only people who haven’t listened to all of Wolfgang’s work would dare say Beethoven is better. I mean one of Beethoven’s most popular works “symphony no. 5” is based off of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40.

      • Beginnerpiano

        Yes! To understand and appreciate mozart fully, i think you HAVE to listen to his operas.
        Also for this list: Mozart adagio in b minor for piano. Short and simple, amazing stuff. Tears me up every time.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPW_w68fTHA

  • toolnut

    So bummed I’m at work right now. I want to listen to these. . .

  • billyshears

    Yann Tiersen!
    Debussy!
    Great List!

  • rushfan

    ditto toolnut

  • romerozombie

    Fantastic list. I’ve recently started listening to Chopin and Beethoven, and I can’t argue with ‘Moonlight Sonata’ taking the top spot.

  • MPW

    fantastic videos, you dont know whatyou are missing

  • Csimmons

    great list to wake up to, nice list carpe!

  • unicorn1492000

    My comp has no speakers AND I’m at work. Moonlight Sonata is my absolute favorite piece.

  • Phender_Bender

    Great list, makes me wish I could play the piano, maybe this will inspire me to take up lessons. I can however play Moonlight Sonata on the guitar.

  • Mom424

    Great List Guys! Although my piano skills are more along the lines of Freres Jacques and Green Sleeves. I am in agreement with the sentiment for #2, it is beautiful.

  • skipps

    I’m a lousy pianist, and the fact that there are easy piano pieces that actually sounds great is encouraging and comforting to know! I’m interested in learning #2. Anyone knows where I can get the score online?

  • g_reg71

    Number 2 just blow me away. I love Moonlight but number was just so powerful. Great List!

  • g_reg71

    Number 2 just blew me away. I love Moonlight but No2 was so powerful. Great List!

    • mercedes

      what ever that lame

  • joe legge

    great list idea. how about 10 simple guitar pieces, or violin, or triangle?

  • Magnolia

    Claire de Lune is, by far, my most favorite piano piece. And the woman is butchering it.

  • skipps

    I know Richard Clayderman’s works are definitely not classics like the ones on this list (some call them elevator music), but they sound rather great and are also very easy to learn too. Like his famous Ballade pour Adeline for example.

  • Christine

    My favorite easy piece (way easier than all of these!) is Heart & Soul. Get someone to play back-up and it’s always a crowd-pleaser. I always add in my own variations to jazz it up. For instance, you can incorporate the Jeopardy theme in there.

  • EAL

    No chopsticks?

  • EAL

    it might not fit the “sounds great” requirement. lol

  • The Great Ju-Ju

    How about the Rondo Alla Turka, by Mozart? Easy cheesey lemon squeezy. Great tune and really fun to play!

  • kiwiboi

    Carpe – excellent list. I expect more piano lists from you :)

    I would add Chopin’s dinky little Prelude in A major (Op28 #7). I was also thinking about Debussy’s Reverie…but maybe it’s not so easy.

  • revolver0410

    This is by far one of the most beautiful lists on the Verse. No mutilations, no murderers, no gore. Simply some of the best music ever. Thank you!

  • green

    Great list! I played piano for years growing up, but haven’t sat down to play.

    I feel inspired

  • Brie

    You should do the same with guitar!

  • Schiesl

    heres Jfrater, loving on Cage again, haha. my favorite of Cage is Waterwalk which is titled because, as said by Cage, “It uses water, and i am walking”.

  • That one guy

    Skipps: a printable score is availaible at http://www.scribd.com/doc/2869711/Comptine-DUn-Autre-Ete-LApresmidi-Sheet
    music-Amelie-Poulain
    (I had to reduce it on my printer)

  • That one guy

    Skipps: a printable score of #2 is availaible at http://www.scribd.com/doc/2869711/Com…..midi-Sheetmusic-Amelie-Poulain
    (I had to reduce it on my printer)
    -Use this link not the cut off link
    -Sorry for double post, I don’t know any other way to edit.

  • Joel T

    Well-Tempered Clavier prelude no. 1 in C major. Easy stuff. Now the fugue on the other hand… :P

    • Bella

      I agree, but it’s better on the Cello anyway. Piano just isn’t the same for that one.

  • Djb522

    What about like charlie brown? That piece is pretty easy and sounds cool. Plus people always know exactly what it is

  • Aaron

    I didn’t like her interpretation of Fur Elise, the phrasing seemed very forced, over stylized NOT what Beethoven wrote.

  • JR

    LOVE the list, really great, I used to play the piano but haven’t in a long time. This list makes me want to at least try and play these pieces.

    Djb522: Is Charlie Brown really an easy piece? I’d love ot learn that as well

  • copperdragon

    The Charlie Brown Theme (actual title “Linus and Lucy”) is very easy. The majority of it consists of only 12 notes in the same pattern (flourishes are up the pianist), and is instantly recognizable.

  • Einar

    Claire de lune was not an easy piece to learn, and I say that with ten years of piano experience.

    It’s well worth the time though =).

  • copperdragon

    Pink Panther theme isn’t too bad either

  • lost 654

    canon in D major

  • lost 654

    also the minuet is fairly simple and although it may not be as easy but fun as to play is hungarian rhapsody ( if you remember watching that episode of tom and jerry, you know what piece im talking about)

  • lost 654

    bohemian rhapsody is also great

  • FifthSonata

    I actually used Fur Elise for my piano proficiency exams during college, even through I’m a woodwind player who’d never touched a piano until I got to college. Nice list.

  • SocialButterfly

    Great list Carpe & Jamie too… very nice listen.

    Carpe are you back??

  • Solensdrottning

    I might add “maple leaf rag”. I’ve never taken the time to learn it, but I know people love it and I hear it’s easy. Anyone concur?

  • rushfan

    I just heard Tim Russert died. sad.

  • green

    me too, that is sad. He was young

  • rushfan

    um, and r kelly acquited of all charges? huh?

  • MPW

    he died of a heart attack at 58.

    yes, entertaining list and I respect people who play the piano, it seems so difficult

  • Nejikun

    Yes I’d have Pachelbel’s Kanon on this list. It’s the only piece I’ve ever played well 2 handed. It sounds awesome when done right.

  • GTA

    I don’t think any piano piece is easy, at least not for me. You couldn’t tell who was playing if it was me and some other kid

  • The Great Ju-Ju: I thought about adding the Rondo ala turka – but the 20th century pieces won :)

  • Schiesl: You have to admit – the cage piece is damned beautiful – it certainly shows that he wasn’t just a hack hitting together a few pots :)

  • SocialButterfly: I don’t think carpe is back yet – he submitted this list a few weeks ago.

  • MPW

    where is he…..Lost

  • stevenh

    wow!

    Thank You, Carpe & Jamie

  • scrumpy

    Great list. I love Chopin, I grew up in a house with a piano in it and I still get ‘Chopsticks’ wrong!

  • Sorry it still looks hard to me.
    This reminded me of when my brother was playing a blues type song on his guitar in a certain key and told me I could accompany him with some improvisation on the piano if I only use the black keys. He was right it sounded pretty good no matter what black key I hit. And I can’t play the piano.

    I also remember seeing this clip of someone using only the black keys.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwJKLNUnXnI

  • #3-if only the alphabet was that interesting. and day-yum! that 7 year old has skills. he didnt even have music!

    #1-i love that song too. i love the sound of a piano in general

  • Pingback: the music of sound » A list of lists…()

  • astraya

    I have played (anywhere between sight-reading and performing) 7 of these.
    With a degree in piano performance, I’m trying to fit “Chopin Revolutionary Etude” (not his title BTW) and “easy” into the same sentence. Same goes for most of these. Maybe I’m out of practice. Come to think of it, I am out of practice. There’s a piano at school. Early on, I made arrangements to play it during my and the music teacher’s spare lessons, but that has fallen by the way. I now spend my spare lessons browsing the List Universe. (As opposed to the Liszt Universe. Ha Ha Ha!)
    I didn’t bring much music to Korea, so I can’t make many suggestions. As well as the Gymnopedie there are two others, less well-known but perhaps even easier, and the three Gnossiennes, imho much better music. Some of Bartok’s Microcosmos are very effective, with a touch of exoticness.
    Mozart may be technically easy, but is musically elusive. Someone (?Schnabel) said to the effect “Mozart is too easy for beginners and too difficult for professionals”.
    Bach’s suites, little preludes and the Anna Magdalena Notebook are worth checking out. Handel wrote a surprising amount of keyboard music, now almost never played. The Pachelbel Canon was originally written for orchestra, and has three equal lines weaving in and out. Piano arrangements vastly simplify this. Some arrangements aren’t really at all – they’re someone else’s variations on the same harmony.
    I could go on … It’s been ages since I’ve had the chance to talk piano music.
    BTW Jamie, Beethoven really was an influential composer.

  • Idreno

    I think this was a wonderful list and I’m rather impressed at the inclusion of film music which is so often neglected since it doesn’t always translate well to a concert setting except through arrangement.

    I think it should be stated that, while the Chopin suggestion is certainly not one of his more difficult pieces, the pianist does need to have a strong left hand technique. But Chopin wrote many simple Preludes and pieces that amateur pianists can incorporate into their repertoire.

    I adore Ives and thank you for introducing me to this piece – I’m most familiar with his orchestral and vocal music.

    I have one major comment concerning Beethoven’s “Moonlight” sonata. Strong evidence supports that what we are most accustomed to hearing is actually not what Beethoven intended. At close analysis of the score, although the tempo marking is slow, the piece should be felt in 2, not 4 as it is so often presented, as a result of the “Alla breve” marking in the time signature. It doesn’t mean that the piece should be played “fast” – but that there is much more motion and direction to the piece than what is traditionally heard and taught. Each triplet should be felt in groups of two (6 notes), rather than be separated and each note given equal weight – the most common aspect of amateur and young pianists who study the work. Althought Beethoven did much to break so many of the restrictions and formalities in composition mandated by the Classical period, it should be kept in mind that this piece is still the first movement of three and should not be treated as if it were the second.

    Much research has been done by great musical scholars like Max Rudolph, Rudolph Serkin, and Benjamin Zander on this particular piece of music – and all came to the same conclusions – that a slightly less deliberate and more flowing tempo helps bring out the real magic of the piece. By taking a ‘faster’ tempo, the tension of the diminshed chords and the passing dissonances surge and exibit a much more passionate sensation than when the piece is performed like a dirge and at slower tempos.

    I personally feel that the entire movement should be felt as one huge grand gesture – a deep, profound breath – the opening suggesting a deep inhalation and the end takes us to a complete expiration. It can be a deeply sensual and spiritually connected rendition when thought of in these terms – and too slow a tempo inhibits the performer and lister from such an experience.

    Thank you, Astraya, for agreeing with me about Beethoven’s role as an ‘influential’ composer.

  • nelia

    I taught myself Fur Elise when I was a kid because I thought it was pretty. It is the one and only thing i can play on a piano. I just plunked different keys until I figured out he fun parts, then taught myself the rest when I got older just because. It is a fun party trick… the girl who never took lessons plays the piano!

  • TerranRich

    Wow. Awesome list. And I mean that.

    I listened to #2 before even reading the description, and closed my eyes so I could hear the piece without interference. That is the first time that a piano piece has moved me to tears. And the video fit it so well, it just brought on even more.

    Wonderful list, and I hope to see more musical lists in the future. :)

  • Vera Lynn

    I love Beethoven and Mozart. Geniuses! Beethoven lost his hearing, but his music theory was so complete he could compose without hearing what he was writing. And Mozart was once asked by a student how to compose a symphony. He told the child he was too young. His student replied that he (Mozart) had composed symphonies when he was young. Mozart’s reply? I didn’t have to ask how.

    I loved The Piano with Anna Paquin. She won some kind of honorary Oscar, if not the real thing. I cried. That movie broke my heart.

    I knew a lot of these. I play the flute and have been in Orchestra or Concert band most of my life. I don’t get piano. When I play flute, my fingers move in conjunction with eachother; both hands play one (1) note. But piano? All the fingers play a separate note. So confusing. I also can play chopsticks and the like. But “real” music? No way.

  • Vera Lynn

    And to all the Australian participants, I just heard of an Australian wasp called Aha ha? Anyone want to explain why a wasp is called Aha-ha? Does it make you laugh when it stings? Of course not, I know that. But what gives?

  • Vera Lynn

    Hi Michael (AKA MPW). How are you tonight?

  • sam

    thanks for this list…fur elise was just what I needed after reading about Tim Russert.

  • MPW

    Hello Vera Lynn, I’m well, how about yourself

  • Vera Lynn

    I almost almost drove off the road when I heard about Tim Russert. That’s just nuts. I feel for his family. They cannot say good bye. And that I don’t wish on my mortal enemies. May he rest in peace, and his family find closure. He died doing what he loved. And that can be a blessing.

  • Vera Lynn

    Hi MPW. Im well. Im done cleaning out my classroom. So I am footloose and fancy free for 8 weeks. WHEEE!!!!!!
    Watching “Young Frankenstein>” Very out of character for me. I like dramatic things. But who can resist YF?

  • MPW

    was it really hot in your class today

  • Vera Lynn

    No not so bad. But cleaning up is a chore. Grimy.

  • MPW

    yeah, that was terribly sad, his son just graduated from Boston College and now this. I feel for his friends and family

    his dad is still alive, he is in his eighties

  • MPW

    Cleaning, not my favorite thing to do

  • Vera Lynn

    Thanks for asking. I love when in the movie they say “Frau Blucher” (sp) and the the horse whinnies. Blucher means glue in German. Funny.

  • MPW

    Young Frankenstein is an awesome movie. i loved Peter Boyle as the monster

  • Vera Lynn

    I didn’t know that. About his father. Even sadder.

  • Vera Lynn

    How does one post a list? I have several tnat I think would be interesting.

  • MPW

    you’re welcome, besides I like to know how your days goes:)

  • MPW

    just click on the “submissions” link at the top of the page and you’ll find the instuctions

  • Vera Lynn

    “that ” not “tnat” Im sure you knew that.

  • MPW

    dont worry im not a grammar nazi…. anymore

  • MPW

    i hope one of your lists gets picked. one of mine did but i hated it

  • Vera Lynn

    MPW You are amazing. I am on here every day just to correspond with you. You have captured a bit of my heart. Maybe more than a bit. I am so glad you are happy healthy and well. Life threw some evil shit up your way and you dealt with it beautifully. Strength is measured in many ways.

  • MPW

    according to a lot of the commenters, my list was terribly written

  • MPW

    thank you, that means a lot to me.

    you are the reason i stay so long on this site. you have captured a piece of my heart as well.

  • Vera Lynn

    MPW Umm Since when did you care about what people think? I thought you were stronger than that. Look people in the eye and DARE them mentally to take a swing ( mental or physical). Then knock them silly. Again either physical or not. We spoke of this the other night. You are great. You have risen above. You have WON. Not a small feat. A huge victory!!!

  • Vera Lynn

    MPW I will keep the part of your heart that you have entrusted to me safe. No questions asked. You have had a lot to deal with and the fact that you sound healthy is a credit to your intrinsic central being. You have a strength of character that most people cannot know. The strength of one’s soul bleeds over to the strength of one’s being. You are very strong.

  • MPW

    i always try to keep my emotions inside but somehow you have brought them out.

    even though we haven’t formally met i feel i know you so well and not to mention you are the first person to ever say such nice things about me

  • Vera Lynn

    MPV You always speak what you think. The way you were so candid about your brother(twin). You claimed to always say what you think. Your emotions are Not inside. I can only reflect what you have given/shown me. I know you are very vulnerable. You have been hurt many times, many ways. Your sadness is paplable but pushed aside by your humor. It’s a wonder you don’t drink or smoke weed. Stay strong. It gets better. I know. And Im here. May be a small thing, but constant.

  • Vera Lynn

    MPW MPV. My apologies. : )

  • MPW

    oh man the angels lost 5-2 to the braves, how did the Cubs fare

  • cheese

    definitely check out Organ Fugue by Bach… although technically not piano.

  • MPW

    i guess you are right:)

    you always know how to make me feel better

    you could call me MVP if you like:)

  • MPW

    congrats Vera you are officially a top Commenter:}

  • Vera Lynn

    I don’t know you personally,
    (MVP Michael) but I miss corresponding/talking/communicating with you. You are smart and funny. The Cubs lost. Bound to happen. They cannot win Every game! Esp with Gallagher pitching. Do you play an instrument? (Just pretending to have something to do with the list)

  • Vera Lynn

    I am!!!! How do you know?!?! ThT IS CRAZY!!

  • Vera Lynn

    I mean ” That is crazy!”

  • MPW

    just scroll down and gaze at the right side of the page

  • MPW

    unfortunately i dont, i wanted to learn to play the drums and i was gonna ask my aunts boyfriend but he died:(

  • MPW

    let me just finish, i was going to ask him to teach me to play apparently he used to drum for Motley Crue before they were famous.

    the MVP thing was a joke:) you can call whatever you like though;)

  • Vera Lynn

    Most Valuable Player. Yes You are. As I said before, you are important. You are the only reason Im here. Be well. I know I say that a lot. Just be.

  • MPW

    how come you arent registered with the site?

    As much as i love music my passion is writing short stories, sports, and Law

  • astraya

    (tongue-in-cheek)
    Imagine being at a piano recital with Vera Lynn and MPW sitting behind you!
    Shhh!!!! Please!!!! We’re listening to the music!!!!

  • MPW

    i tried playing the flute but i was so terrible at it the only song i could ever play was hot cross buns(123123222333123)

  • astraya

    Idreno – the background to my comment was this list from a couple a months ago: https://listverse.com/music/top-15-most-influential-classical-composers/. Maybe you’ve seen it.

  • MPW

    astraya, sorry about that

    your username is interesting, is that how the Koreans say australia

  • I can kind of play number nine, which interestingly enough I thought was Mozart and not Beethoven. Goes to show how much I know about classical music! *Makes a mental note to do some reading*
    The only reason I can any of it at all is because it’s programmed into my keyboard. The keys light up as the note should be played. When I used to practice more I had gotten pretty good, almost to the point where I didn’t need the lights to play, but now I’m pretty rusty.
    I’d suggest The Entertainer, given my limited musical knowledge and all. It’s also programmed into the song bank on my keyboard and even after not playing for a bit, I was able to pick it up again rather quickly.
    Great list! :)

  • Idreno: if you can find a youtube clip of someone playing the moonlight sonata in the way you describe it I would very interested in hearing it!

    PS: aren’t 6-8 awesome? I have great taste in music :)

  • MPW

    they are and you do:)

  • MPW

    Good night Vera and good night everyone else

    Vera if you ever want to send me an Email you can find it at my profile near the top commenter area. good luck with your lists:)

  • JwJwBean

    Excellant list. I wonder if I can talk the piano teacher into teaching my boys 2, 4, and 7. Those were my favorites while listening.

    Great job Carpe and nice ad ins JFrater.

  • odenia sphere

    no way i agree with moonlight sonata being easy.

    for one, its in a bitch key signature, which means half of its on black notes. It also means F’s are E#’s and Cs are B# which can be a bit hard to read fast.
    Also you have a couple of 9ths to reach, which is a fair stretch for some, which are also a bitch.

    The entire piece is basically played piano, which is difficult because its hard to play softly you want to get loud in a lot of sections

    Then, you got the difficult task of playing triplet feels in your right hand, but are only allowed to accent the ones that represent the melody . The rest must be kept quiet at all times.

    I’m a classically trained pianist, been playing all my life, studying bach of music atm, and because its slow and doesn’t have that many notes ppl sometimes get that impression. But i assure you, is not true. My opinion anyway

  • odenia sphere

    oh and for vera lyn,

    “we’ll meet again, don’t know where.. don’t know when, don’t know where but i know we’ll meet again some sunny day”

    Thats her best.

    In my opinion.

  • Jeffreygvl

    I immediately jumped to the #1 to see if I’m correct that it’s Moonlight Sonata from Beethoven and it was! so good job jfrater :)

    I could play this song too. I haven’t even touched the piano in a loooong time (few years), it makes me want to run to a piano right now and learn it all over again.

    , Jeffrey

  • scaramouche

    OOOOH, I love number four, it’s on a Pure Moods CD :))

  • Tempyra

    This list makes me miss my baby grand dreadfully… I want a piano again!

    odenia sphere – I would call the Moonlight Sonata ‘easy-ish’ because I didn’t find it technically hard but it required a LOT of patience to get the softness right.

    Does anyone have a link for a performance of the Moonlight Sonata as described by Idreno?

  • drogo

    I can’t read music, but by playing by ear I taught myself a little bit of “Humoresque(sp?)” by Dvorak, and I’ve tried “Die Moldau” by Smetana. My mom’s favorite tune to play was “Fur Elise” on our out of tune upright. Unfortunately, when you push on our piano keys now, you have to pry them back up with your fingers because they stick. That makes it kind of hard to play tunes. :)

  • drogo

    p.s. I’ve also taught myself the piano part of “In The End” by Linkin Park.

  • Daunted

    I agree with Moonlight Sonata taking top spot, but I don’t see Chopsticks? Chopsticks should be on the list in my opinion.

  • fivestring63

    I really like #7 and #1. If you notice both of these are played in a minor, which give that haunting dark feel to any song.

  • Domnick

    2 and 4 are just beautiful, id love to learn them
    amazing list!

  • dep

    I completely agree with Domnick.
    Never heard number 2 before and now i just can’t get enough.

  • Idreno

    I have not yet investigated any YouTube performances of the Beethoven that would coincide with what I have written, but I can certainly do a little hunting.

    Benjamin Zander, a conductor I worked with several times in my youth, is a great Beethovenian scholar and has presented the most throrough analysis of the piece that I’ve personally ever encountered. His recording of Beethoven’s 5th and 7th symphonies with the Philharmonia Orchestra released on Telarc includes a second lecture cd (a common feature of his recordings) that focuses on the interpretation and realization of Beethoven’s tempo markings – he uses the Moonlight Sonata as his primary example to support his findings and does play the movement in both contrasted ways to exemplify his reasonings.

  • JB

    I knew Sonata was going to be on here as soon as I looked at the name of the list.

    A brilliant intention! I’ve been taking piano lessons for the past few months, and I love it. I know the name of every major and minor triad and key signature, but I don’t really know any songs that I would sit down and play, as the ones in my lesson books are very simple and short. This list is very helpful, and Thank You!

  • SilasCo

    Chopin’s etudes are not easy piano pieces. JUST THAT

  • Late O’Day

    “Music Box Dancer” by Frank Mills? Lotsa flourish and repetition make it sound more complex than it actually is. Not my cup of tea, but it was wildly popular.

  • Denzell

    Awesome even for a misodoctakleidist such as I.

  • astraya

    MPW 102 – I read somewhere sometime that “Astraya” was a pen-name of Aphra Behn, widely considered as the first female novelist. I noted that because a) it sounds like “Australia” and b) she was a contemporary of Henry Purcell, and the choirs I sing in in Sydney sing a lot of his music. When I joined the List Universe I needed a username and chose that mainly for reason a).
    Koreans have a letter half-way between our “r” and “l”. Different Koreans pronounce our “r” and “l” with different degrees of ability. I noticed one student pronouncing “l” quite well, but doing much worse on “r”. My head teacher, on the other hand, can hardly pronounce “l”, and makes “lunch” sound like “raunch” and “learning” sound like “running”.

    Idreno 56 – your description of the Beethoven played like that made me think of the Schubert Impromptu in Gb major. The first time I heard it, the pianist played it super-slow, each quaver individually. I found out later that it was meant to be much faster, with the quavers blurring into a shimmer.

    SilasCo 121 – The only part of Chopin’s Etudes that might classify as easy is the first section of op 10 no 3. Pity that there’s that middle part.

    To someone who wanted his/her children to learn certain pieces: the bane of my previous career as a piano teacher was parents who wanted their children to learn (insert name of piece here). The pieces they wanted to play were invariably too difficult for their children at that stage of their learning.

  • JwJwBean

    It was me who wanted the piano teacher to learn them. And yes they are WAY beyond my children’s abilities. It was a little private joke as I have told the teacher about the lists here and hoped he was lurking about. ;)

  • JwJwBean

    * To teach them not learn them.

  • Bass

    In A Landscape is just beautiful. I’ll have to look up more of John Cage.

  • carpe_noctem

    Hey, I’m back, thanks for publishing my list Jamie, and thanks to everyone with something nice to say about it!

  • Idreno

    Since this is the most recent musical list, I’d like to take a moment to hopefully clarify something that is often needlessly brought up for discussion on many of the past musical lists: the disctintions of using the term “Classical.”

    I’ll try to put it as simply as possible. When we speak of the major musical epochs, the chronological stylistic movements of Western Music through a historical viewpoint, we make reference to the Pre-Baroque/Renaissance period, the Baroque/Rococo period, the Classical period (approx. 1750-1800), the Romantic Period, and then 20th century music. This serves as a very general and basic categorization of similarities in compositional style between contemporaries. It’s like a musical version of the way scientists categorize species – Animals, Plants, Fungi, Monera, etc. – where each entry then breaks up into smaller, more specific groupings. Because we are dealing with history and the passage of time and different composers lifestimes overlap others and certainly overlap the various primary musical periods, these periods describe the main stylistic and cultural philosophies that contemporary composers of each time shared. So, it goes on to say that the Classical period of Western Music coincides with the historical Age of Enlightenment and the Romantic period coincides with the Romantic movement in both literature and art.

    When we use the term “Classical Music” – this merely functions as a cultural device to incorporate all Western Music (from the earliest examples of Gregorian chant in the early Medieval period through all the just-describe musical epochs up to today with modern composers whose utilize basic, fundamental elements of what defines Western Classical music) – of course, now in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, many composers, despite their individual musical backgrounds and developments which may or may not be founding in Western Classical Music, have attempted and succeeded in crossing many musical boundaries by combining different elements from various musical styles (ie. Jazz, Ethno-music, Rock, etc.). But ultimately, the basic term “Classical Music” is used to encompass and easily categorize all of Western Music and differentiate it from other musical forms.

    So, it is correct to call Wagner or Vivaldi or Shostakovich “Classical composers” even though none of them lived during the “Classical period.” Mozart, Salieri and Haydn are the most well-known “classical composers” of the “Classical period” thus making them “Classical composers” – just like we say that “Berlioz, Verdi, and Mahler were “Romantic composers” – it all depends on the context, but these terms are rarely as confusing to musicians as they seem to be in forums such as this which reach many non-musicians and music-lovers. I hope this helps many of the readers who are often confused by the “Classical Music Lists” featured on this website.

    Lastly, with regards to ‘easy’ but ‘impressive’ piano pieces for amateur pianists – I would avoid composers like Joplin and Chopin because one really needs to have some level of technique to accommodate many of difficulties present – however, many composers like Robert Schumann and Bela Bartok wrote “Albums for the Young” which, while are not necessarily the most identifiable or popular pieces of music, they could serve as a helpful stepping stone for many amateurs to help them build up technique in preparation of more complex compositions. It’s worth looking into!

  • Vardas

    Thanks for this list, it provided me with some great moments

  • Clarkekentyboy

    Thanks for giving me the name of #6. I’ve thought it was a beautiful piece, and you’re right, I only heard it through advertising. Shows how powerful advertising really is. I’m forever e-mailing companies asking them what music they used in their adverts.

  • nelson

    moonlight sonat is amazing like the list i crie every time i listen tinkle tinkle makes me happy lol only MAN to create such beatiful music NOT women

  • -GZ-

    I can’t really agree with this list at all. Most of the classical pieces listed here aren’t that easy – and most of all, they are everything but beautiful. I’m not professional pianist or anything, but I’ve been playing for over 15 years now and I find most of the pieces utterly boring and ugly even. But hey, maybe it’s just a matter of taste, as so many of you seems to agree.

    I agree with Moonlight sonata (of course, Beethoven is my all time favorite) and two of the movie pieces, they are (quite) simple but very melodic and beatiful.

    But I’m glad so many of you still appreciate piano music and music itself, thanks for your list anyways.

  • Spanner in the works

    Nice exposition at 129, Idreno.

    They tied me to the piano as a kid. I just couldn’t get the hang of sight-reading though. It’s my one and only dyslexia, but a killer (although in those days I was more into Twelfth Street Rag by choice). Once I’d eventually drilled the music into the memory buds of my finger-tips, partly by aural trial-and-error, I never needed its sheet music again, and used to win music festival prizes, both solo and ensemble (one I particularly recall was a Haydn flute trio). People would come to our home, keep demanding more until I reached the end of my repertoire, then couldn’t understand why there was no more. I’d sail through exams up to the sight-reading, then just scrape through or flunk. So I gave up as soon as the decision was mine. Besides, our house was so cold I was playing with painful, numbed fingers in winter. I prefer to give others pleasure doing what I’m good at, while passively enjoying others’ competence at music, sports, and so on. But it left me with an abiding love and understanding of the principles of music. No one plays CDs better than I do. I don’t have speakers on the pc, but I do have several of the 10 pieces here, if by different interpreters.

    It occurs to me however that simple piano pieces can also make very good introductions to listening enjoyment. I was surprised how many had stuck with me from childrens’ radio programmes, etc., once I got sophisticated enough to recognise them. Both in that respect and also for performance, I entirely agree with Idreno about Schumann and Schubert, who fill up a good deal of my piano-disc shelf space. Whoever can resist ‘Träumerei’ from ‘Scenes from Childhood’ by Schumann can probably resist anything in classical music. Haydn might also be great, but his wildest fun is his breakneck-speed stuff, and that’s no way simple to play.

    There’s plenty of fine direct and indirect useage of classical music in the cinema. Where would Louis Malle’s ‘Les Amants’ have stood without the heart-wrenching sweep of Brahms’s string sextet Op. 18? (‘Aimez-vous Brahms?’ 3 years later on too: what is it about Johannes der wunderbar for the French cinema? Most of their composers hated him!) Rachmaninov in ‘Brief Encounter’. Eisenstein and Prokoviev. Glass for ‘The Hours’, etc. But I bring this up because it reminds me of two truly memorable moments in fairly recent films that kind of fill the bill we’re talking here.
    The first is the ‘Chopsticks’ duet on the ‘foot piano’ in the toyshop with Tom Hanks in ‘Big’, a smashing moment in a delightful and unpretentious film.
    The second is one tear-wringer from the very watchable but rather less perfect work, ‘Bicentennial Man’. The intricately anthropoid family home-care robot (Robin Williams) is experiencing more and more Pinocchio-type yearnings to become human and experience life through feelings. He is sitting at the piano with the daughter of the family, now an accomplished player, and begins to plonk the opening solo notes of Berceuse (Lullaby) from Fauré’s Dolly suite rather woodenly. She joins in at the duet entry and gradually the whole piece melts into its ravishing, gentle modulations and surprising, luminous harmonies, symbolical of the transformation from mechanical robot to sensitive, emotional, vulnerable flesh and blood. Anyone who can resist that could resist heaven!

    If I seem a big, soft, sentimental nellie after that, wait for my take on Anton Webern’s Five Movements for String Quartet Op.5 in the Top 10 Most Difficult Modern Music Compositions. (I know somebody else has already got Cage booked.)

    Seriously, as a follow up, 10 Pieces to Start You Listening to Classical Music might be fun, with a good historical sweep covering from at least Bach to Glass. Then Jazz? Then Rock?

  • Momopuff

    Although Moonlight Sonata is considered “easy” and sure enough, there are barely any notes, I really wouldn’t consider it the easiest. Perhaps for a male it’d be easier since they have larger fingers and hands. But the song goes higher into octaves so many times and is a pain to play on your pinky. Plus, there is no really significant pattern that it’s quite troublesome to memorize. -______- That’s why Moonlight Sonata is actually on a higher audition level for the Guild Auditions. (And of which I totally killed during my audition)

  • Momopuff

    And…what about Ballade Pour Adeline by Senneville? I guess it’s more of a modern piece but it does sound good….and it’s SUPER simple.

  • tammy

    nice list but i personally think pavene by sviatoslav richter beats number 2

  • tammy
  • Cliff

    etude ‘revoultionary’ is in no way simple believe me it requires extensive use of sustain pedals

  • bigski

    Fur Elise and Moonlite Sonata aint nothing but kick ass ! Thats coming from an certified southern cracker.

  • Leosmane

    One day I too will make beautiful music such as this.

    KNOW MY NAME!!!

  • juleigh

    I used to be able to play Music Box Dancer when I was a kid, also the theme song from Cheers and a little bit of Maple Leaf Rag, which is a lot of fun, but Scott Joplin’s music can be difficult to play correctly. True his tunes have a “pattern” to them and there are repetitions, but the rhythm can be tricky and like, for me, my hands barely stretch an octave.
    A piece I absolutely love and wish I had the sheet music for is Mozart’s Piano Sonata in C, Movement One.
    I’m not a big fan of Debussy, in fact I dislike Clair de Lune, but he did a piece called (I think) Colliwogs Cakewalk.
    After seeing the movie Interview with the Vampire, every time I hear Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata I think of Tom Cruise’s rotting hands on the keyboard. Creepy song.
    Besides Mozart, I also like J. S. Bach and Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desire is a not so difficult but very pretty piece to learn. I’m working on that one.

  • juleigh

    I forgot to add that Debussy’s Colliwogs Cakewalk song is really cool but kind of obscure. Maybe that’s not what it’s called (Polliwog? Colliwog?) I don’t know. I do remember the Cakewalk part of the title, though.

  • astraya

    Golliwog.

  • methehuman

    Beautiful list, I’ve been looking for some beautiful songs to learn to get back to playing the piano- this list has definetely helped.
    Though I don’t have much hope for the “ease” of them- I struggled a bit with Moonlight Sonata! Mind you I’ve got midget hands.
    Still. Beautiful, gorgeous list, and that Comptine D’un Autre ete, L’Apres-midi is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve heard in a long time.

  • AM

    wow…all of these are incredibly easy…haha i’m 16 and i’ve been able to play these for a couple of years now.

  • AP

    Great list,though I do disagree with the words “easy piano pieces”. Some of those do require years of playing to master.Otherwise great list

  • maxi297

    uummff… can’t say all of these are easy piano!

  • Steve T.

    The biggest sensation today as an organist is a young and flamboyant man, Cameron Carpenter. Some are calling him the next Virgil Fox, and having heard him in person I can agree, with all the pluses and minuses that involves.

    His new CD, “Revolutionary,” features the Chopin “Revolutionary” Etude Op. 10 #12 that heads this list. Carpenter plays the right-hand melodies on the manuals with his hands, and the thundering left-hand scale-arpeggio figurations on the pedalboard.

    Let me emphasize this. He plays all that furious passagework WITH. HIS. FEET!!!

    A bonus DVD is included with a few video tracks, so you can watch him making the recording. Jawdropping.

  • stephen101

    wonderful pieces. if your a fan of up to date piano playing you all will also love yiruma, kiss the rain, and edward cullen, river flow in you, also beautiful pieces and you dont need alot of skill to master them.

  • Ardalan

    Very nice list, but I think at least one piece from Mozart should be in it. How about “Alla Turca”? It’s fascinating, and it’s much easier than Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude. Also Mozart’s Sonata No 16 (K545), all three movements are really beautiful, and easy to play.

  • Willravel

    It took me about a week to learn Fur Elise, and that was before I was 8 years old. It took me 5 months to master Liszt’s Etude at 15, after playing piano for at least 10 years. While I love the piece and believe it should be on any top 10 piano list one can come up with, I’ve never thought of it as ‘easy’ by any stretch. Yes, it’s based on some very simple arpeggios, but of course it’s based on a simple foundation; it’s an etude, essentially a piano lesson via Liszt himself. I can’t imagine a piano lesson by maestro Liszt himself would be anything but at least a moderate challenge.

    Regardless, anyone that is learning piano should, when ready, at least attempt to learn the piece. For me it was a stepping stone to more difficult pieces like Gaspard Le Nuit. Or something by Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (the devil).

  • Willravel

    Typo back there. It was Chopin, not Liszt.

  • cunbab92

    OMG…these are all sightreads…
    even if you play them well they dont sound good at all
    Im only 16, but I can really tell you the ones on the list dont need any skill. The ones I mention are impressive yet pretty easy:

    Hungarian Rhapsody 2 – liszt
    La Campanella – Liszt
    Waldestein Sonata – Beethoven
    Ballad 1 – Chopin
    Scherzo 1 or 2 – Chopin
    Prelude in G minor – Rachmaninoff
    Any of the preludes and fugues – Shostakovich
    Grand Galop Chromatique – Liszt
    Grande Polonaise Brillante – Chopin

    Those were starters…Im sure most of you can find other easy yet flashy pieces

  • Robert

    cunbab92, are you joking?? the pieces that you’re listing are extremely difficult works. I can’t see why anyone would think that them to be “easy”…. wow…that’s just a ridiculous list.

  • Kevin

    Some of the songs on the list, ie: Moonlight Sonata, (sorry to all Beethoven worshipers) are easy, yes, impressive? To me, impressive is something everyone can hum to, or at least knows the melody clearly. Slow and dreary should not be considered ‘great.’

    To cunbab92: Yes, your list is a tad more difficult, and I am not quite there yet, but I can tell everyone here that those songs are much greater.

    La Campanella is La Legend.

  • GizmoQuack

    cunbab92 was probably just kidding. right?

  • Requiem

    Moonlight Sonata is easy to play, yes. But anybody can bang out notes. It takes time and practice to play with emotion and the appropriate dynamics.

    La Campanella, LOL. Liszt and easy don’t go in the same sentence.

    Revolutionary Etude is not easy. I think Valse(s) are ok.

  • Killya

    no 2. Comptine une autre été is not the good version of the song, the normal version is 2 times the same but the second time in a higher octave with a little other ending than the first time, this is a mix
    for the rest, awesome line-up!

  • pianokid

    piano is awesome even when u are 10 years old like me

    love,
    pianokid

  • Tyler

    I really think you should include Prelude by Bach to this list. Prelude is very easy to play and when played right can be outright beautiful. Even though it doesn’t sound as complex, people always tell me how beautiful it sounds, and Im not a skilled pianist myself.

  • paco

    woooow

    my two favorites

    yann tiersen and debussy

  • Evan

    Thank you for this fabulous list. I’m a violin player of 14 years and recently picked up the piano. I know I had heard some of these songs before, but wasn’t sure what they were called.

    And number 2 is great

  • Tyler

    I like CUM.

  • Of all the ways of wasting an afternoon, this is the least wasteful.

  • Here here!

  • Excellent blog. The first few bars of the moonlight sonata are easily achievable for practivally anyone – although it gets harder quite quickly. I love the video clip of the 7yr old playing twinkle twinkle little star. If only I could play like that when I was 7 !! Excellent stuff!!

  • Evan

    I haven’t read all the comments here, but I think one piece that I would have liked to see on your list is from Chopin… Op.28 No.4. It’s an amazingly simple piece, but it’s got really great emotion, in my humble opinion.

  • Alanna

    After discovering #2 I can now play it and it is so awesome!

  • ChrisMac

    “My Immortal” by Evanesence I learned in like 10 minutes and that’s awesome – look for a tutorial on YouTube.

    Same with “Colorblind” by Counting Crows.

  • Maak

    Great list, especially 1 and 2, u could also add Chopin’s preludes 4 and 6.

  • microvablecookies

    for Clair de Lune by Debussy, do you need to be at a certain grade to be able to pull this one off? and also for Comptine D’un Autre été, L’Après-midi by Yann Tiersen, i can play this flawlessly, although i do think that it is missing something. im not sure if it is just my lack of emotion in the piece or am i just missing the susatain pedal? if so when should you use the sustain pedal in this piece?

  • microvablecookies

    oh also in the video for Comptine D’un Autre été, L’Après-midi by Yann Tiersen he is playing the right hand like two octaves down but this doesn’t seem right to me :s help anyone?

  • Dario

    Excellent list – it was great help to get started.
    I would also recommend Le Moulin and La Dispute from Yann Tiersen. Really beautiful pieces, and I think they are more forgiving than Comptine d’une Autre Ete if your technique is not very good. You can find online tutorials for all three.

  • Ashley

    Any other name by thomas newman, is another one that if played well it sounds excellent but isn’t incredibly difficult to play. Maybe you should have included that one aswell. Nevertheless it’s a good list of songs :)

  • Cait

    I really disagree with the piece from Amelie… I think it’s incredibly difficult to play… not from the complexity of the notes, but the lightness of the piece is not something an amateur would tend to be able to achieve.

  • joanna

    anyone looking for song #2 I found this site with the sheet mucis for free http://music.glowingpixel.com/ :)

  • chris

    Avril 14th (by Aphex Twin) is another easy one that’s very good.

  • betsy

    None of these are easy to play well with correct technical skill, especially Claire de Lune.

  • chickenman

    Lol i can play the last one. Moonlight sonata. Its not as hard as it looks. And no its not because its the easy version. I dont do easy versions

  • chickenman

    And i can do fur elise. the shortened version. SHORTENED NOT EASY VERSION. SHORTENDED VERSION.

  • That person…

    Comptine D’un Autre été, L’Après-midi
    I will admit, I am one of the people that it metions that will be driven to tears by this peice. I thought I should learn so I went and well… learned it. It sounds so great and is a perfect song. Now I’m going to try a tackle “The Hearts Asks For Pleasure First”. Wish me luck! :)

  • katia12

    Clair De Lune is beautiful.

  • Matt

    Love the list, certainly a laudable starting point for a fun discussion of which pieces give you the most aesthetic bang for the effort-invested buck. Some were old favorites, others never before heard, and some, like “Comptine,” I’d heard and enjoyed but never thought about playing. For that and for and the knowledge and subtle thinking demonstrated here, much thanks.

  • amao

    all the pieces are too easy even a one year-old baby can play it ok!!!!

  • MattinPa

    I was looking through the comments and a couple people said they’d heard the “Maple Leaf Rag” was easy. It is, if you mean that you don’t have to be an accomplished player to learn it. Over a million copies of the sheet music for it were sold when it first came out, after all. But for anyone but an expert it will require a good bit of work, like the other pieces here.

  • ?????

    Canon(My Sassy Girl)ver.

  • miyabi

    aww…. i love the 2nd piece….

    i never knew that there could be such a touching music expressed through piano….

    i’ll never regret visiting this site… ^_^

  • Annabel:]

    Ive just found this list and some of the songs are so beautiful :)

    Can anyone help me find some more songs like this. Preferably all piano without being “too classical”

    I really like river flows in you and other soft piano pieces like that
    Somone please drop me an email

    [email protected]

    I’d love you forever. Thanks :)

  • qwert15789

    lets be a little realistic here….although moonlight sonatas 3rd isnt difficult for me, it still is a very highly advanced piece, with grade 9 out 10. As for the revolutionary etude, i am learning that piece as my etude audition piece for colleges.Overall, it is fairly easy and it is VERY short,but it has a few very difficult sections that no ordinary pianist can play

  • awhite_50

    im not a huge fan of yann tierson but i love nursery rhyme of another summer: the afternoon, great choice. does anyone know where i could find the full sheep music, or at least a good website that has lost of piano pieces

  • Good choices! I know many of them and THERE IS NO WAY THAT CHOPIN 12 IS EASY!!! Heck no.

  • jeff0494

    hey thanks for the list i just started playing the piano and i was looking for easy pieces this helped me out. The beginning of fur elise is pretty easy and How is Ode to Joy not on here that is a very simple piece.Also Starwars soundtrack lol pretty easy

  • Guan

    Largetto – Nocturne Chopin

  • princesstoadstool

    Revolutionary Etude? You sure that’s easy?
    There are many easier Chopin pieces. His prelude in e minor would of been a more appropriate choice than one of his etudes (which are all very hard, by the way)

  • Jason

    “Kiss the Rain” by Yiruma. I’m an American, living in China past few years, and everyone here loves this song (originally from a Korean TV series?). They cry when they hear it, literally. Anyways, I couldn’t believe I had never heard of it. It’s a very sad, but beautiful song. Give it a listen, and not difficult to play either.

  • arthurjermyn

    I think you should have chosen less well-known pieces. If you play something the listener already knows, he/she is bound to compare your performance with that of the great concert pianist whose recording he/she is familiar with. I suggest, for performance purposes, some of the easier Scarlatti sonatas, Bach preludes AND fugues, perhaps some of the Moments Musicaux by Schubert and Martinu’s “Puppets”, for example. All of these sound wonderful if played evenly, articulately and at the right tempo. In conclusion, I don’t think you should play the first movement of Moonliught sonata if you can’t also play the third; it’s wrong first of all for aesthetic reasons, but aslo because people are likely to say derisively “Yes very good, but now let’s here the second and third movements”.

  • xacrest

    is there a reason that ‘ah vous dirai-je maman’ is on the list of post-grade 8 pieces I’m looking at? xP

  • Bucketheadrocks

    I didn’t really enjoy the awkward time staring at the old man on #1

  • Mikaela

    Great list I found some that I liked and would like to play

  • Dylan

    Summer ’78 by Yann Tiersen, one of my favorites

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKn9qW0IABw

  • jingkee

    Great list ! I just started my piano lesson recently and definitely want to try out those in this list. #2 hits me right there, lovely song with lovely illustration.

  • Maruf

    thank you for this fantastic list

  • bucketsbabee

    does anyone know if number 4 was easy to learn/play? I love it so much but i'm a beginer so i don't know whether or not to try it quite yet…

  • I've always wanted to play piano but I guess I am to old just to start learning.

    • Dario

      I'm 38 and started last year. I know I will not be a concert pianist, but I can already play a few pieces (like Comptine d' une autre ete in this list) that sound great, and I absolutely love playing. If you want to be a professional you may be right, but if you want to play for pleasure then you can certainly learn at any age.

  • pianoman11

    I have two comments:
    I think that #2 should be moved to the top of the list for the mere fact that it is more moving than half the pieces while at the sami time is a visually impressive song. The second comment regards a previous comment about Moonlight Sonata. I do not think that the song should speed up because for me the song is like a long flowing river (metaphorically of course) The river, however beautiful and flowing and filled with genious, is not going to speed up at the end of ot’s journey. It will slow if anything just to allow those beholding it to watching it’s splendor as long as possible.

  • just some girl

    The pieces by Yann Tierson and michael Nyman are so beautiful.
    BE YOU TEE FULL
    i cried so hard at that animation. it was lovely. thanks for sharing.

  • Io sono Polacco

    Where is PADEREWSKI – MENUET G-DUR and

    Michal Kleofas Oginski – Polonese a-moll Pozegnanie Ojczyzny

  • Seb

    Great list! Disappointed that Chopins Raindrop prelude wasn't there though…

  • Eddy

    Number 2 always touches me, and indeed all pieces here are beautiful, though I can't tell if they're easy or hard to play (as I can't play the piano despite being a piano lover)

  • Valerie

    Please, do you know where to get the sheet music for #2 ?? I am listening to it for the third time because it is just absolutely beautiful!!

  • Mark

    Yeah, I have no idea what your definition of easy is. Outside of the moonlight sonata, fur elise, and gymnopedie, these are pretty difficult. A chopin etude as easy?

    How about replacing with Chopin’s Raindrop prelude, 2nd movement of Beethoven’s pathetique, bach’s air in g string (piano arrangement). If you want something faster, I think alot of scott joplin is easy but seems rather difficult. Same with mozart.

  • george

    clair de lune isn't that easy

  • bruce

    Clair de lune… on an EASY list?! What godly pianist thinks that is an easy piece? It would easily take twice as long to learn from scratch as Fur Elise…

  • Micheal

    I'd add Maxwell Davies's Farewell To Stromness. Its a simple but emotional piece.

  • dandan

    I find it kind of funny that 3 out of the 5 songs I can play are on that list x)

  • Sam

    I think Glenn Gould rapes the 3rd movement of the Moonlight Sonata (without feeling, too fast, etc.)
    And that is not good, why not choose another pianist, like Kempf?

  • Sasha

    No. 2 was so beautiful~!! It struck a chord in my heart.
    I`m 20 years old now, I guess I`m too old to learn. And, I`m in Russia now, not a lot of good piano tutors. :'( wish i can play no.2.

    >>wrote in new years resolution:learn to play no.2. :)

  • Sasha

    Well, for me, Yiruma – Kiss the rain, is pretty awesome, too. :D

  • John

    So I wanted to say first of all good list. But this might sound like an odd, maybe even impossible request but do you have anything that can be learned easily by ear? I’m afraid I can’t read sheet music and honestly just thinking about learning it makes me not want to play. I love playing piano, I even made my own song but theory just isn’t in the cards for me. I don’t want playing the piano to feel like work if you know what I mean so I’m trying to stay away from the things that discourage me. I play for a bit everyday but mostly making up my own stuff. It’d be nice to play a real song start to finish for once.
    Thanks!

  • John

    Even just something generally repetitive but nice to listen to so I can hop on guitar pro and just memorize the keys hit.

    Thanks again

  • zari

    Just a little notation on Number 3’s “And for added benefit, here’s a video of a 7 year old playing it.”. It is an asian kid. And one of the basic and the eldest web sayings goes: No matter of what you are good at, there’s always an asian kid who is better!

    :))

  • YWD

    Clair de Lune is not necessarily that easy because while the technique isn’t terrible, the mood may be difficult to capture for some players. En Reve by Liszt, for instance, is extremely simple with regards to notes/rhythms, but challenging to play well.

  • Piers

    I would have had Ludovico Einaudi Le Onde (The Waves)

  • thomas

    first should go to the piano life is a song

  • Renan

    Do you know any more pieces like these ones?

  • jamie

    this sucks

    • Anthony

      You suck, this rocks.

    • p0lyph0ny

      ummm…. ok?

  • elric

    This piece has some simple patterns and repetitive hand movements. It must be easy too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq4G3KRAuXc

  • Bellatrix

    I learned Fur Elise when I was eleven and I just love it! I have to say I prefer pop music to classical but being a piano player (and secretly wanting to be better than all my friends), I love playing the classics. Would also recomend the Blue Danube though.

  • Lauren

    Amazing list. Comptine D’un Autre été, L’Après-midi is very beautiful. I found the sheet music, I am going to try to play it ^^ I just wish i could pronounce it xD

  • Mauricio

    You are obviously amateur.

  • Enter your comment here.

  • thank you so much. you have a great taste :)

  • P5ychoRaz

    1 will always = Resident Evil

  • cac

    awsome

  • I am not a pianist, but I do Love Classical music very much and love reading biographies about composers. What I find ironic is the No.1 pick on this list is one that I will never have any doubt about, that being the 1st movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”. But, listen to the 3rd movement of the sonata and how incredibly difficult that is to perform. All I can say to amateur pianists is “Good Luck” trying to perform it !!

  • To Mun. Please read a bit more carefully. This is about PIANO PIECES not SYMPHONIES AND OPERAS…………HOLY SHIT !!!!!!

  • James

    They are nice pieces, but from the ones that I have tried to play, I wouldn’t call any of them “easy”, even Für Elise is more like Intermediate-Upper Intermediate. Don’t know about more modern ones but some nice sources for easier pieces might be Tchaikovsky’s or Schubert’s “Album for the Young”, Bach’s Anna Magdalena Notebook and, well I’m not a fan of Bartok, his “For Children”.

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  • MrDarth94

    I can see only 4 of the videos, because i am in germany.

  • Jack Lammy

    The fact that the kid playing the twinkle twinkle little star piece is only seven means nothing, he’s asain, therefore he recieves an automatic twenty years of age

    • Saarina

      i noe

  • Saarina

    I absolutely LOVE fur elise

  • @ Jack Lammy : Yes, but who composed “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”……….none other than Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Amadeus Mozart. or in shorter terms Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ( b. January 1756 d. December, 1791) and I would bet my life on the fact that Mozart composed it before he was 7 years old himself. After all he could read music just before his 3rd birthday…….

  • Mun

    You should make a part two of this!

  • Tarra

    I was hoping to see Moonlight Sonata at the top of the list. I have only had 3 years of formal piano lessons (2 years when I was child before my family could no longer afford it and 2 semesters of class piano when I was working on a minor in music composition in university). Despite the lack of training on the piano, I was able to teach myself how to play, taping the piece across the wall in front of my electronic piano and practicing every night for several weeks as a way to wind down after work until I had it down pat.

  • peter8172

    I am seeing that a lot of the Comments posted on here are Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata, and I am assuming that in most likelihood its the Adagio 1st Movement that is being referred to. But the “Moonlight” has 3 movements. Listen to the 3rd movement and all I can say to you aspiring pianists is GOOD LUCK trying to perform that movement. Its for the Elite of Piano players

  • M

    I scrolled past #5 really quickly, and I thought she was a cat.

  • old now

    I watched the piano in year 5, i never forgot what a wonderful piece it was. I have been looking for it since then im glad its on here and i got a chance to listen to it agian. the other pieces are wonderful to they just spark the same emotion of the past.

  • petet2112

    Alexander Scriabin’s Etude Op.8, No. 12 and Frederic Chopin’s Polonaise in A Minor Op.53 (JUST KIDDING AND LOL). But if it interests you, go on to You Tube and watch these 2 magnificent pieces performed by none other than Vladimir Horowitz.

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  • Chance Martin

    Wow, I already know The Heart Asks Pleasure First, Moonlight Sonata, and Comptine D’un Autre été, L’Après-midi, which I actually tried out for my schools talent show with. Played it perfectly and still DIDN”T make it in while a RAP ACT DID. That is what is wrong with today’s modern culture.

  • petet2112

    @ Chance Martin. Did you perform the entire Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven, or just the first movement. If you did not perform the 3rd movement of the Moonlight, then that’s where the trouble may lie. Play that, and people will think your from another Galaxy. Only the elite can perform Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”, No.14, OP. 27, 3rd movement correctly. They would have asked you to leave because you’re too good for the so-called Talent Show that you wanted to be in.

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  • mackattack1991

    Clair de Lune? EASY?!!! I must really crap then!

  • Beethoven

    Whatever you say, there is absolutely no way that the Revolutionary Etude should be on this list. I dare say even Mozart’s variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is an inappropriate choice.

    Difficulty is not only about complexity of notes, but in the speed at which they are meant to be played. If I were to rationalise along your lines, I would pick the 3rd movement (Presto) of the Moonlight Sonata – it is only arpeggios and some chords, after all. Recommend it to anyone who has been playing for less than 5 years and you’ll see them struggle immensely.

  • peter8172

    My father was a classically trained pianist who would make performance on an amateur basis. He was quite good and told me that Chopin’s “Minute Waltz” was not a difficult piece to perform. I’m still scratching my head over that one as it sounds very difficult to me

  • Mischief

    There is no way you can honestly prefer Beethoven to Chopin. Listen to Nocturne in Eb Major Op 9. No 2 then tell me who you think is better. i have great respect for Beethoven but he’s not the best in fact much of his music bores me, the 5th Symphony for instance, the only good part about is the 4th movement

  • petet2112

    Though his music is very difficult to perform, but listen to some of the Piano Works of Alexander Scriabin (Russian, 1872-1915). Not only was his music insanely difficult to perform, its also the way in which he died……….Mentally Insane. Vladimir Horowitz knew him when Horowitz was he was in his youth.

  • Amy

    I am a 13 year old grade 5 piano student. I have very small hands compared to other people my age, my hand span being only 17cm (the distance between your thumb and pinkie when stretched out as far as possible) so when I play my piano pieces I find if there are any stretches past an octave I have to alter the notes.
    I am playing Gymnopédie No.1 at the moment for my grade 5 piano exam and what I found is if you cant reach some of the chords in the left hand change it so the top note of the chord is played in the right hand.
    Today I had a go at playing Comptine D’un Autre été, L’Après-midi. Even though the left hand stretch is only an octave in this piece I found my left hand getting too tired after just the first 4 bars. What I did was I cut out the low e and d and just played the high ones, the b, and the g. This actually sounds quite good and makes the piece a lot easier for people like me who have small hands :)
    Hope this helps!

  • Dan

    Great list and commentary. The Chopin piece; not easy at the right tempo.

  • Illios

    Some of the videos aren’t available anymore.

  • Janusz

    Beautifull Beethoven and Chopin.

  • Dub A

    Etude Op. 10 – 12 is not an easy song. I love it none the less.

  • jtwigz211

    I found this site the other day and it has 10 songs that are more social albeit sing alongs. they are more like popular songs that everyone knows and are fun to play at social events

  • jtwigz211

    I found this other top ten list that is pretty good. It is more aimed at popular songs that are more like sing alongs. but anyways I learned how to play a couple of them and they will most likely prove useful with a younger crowd

    http://SheetMusic211.com/sheet-music/10-great-pia

  • petet2112

    “The Minute Waltz” by Frederic Chopin. And No.1 Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”, which I am sure that everyone has heard the 1st movement, well get to the 3rd movement and even if your an accomplished Pianist, all I can say is GOOD LUCK trying to perform that !!

  • CaliGirl

    im sorry but the michael nyman piece is extremelyy difficult in my opinion it should b taken off the list.

  • Are you kidding me? The Heart Asks for Pleasure First is a hard piano piece. Have you ever tried learning it or watching someone play it? It sounds simple, but it really isn’t, look at the sheet music. Sure the melody is simple, but the accompaniment is tricky. Both hands have a very different pattern, going at the same time, and while it may seem easy while being played slow, playing it the proper speed is very tricky and takes forever to master. I’ve an accomplished pianist and that took me a while to properly learn. I still can’t get it to sound perfect, like the recording you played. Although I do love the song, I just wouldn’t call it easy………

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  • Frannie

    I disagree with this list. Notice how many people with many years of musical training have posted that most of the pieces are not easy. And how many people describing themselves as beginners are inspired to try these pieces after hearing them, believing that they actually are easy. I don’t like to post negative comments, but with a degree in piano and over 15 years experience as a piano teacher, I think the list is misleading and confusing, and not very helpful to people looking for easy piano pieces (and I get these are not supposed to be beginner pieces). Here are some other suggestions: Bach Prelude in C, Chopin Raindrop Prelude, John Field Nocturne no.5 in B flat, Joplin Maple Leaf Rag, Mozart Sonata in C no. 15 1st mvt. and Turkish March, Debussy Golliwog Cakewalk, Rachmaninoff Prelude in C# minor Op. 3. (and yes to Moonlight Sonata and Clair de Lune; not so much Fur Elise, sure it’s easy enough but not that impressive since it’s over-done). I know some of these are considered advanced by traditional grading systems but if studied from the point of view of musical patterns and keyboard topography they can be learned by a motivated adult without years of piano lessons.

  • RANDO101

    Great list, top two songs were very moving yet simple. I came to this site expecting Yann Tiersen’s Comptine D’un Autre été, L’Après-midi and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata to be on the list and they were. Not sure about the 3rd on the list.

  • neil1953

    Let’s see if anyone out there in Listverse land can perform anything by the Russian Composer Alexander Scriabin…………………Yeah, GOOD LUCK !!!!

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