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#2312254 - 08/07/14 05:44 AM Top 3 first pieces
johan d Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/14
Posts: 148
Loc: Belgium
What's the top 3 of classical pieces that are first learned by students? I suppose they are the most easiest to start with as a beginning pianists.


Edited by johan d (08/07/14 05:45 AM)

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#2312256 - 08/07/14 06:04 AM Re: Top 3 first pieces [Re: johan d]
wimpiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1548
Loc: The Netherlands
I suppose most people with a teacher don't really start with a piece..

That said, I don't think there is a top 3 of classical pieces learned first.

Lots of people get in way over their head (such as the guy which wanted to tackle Schuberts "The wandererer" as first piece, a piece which Schubert himself couldn't play).

The Albums for the young / for children and so on contain good pieces to start with but almost all of these require for a student to have a solid basis.
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#2312267 - 08/07/14 06:51 AM Re: Top 3 first pieces [Re: johan d]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1735
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: johan d
What's the top 3 of classical pieces that are first learned by students? I suppose they are the most easiest to start with as a beginning pianists.


I don't count the early pieces I began with as they are all quite forgettable. But after four or five months I was looking for challenging and melodic works and like many others before me fell for these little popular gems:

Beethoven - Fur Elise (theme only)
Bach - Minuet No 114
Bach - Prelude in C

The Prelude in C is not a beginner piece but it was the easiest of the three for me to get to sound musical and record (I never mastered the first two).
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#2312271 - 08/07/14 07:02 AM Re: Top 3 first pieces [Re: johan d]
Allard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 342
Loc: Netherlands
There's the Ode to Joy, a theme used by Beethoven. It's the first piece in Alfred's and uses only five notes, playable without moving your hand.

Minuet in G Major from Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach is simple if you leave out the ornamentations.
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#2312282 - 08/07/14 07:28 AM Re: Top 3 first pieces [Re: Allard]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 876
Loc: Lewes DE
I just finished Minuet in G Major (adapted version). Very nice piece, easily recognizable, not too hard to master...
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#2312289 - 08/07/14 07:44 AM Re: Top 3 first pieces [Re: johan d]
wimpiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1548
Loc: The Netherlands
The Minuet in G (BWV 114) is indeed very doable.. Although it is in the notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach it's written by Christian Petzold. BWV 115 is interesting as well.
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#2312291 - 08/07/14 07:51 AM Re: Top 3 first pieces [Re: johan d]
Bamburg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/13
Posts: 88
BWV 114 was my first major one. After that was an extremely simplified version of Franz Schubert's Ave Maria and then was Canon in D by Pachelbel.

I would imagine it's quite a bit different from person to person.

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#2312292 - 08/07/14 07:51 AM Re: Top 3 first pieces [Re: johan d]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
I have a book of early Mozart minuets, given to me by an amateur pianist friend who heard me play [ETA: more like "peck my way through"] the Bach prelude in C by ear one day when I was six or so. I'd had a few months of Suzuki lessons by that point, from a teacher who, in hindsight, had no idea what she was doing. Those little Mozart pieces inspired me to want to actually learn to read music, though. So when I was sent to solfège at eight, I had something specific to look forward to. Unfortunately, my piano teacher refused to let me play Mozart when I got to him at nine, probably because the clueless Suzuki teacher and my own clueless noodling in the interim between teachers had saddled me with a lot of bad habits he needed to correct first. We never saw eye to eye. I thought he was actively trying to punish me by denying me Mozart, and he thought I had little or no potential as a pianist. I quit less then six months in, then went to boarding school and was taught to play the trumpet instead of the piano.

When I resumed lessons at 15, I blew through some method books (Joy of First Year Piano, Mikrokosmos I and II, selections from Russian Piano School band I), and when we moved on to pieces, the first one I learned was, in fact, a Mozart minuet. I ended up playing two of them, plus one of the Little Preludes from J.S. Bach's notebook for Wilhelm Friedmann, for my exam that year. And then came another pianoless gap in my life, this time for 12 years.

So the Mozart minuets were my first pieces. But by the time I was playing those, I was anything but a blank slate. By sheer coincidence, by the way, the first piece my current teacher assigned when I started with her in September 2012 also happened to be a Mozart minuet, which turned out to also be included in the little book I'd received at six smile. The other was a Haydn minuet that I still play occasionally, and which I also once submitted to one of the recitals here.
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#2312859 - 08/08/14 09:13 AM Re: Top 3 first pieces [Re: johan d]
Marinelife Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/22/14
Posts: 64
Loc: DC/Maryland
From the Notebook for Anna Magdalena, BWV 114 and 115, yes. BWV 132 has a similar feel to 115 and is even more lovely. You will also hear 116 and 132 very often (I think 116 is nicer.)

Beethoven has some lively dances and folk songs; I like the Russian Folk Song in A minor.

You will also hear a ton of Clementi, Op. 36, no. 1 (first movement is the most famous, second is the prettiest) and Schumann's Happy Farmer (First Loss is prettier).

I agree with wimpiano: you should have technique first and famous pieces after. Clementi Op. 36 no. 1 movement 1 is a good example; it must be perfectly relaxed, and it is easy to rush.

Enjoy!

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#2313019 - 08/08/14 03:02 PM Re: Top 3 first pieces [Re: johan d]
Purkoy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/13/14
Posts: 76
Loc: United Kingdom
When I started, I could hardly wait to try what might be called the big warhorses, things I was familiar with over the years as a music listener, and thought there might be so much boring stuff to have to plough through first. One of the first surprises, as a novice, was just how much agreeable and charming stuff there was to play, that I'd never heard before, by composers I'd never heard of. The Burgmuller Op100 pieces, for instance. It's quite exciting, then, to realise that there's a whole new world of pieces to explore and enjoy.

My first major (for me) piece was also the BWV115, which I then discovered was Petzold, not Bach, but if he considered it good enough for his wife, then it was good enough for me! Then the BWV114 followed, and the BWV846 Prelude in C, which looked harder than it was (well, to muddle through!), though that might just reflect the fact that I'm beginning to pick up patterns of broken chords as I gain experience.

I have found the Albums for the Young (Schumann, Tchaikovsky) deceptively titled, though.
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#2313026 - 08/08/14 03:16 PM Re: Top 3 first pieces [Re: johan d]
wimpiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1548
Loc: The Netherlands
@Purkoy, I agree that there are some very difficult pieces in the Albums for the Young but hey, Children do grow up eventually wink They're nice albums for a broad audience: From early starters to later intermediates.
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