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  • Zoe Lim

5 Piano Classics Every Pianist Should Know

a person playing the piano

Are you looking to expand your practice repertoire? Here is a list of 5 piano classic pieces every pianist should know. The list consists of pieces that most intermediate pianists can manage to play, but also not too easy such that there are still learning opportunities when practicing these pieces.

1. “Minuet in G, BWV Ahn. 114” by Johann Sebastian Bach

This piece is a great starting song and introduction to Baroque music. When practicing this piece, you will find yourself learning staccato and legato techniques, which is essential as such skills goes a long way in your musical journey.

2. “Vivace” from Twelve Easy Pieces by Franz Joseph Haydn

This piece will suit a student who is already on the way to having a good technique in terms of speed and agility, and does not mind hard work. Although it is a cheerful and lively piece, precision is needed and the performance needs to be very secure.

3. “Für Elise” by Ludwig van Beethoven

Fur Elise needs no introduction. It is a 'foundational piece' for most pianists and for good reason. It may start off with easy techniques but as you start to learn the entire piece, more advanced playing is needed.

4. “Gymnopédie No. 1” by Erik Satie

This piece is one that has the most emotional connection on this list. The melody may sound simple to the ears at first, but when it comes to playing, slow and precise practice is required with especially, the left hand.

5. “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin

"The Entertainer" is sub-titled "A Rag Time Two Step", which was a form of dance popular until about 1911, and a style which was common among rags written at the time. Its structure is: Intro–AA–BB–A–CC–Intro2–DD.

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