22 Easy Classical Piano Songs

 Easy Classical Piano SongsLooking for easy classical piano songs to play? If so then you’ve come to the right place. Often times parents and piano teachers are looking for simple piano music like this, but Classical piano songs are a great place to also start your musical journey.  Classical music is engaging to play and will keep young pianists motivated and build confidence. I thought it would be a great idea to put together this huge list of Classical piano songs that are perfect for beginning to intermediate pianists.

Here is a complete list of 22 easy classical piano songs to play:

1. Erik Satie – Gympnopedie, No. 1 
2. Schubert – Ave Maria
3. Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata, Movement 1
4. Beethoven – Fur Elise
5. Beethoven – Ode To Joy
6. Chopin – Prelude In E Minor, Op. 28 No. 4
7. Bach – Prelude No. 1, in C Major
8. Debussy – Claire De Lune
9. Bach – Minuet In G Major
10. Bach – Minuet In G Major, BWV Anh 116
11. Chopin – Prelude No. 7 in A Major
12. Schumann – Arabesque Op. 18 in C Major
13. Schumann – Kinderszenen – Movement 1
14. Schumann – Kinderszenen – Movement 7
15. Grieg – Morning Mood from Peer Gynt Op. 13
16. Diabelli – Bagatelle
17. Pachelbel – Canon in D 
18. Bach – Invention No. 1 in C Major
19. Mozart – Kyrie Eleison
20. Scarlatti – Sonata in A Major K. 208
21. Schumann – Album For The Young 
22. Mozart – Nannerl Notebook

Most of these pieces are great tunes that adult, young intermediate and advanced pianists can learn to easily boost their list of repertoire. A digital piano like this one is perfect to learn these on. For the most part, these are easy Classical piano songs that sound hard, but in reality, are quite easy to play after some dedicated work. Next, I’ll dive into each piece, describing what makes them easy, how they are structured, some tips to help you learn them quickly!

1. Erik Satie – Gympnopedie, No. 1

satiegympnopedieno1This is a classic piece by Erik Satie, often heard in TV commercials and popular movies. It’s relatively short at 3 minutes in length, but it can be combined with Gympnopedie No. 2 and No. 3.

The chord structure is simple and LH repeats the same pattern throughout the piece. Pianists with smaller hands can split the upper pitches of those chords between both hands. When studying the piece you should aim to lock the chords down first.

The only other difficulty present is the melody located in the right hand. It starts on an F-sharp, and moves in steady quarter notes. The melody then extends to dotted half notes but maintains it’s simplicity. The piece goes through some interesting chord progressions about 3 minutes in, with several accidentals throughout. It concludes on a D minor chord.

2. Schubert – Ave Maria

Perhaps one of the most beautiful works ever created, Ave Maria is a piece that can be played for any occasion. Whether it’s a wedding, funeral, or church service, this piece always seems to meet the mood.

There are many arrangements of the piece available, but they all start off with the pedal B-flat in the left hand, and the grouped 6 tuplets in the right hand. There is a lot of repetition in the piece, and very few accidentals throughout.

It’s a very tonal piece, and easy to latch your ear onto which harmonies are coming next. The same rhythmic motives will continue throughout the duration of the piece, so a simple analysis of the harmonies will help along the way.

Perhaps the only difficulty in this piece is capturing the musicality of it, especially if you choose to play this with a vocalist some day. I definitely recommend this for an intermediate pianist who has a firm grasp on dynamic contrast and is able to stretch their hands comfortably.

3. Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata, Movement 1

While the final movement of the Moonlight Sonata is quite the project, the first movement is certainly attainable for pianists with a bit of experience. The left hand maintains a constant grouping of triplets that help guide the piece along in C sharp minor.

As the piece progresses it goes through several modulations from C sharp minor to E major, to B minor and finally concluding in C sharp minor.

In the right hand is where the melody is controlled, mostly with the pinky finger taking on that responsibility. The hands don’t shift very much throughout the piece, but the final page features a collection of arpeggios shifting from C sharp minor to A flat major.

4. Beethoven – Fur Elise

Fur Elise is one of the most popular piano pieces ever, widely recognized for the playful intro on E and D sharp and concluding in the A minor cadence. The original edition of the piece is actually quite challenging when the galloping F major section comes into play.

Fur Elise requires quite a bit of finger dexterity and solid rhythmic pulse to pull off. Thankfully there are many simple arrangements of Fur Elise available that use simplified bass lines. For beginner pianists, I recommend using the First Book Of Beethoven which has this piece and many more simplified.

5. Beethoven – Ode To Joy

The central chord structure of this piece is what makes it easy. One can simply follow an I IV I V I pattern in the bass to accompany the melody itself. There are many arrangements of this available that do that, but you really don’t need sheet music to pull this piece off.

The right-hand moves in quarter notes that fall on each beat in a 4/4 pulse. The syncopated rhythm of dotted quarter note followed by an eighth note and half note present the only real challenge early on. The transition section between the A and A’ sections also feature eighth notes but very easily read.

The great thing is that none of the notes extend beyond the five finger position in G major. This leaves the pianist with simple fingering, making the piece quick to learn and memorize.

6. Chopin – Prelude In E Minor, Op. 28 No. 4

This prelude is most famous for its inclusion in the movie “The Notebook”. For someone new to Chopin, it’s one of the easier pieces to get exposure. The melody is controlled entirely in the right hand while the left hand supports with minor triads.

The piece modulates through chromatic shifts in the left hand, sometimes with awkward chords. It’s a very slow piece, and for the most part, the shifts the left-hand makes are subtle at most.

This piece is very tonal, so it’s easy to break it down harmonically making it easy to memorize as well.

7. Bach – Prelude No. 1, in C Major

bachpreludecmajorWhile I find the Bach inventions to be a great introduction to his music, there are a few Preludes out there that work well. Prelude No. 1 in C major is easy to grasp with the ear, and the fingering is so repetitive that it can be applied throughout the entire work. It’s only 2:15 long, so it’s short and can be learned quickly.

What makes this Prelude easy is the that it’s all based on triads being produced in the same repetitive sequence. It’s also Andante con moto, which gives intermediate players a chance to set their hands for the different harmonic changes.

There are a couple of pitches that go below the staff which is never an easy read for pianists. However, once you understand the pattern of the triads and fingering combination, then you can apply it to the entire piece.

8. Debussy – Claire De Lune

Claire de Lune is one of those pieces that every pianist should have under their fingers. However, it’s also more complex than it appears at first glance. It starts off with a collection of thirds that form the main melody.

This is later expanded throughout the piece, repeated with more decorative chords and sixteenth note passages that can be tough to understand fully. An intermediate student with a firm knowledge of basic scales and triads will be able to achieve this with solid fingering.

My suggestion for beginners wanting to perform this piece is to get a hold of a simplified arrangement of this. This arrangement of Claire de Lune by Alfred is what I recommend. They do a fine job of separating the melody out clearly but also leaving enough supporting parts to make it sound just as good as the original.

9. Bach – Minuet In G Major

This is an excellent starter piece for Bach. The melody is in the right hand and the left hand supports that melody with moving dotted half notes. Those notes all move at intervals of a 2nd, so it’s easy to read it from line to line.

Each repeated section of the piece ends in some sort of a cadence, usually V and then moves to the tonic.

While the left hand maintains it’s simplicity in the second half of the piece, the right hand develops more. The pianist plays in the higher register starting on high B, and has to account for a few C-sharp accidentals along the way.

Technically their’s nothing technically difficult about the piece. Pianists only need to have a firm grip on dotted half notes, quarter notes, and eighth notes. It’s written in 3/4, so it has a swinging rhythm to it. The piece is really repetitive, and the same logic can be applied throughout.

10. Bach – Minuet In G Major, BWV Anh 116

I grew up learning this Bach piece and always recommend it to a beginner who can find their way around the instrument. It’s a piece that can be played slow and lyrical, or light and upbeat. The left hand supports the right-hand melody and alternates the arpeggiated sections.

The B section of the piece is written in the relative E minor. In this section, there are a couple of accidentals to watch out for like D-sharp.

Overall the same rhythmic motives appear from start to finish in this piece. The harmonies also consistently alternate between I and V throughout the piece.

11. Chopin – Prelude No. 7 in A Major

If you’re looking for an easy short classical piano piece, then this is the one to go with. It’s less than a minute long, but is a complete piece! The melody follows the same dotted eighth note and sixteenth rhythm.

It reappears throughout the three lines of music. One chord to make note of is in the last line of the piece. To pull that off with ease, students with smaller hands should simply roll it.

12. Schumann – Arabesque Op. 18 in C Major

One of my favorite recordings of the Arabesque Op. 18 in C major can be found here. This piece is based solely on appoggiaturas with the right hand controlling the melody and pacing.

The same rhythmic motive occurs over and over, so once a pianist has a grasp on the timing they can apply it over and over. The basic form of the piece is ABACA, so the pianist will constantly return to the opening passagework verbatim.

In the B section, the piece moves to E minor and then goes into B major briefly before recalling the E minor melody again. After the next A section comes the C section. This is also in A minor and repeats a syncopated pattern throughout. After the final A section, there’s a beautiful tranquil tag added on to the end.

Overall this piece is really easy, with the biggest challenges being the syncopated rhythms.

13.Schumann – Kinderszenen – Movement 1

Movement 1 is a great piece to play on its own, especially for concert encores. This is a playful melody focusing on childhood memories. The movement is a short one-page work, mostly in G major with a quick shift to E minor in the B section.

Most of the piece can be divided into groups of 8 measures, so it’s easy to digest what’s happening and memorize it.

The middle section is in E minor and shifts the melodic material from the right hand into the left hand. Overall the dotted rhythm returns throughout the piece, so once that rhythm is polished the most difficult part is mastered.

Pianists who play this will need to get comfortable taking part of the triplet rhythm in the left hand and transfer that note to the thumb of the right hand. It’s very natural to do this with the thumb, making the piece sound smooth overall.

14. Schumann – Kinderszenen – Movement 7

traumereiThe seventh movement of Schumann’s Kinderszenen is titled Traumerei. The title translates to “Dreaming”, and the piece follows that style very much. It’s written in F major, so there is only the B flat in the key signature to keep in mind.

The musical form is easy to understand and it’s a basic AABA structure. Rhythmically the pianist has to deal with eighth notes, mostly moving at intervals of a 2nd. There are also the occasional grace notes sprinkled into the piece.

Because the piece is written mostly in 6 voices, it does present some challenges, particularly when lining up the rhythms between both hands. There are some large chords in the left hand, but they can easily be rolled and are all tonal.

The piece moves at a slow tempo, so it’s easy to place notes and difficult rhythms as they come up. There are also very few musical markings, so Schumann leaves it up to the artist to apply their own interpretations.

15. Grieg – Morning Mood from Peer Gynt Op. 13

You may recognize this piece from a Bugs Bunny cartoon for it’s relaxed, harp-like melody. It’s really easy to pick up this piece, and there are plenty of easy arrangements of it. My favorite easy arrangement of this Grieg piece is this one.

It’s arranged well with the left hand rolling the C major and A minor chords. Because of the simplified key signature, it’s much easier to digest this as simple triads and inverted ones. There a couple of accidentals further down the page as the harmonies change, but the essence of the original piece is captured.

The right-hand takes care of the moving quarter notes with a few eighth notes added into the middle section. Overall the piece is short at just a minute long, and it’s an easy read.

16. Diabelli – Bagatelle In G Major

bagatellegThis Bagatelle by Diabelli is short, sweet, and a great intro piece for beginning pianists. It’s about 40 seconds long, and it’s written in G major which is simple to read.

The left-hand starts off with quarter notes, playing open thirds starting on G. Those thirds shift to intervals of a 4th on C and G, and then return back for a repeat of the same material.

While that is happening, the right hand is playing a simple melody made up of root position notes. The B section of the piece takes on much of the same style, with seventh chords being introduced in the left hand. Everything cadences on tonic G in both the A and B sections of the piece. Overall this is a short piece, it’s easy to memorize it, and it’s simple enough to learn hands together.

17. Pachelbel – Canon in D

Known as the wedding song, Pachelbel’s Canon in D has been arranged many times over. It’s a piece that is based primarily on descending harmonies along the scale of D major. The right-hand moves along with the left hand at an interval of a third so it’s easy for pianists to keep the same spacing the entire time.

Depending on the pianists’ experience level, some versions keep it simplified with quarter notes, while others move on to eighth notes as the piece develops.

18. Bach Invention No. 1 in C Major

The two-part Inventions are a great way to introduce an intermediate pianist to Bach’s music. C major is a familiar key for most novice pianists. Although this Invention is demanding in some of its fingerwork, the tonal harmonies are easy to latch you ears onto. It is built primarily off a C major scale that shifts between G position as well.

There are minimal flats throughout the piece, it’s short, and the same rhythmic motives occur throughout the piece.

A simple analysis of the piece highlighting the form will make this really easy to understand. Once one technical difficulty is mastered, it can essentially be applied to the rest of the piece.

19. Mozart – Kyrie Eleison

A nod to the Gregorian chants, this Kyrie Eleison by Mozart is a really easy read. This version is written in mostly with half notes and quarter notes. There are only a couple of sharps and flats to worry about, and everything moves collectively at the same pace. There are no polyrhythms for the pianist to worry about, and the harmonies mostly move from root to dominant.

20. Scarlatti – Sonata A major K. 208

This sonata moves at a very slow piece, and also has some neat trill elements in it to make the piece exciting. The left hand, for the most part, moves at a constant pulse with the right hand performing most of the passagework. There are a couple of sequential patterns in the piece that is advanced, but overall with some dedicated work and grouped practice it can all be learned quickly. It’s a bit of a longer piece at four minutes long but considered short for a complete Sonata.

21. Schumann – Album For The Young

This is a collection of short, and simple pieces for young pianists. In all, the entire set is around an hour long! There are many movements in here that I would suggest starting with the first one before moving on.

The collection advances progressively, so as pianists move throughout the book, more technical challenges are required of them. For new pianists, the later pieces will be too hard, but they certainly can work through the first couple of pieces in the book with ease.

I recommend checking out the Henle edition of this work. That version contains this piece along with Kinderszenen which is a great pairing and can be taught side by side. Overall Album For The Young is perfect for students who have a firm grip on pulse, and know eighth notes and how to read sharps and flats.

22. Mozart – Nannerl Notebook

The Nannerl book was a collection of pieces mostly composed by Mozart’s father. Leopold. Wolfgang also has some composition credits in this book too. It’s actually an excellent source of easy classical piano pieces to get started with.

There are 64 pieces in this book, but Wolfgang is credited with at least 12 of these. Many of those 12 pieces contain several Minuets and other simple pieces. Ones to keep an eye on in this book are the Minuet in F major and the Andante in C. Both of these pieces are short in length and are some of Mozart’s first compositions.

Joshua Ross

Hello & thanks for stopping by! I'm a professional concert pianist and piano instructor. In the United States, I've given successful performances in several places including New York, Florida, Connecticut, & New Jersey, I have also performed internationally in Italy and made my Carnegie Hall debut in 2014. I enjoy blogging about the piano, the art of performance, general music, current events and the latest in music production.

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