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Topic Options
#1162108 - 03/12/09 10:28 PM Five or Ten piano songs every pianist must know?
mmikle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Houston, TX
What are the 5 - 10 songs every pianist must know. PLEASE DONT SEND YOUR TOP 10 FAV and PLEASE DONT SEND EXTREMELY HARD STUFF that few pianists can play. Im guessing songs like entertainer or fur elise are in there? Songs as simple as chopstix? Lets see what type of lists arise..

My five (but keep in mind im new)

Fur Elise
Maple Leaf Rag
Chopin Minute Waltz
I aint mad atcha 2pac

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#1162133 - 03/12/09 11:31 PM Re: Five or Ten piano songs every pianist must know? [Re: mmikle]
derekp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 106
Loc: Chicago Area
I'm assuming that the purpose of this list is stuff that can be readily committed to memory, is familiar enough to non-musicians, and is fun to play at a party if called upon to do so. So:
Brahms Lullaby
The Entertainer (or a simplified arrangement of it)
Happy Birthday
Heart & Soul -- both parts
Various holiday songs (both secular and religious)
TV theme songs: Ballad of Gilligan's Island; Alfred Hitchcock theme (Funeral march of the Marionette); Brady Bunch
Moon River
Something from the 60's, the 70's, and the 80's.

Other than that, having a few licks stored up so that you can improvise something as the need arises.

#1162166 - 03/13/09 02:05 AM Re: Five or Ten piano songs every pianist must know? [Re: derekp]
Wimbwicket Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 76
Loc: Netherlands
i would add moonlight sonata to it smile (mov. 1 afcourse wink )

Edited by Wimbwicket (03/13/09 02:06 AM)
Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.

If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.

Mark Twain

#1162191 - 03/13/09 05:12 AM Re: Five or Ten piano songs every pianist must know? [Re: Wimbwicket]
Euan Morrison Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 1588
Loc: Edinburgh
Its a tough question - what sort of audience are you playing to. If it's a classical audience probably Moonlight Sonata, possibly the Sonata in C by Mozart (k535).

If it's a popularist audience, maybe Billy Joel, ELton John or Bruce Hornsby? Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen (the piano-based section).

#1162201 - 03/13/09 06:37 AM Re: Five or Ten piano songs every pianist must know? [Re: Euan Morrison]
IngridT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Netherlands
Hmmm. I don't think there is really stuff that ever pianist *should* know, but in order to have some kind of repertoire available for different occasions I would say:

One or two well known christmas songs of your own choice
A birthday song
A few well known childrens songs or lullabies
A few popsong classics (indeed, Billy Joel, or Elton John or whatever)
One or 2 'new' popsongs to impress teenagers (so you should refresh them every 6 months or so!)
A few (maybe overplayed) classics (like Fur Elise. or the Canon in D or Prelude in C (Ave maria) or the moonlight sonata)
And of course one or 2 of your own favourite pieces, whatever they may be (maybe different styles, something jazzy, or new age, or less known classical, or some kind of national hymn kind of thing)

With this mix you should be able to impress wahtever public on whatever occasion I guess.


#1162304 - 03/13/09 12:30 PM Re: Five or Ten piano songs every pianist must know? [Re: mmikle]
Devane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 403
Loc: Ireland
Originally Posted By: mmikle

I aint mad atcha 2pac

I like this guy's version

Well you can also play Blackstreet's "Dont leave me" which came out the same year.

Or the original....
Say it to my face! wink

#1162390 - 03/13/09 04:10 PM Re: Five or Ten piano songs every pianist must know? [Re: Devane]
tickler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 391
Loc: Chicagoland
So long as we're talking about amateur pianists, I don't think it's possible to create such a list. No matter whether we call it "pieces that one MUST know", or "pieces that one SHOULD know." Nor whether we put specific pieces on the list, or just general categories.

No two players have the same goals for playing the piano, e.g., one plays to entertain friends and family, the other plays to express their soul.

No two players have the same tastes in music, e.g., one loves classical, the other loves new age.

No two players have the same piano playing skills, e.g., one is better at sight reading, the other at improvising.

Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

#1162408 - 03/13/09 04:43 PM Re: Five or Ten piano songs every pianist must know? [Re: tickler]
storm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 23
Beethoven sonatas:

Hard pieces , but worth "fighting" smile

#1162449 - 03/13/09 06:27 PM Re: Five or Ten piano songs every pianist must know? [Re: storm]
mmikle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Houston, TX
OK how about top five - ten songs that every beginning adult should learn after a year or so....

#1162456 - 03/13/09 06:35 PM Re: Five or Ten piano songs every pianist must know? [Re: mmikle]
jotur Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 6141
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Hm. I've been playing since 1995 (+ 2 years in high school) and the only thing specifically mentioned here that I can play is Happy Birthday laugh

I think I could probably play one Christmas Carol.

The Entertainer was my first PW recital piece, but I can't play it any more - I mean, I could probably read thru the music, but I can't "play" it, you know? I should revisit it.

There *are* things I can just sit down and play, but I'm not sure I think Tuxedo Junction and San Antonio Rose, much less Angeline the Baker, are pieces every adult should know, beginner or not.

I'm not even sure we should all have heard of them!

But it's fun to read other people's lists.


Practice like you are the worst; play like you are the best - anonymous

#1162537 - 03/13/09 11:32 PM Re: Five or Ten piano songs every pianist must know? [Re: jotur]
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1550
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
I think it's a good idea to have a variety. I think Autumn Leaves or Moon River would be a good standard. Then maybe an Elton John or Billy Joel song, or even the piano portion of Layla. Happy Birthday is a great idea, plus a Christmas carol or two. Then something classical--Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring is a recognizable piece that isn't Pachelbel.

Oddly, I don't play any of these! I have a repertoire of four memorized pieces, but maybe I should add a few of these to it.


Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3


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