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15 Famous classical piano songs – tailored for your skill level

Best classical piano songs

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced pianist, classical music offers a wide range of pieces that can challenge and inspire you. That’s why we’ve gathered a list of the best classical music pieces for your skill level, so you can continue to enjoy your piano journey.

Whether you’re looking to improve your skills, find new inspiration, or simply enjoy some beautiful music, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s begin!

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Beginner classical piano songs

Here are four online classical piano lessons for beginners, all part of Skoove’s new Beginner Classical Songs course:

1.“Minuet” by Johann Sebastian Bach

“Minuet” by Johann Sebastian Bach is one among many easy piano songs which are classic , with a nice and simple melody that provides a good introduction to playing classical music in the key of G major. This lesson focuses on passing a single melody back-and-forth between both hands.

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  :bulb:Please note that the lesson is available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • Pay attention to the hand and finger positioning to ensure that you are playing the piano keys correctly and comfortably. You will find fingering suggestions in the Skoove lesson, which can help you avoid injuries or bad practicing habits.
  • Start slow. Don’t rush, take your time with the piece and focus on playing it correctly before increasing the tempo.
  • As with every piece you practice, listen to recordings of the piece to get a sense of the phrasing and interpretation.

2.“Habanera” by Georges Bizet

This arrangement from Bizet’s 1875 opera “Carmen” is similar to the previous lesson, where you play a single melody with both hands. However, it has the added challenge of the melody being fairly chromatic, helping you improve your sight-reading skills when it comes to accidentals.

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   :bulb:Please note that the lesson is available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • Pay attention to the dynamics of the piece. The Habanera is a passionate and dramatic piece, so it’s important to play with feeling and expression.
  • Practice the syncopated rhythm of the Habanera. This rhythm and time signature is characteristic of the piece and will give it its distinctive feel.
  • Practice playing the Habanera at different tempos. The piece can be played slowly and expressively or quickly and with a lot of energy.

3.“The Spring” classic piece by Antonio Vivaldi

Vivaldi’s “The Spring” is part of his famous multi-movement work, “The four seasons”. This arrangement introduces yet another challenge, helping you get used to playing with both hands simultaneously. In other words, it consists of melody and accompaniment.

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  :bulb:Please note that the lesson is available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • Start by familiarizing yourself with the score. Take note of the melody, and rhythm to get a sense of the overall arc of the song.
  • Practice each melody and accompaniment separately. This will help you become comfortable with the tune and get a sense of how both parts fit together.
  • Practice playing the piece at different tempos. Vivaldi’s The Spring is a lively and upbeat piece, but the tempo can be adjusted to suit different interpretations.

4.“Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss

Undoubtedly one of the most well-known waltzes of all time, Johann Strausses’ “Blue Danube” is a great song to practice rhythm and synchrony between left and right hands.

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  :bulb:Please note that the lesson is available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • Familiarize yourself with the waltz. Take note of the tempo, key signature, and any specific markings or instructions in the score.
  • Practice the right-hand melody. The melody is a series of flowing phrases that often move across the keyboard. It is important to keep the phrasing smooth and legato.
  • Once you feel comfortable with the left and right hand parts separately, begin practicing them together. Pay attention to the balance between the two parts, and make sure that the melody is always audible.
  • Finally, practice playing with the correct tempo. The Blue Danube Waltz should be played at a moderate tempo, not too slow or too fast.

As always, practice regularly and be patient with yourself. With time and dedication, you’ll be able to play classical piano in no time!

Intermediate classical piano songs

Here are four intermediate-level classic piano pieces that will challenge and improve your skills, all part of Skoove’s Intermediate Songs course:

5.“Rondo Alla Turca” by W. A. Mozart

“Rondo Alla Turca”, also known as “Turkish Rondo,” is a piano piece composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is the third and final movement of his Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331. The piece is known for its lively and energetic melody in the Turkish style, which was popular in Europe at the time of its composition.

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:bulb:Please note that the lesson is also available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • Practice each melodic phrase separately, making sure to play cleanly and at a steady tempo.
  • Use the sustain pedal sparingly and only when it enhances the music.
  • Record yourself and listen to the playback to identify any areas that need improvement.
  • Have fun and enjoy playing one of Mozart’s most famous works!

6.“In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg

“In the Hall of the Mountain King” is a dramatic and powerful piece of music composed by Edvard Grieg as part of his incidental music for the play “Peer Gynt.” It is characterized by its fast-paced, repeating motifs and building dynamics, creating a sense of tension and climax. The piece is often associated with its eerie and otherworldly atmosphere.

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:bulb:Please note that the lesson is also available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • Pay attention to the dynamics, as the piece starts out soft and gradually builds to a climax.
  • Practice the repeating motifs and patterns to ensure they are played accurately and with proper phrasing.
  • Listen to recordings of the piece and pay attention to the use of staccato articulations in the melody.

7.“Liebestraum Nº 3″ by Franz Schubert

The third movement of Schubert’s “Liebestraum” is a solo piano piece, characterized by its joyful and triumphant celebration of love. It features a lively and upbeat melody, virtuosic passages and rich harmonies that give the impression of happiness and exaltation. This movement is often considered as one of the most popular among the three, and also the most recognizable one.

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:bulb:Please note that the lesson is also available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • Work on the phrasing. The phrasing in this movement is very important for creating a flowing and expressive performance.
  • The dynamics in the 3rd movement of Liebestraum are constantly changing. Practice playing the melody at different dynamics, and make sure you can create a smooth transition between them.
  • The accompaniment in this movement is simple but important. Make sure you can play it comfortably and in time with the melody.
  • Take the time to study the score and understand the structure of the piece. Knowing the structure will help you to play the piece with more expression and feeling.
  • Listen to recordings of professional pianists playing the 3rd movement of Liebestraum. This will give you an idea of how the piece should sound and also give you some ideas on how to interpret the music.
  • Consistent practice is the key to mastering this piece. Set aside time each day to practice the melody, accompaniment, and dynamics.

8.“William Tell Overture” classic piece by Gioachino Rossini

The William Tell Overture is a composition by Gioachino Rossini, best known as the theme music for the radio and television shows “The Lone Ranger.” The overture is an energetic and dramatic piece that features a strong and memorable theme, which is often associated with the Swiss folk hero William Tell. The overture is in four parts and finishes with a famous and powerful finale known as the “March of the Swiss Soldiers.”

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:bulb:Please note that the lesson is also available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • This piece contains relatively quick note repetitions on the right hand melody. Pay attention to your body and make sure you’re not adding tension to your hands while playing it.
  • This piece is most exciting at faster tempos, but there’s no rush in playing it fast right away. Make sure you can play the piece at a moderate pace and increasingly change the speed to challenge yourself.
  • Listen to the orchestral version and try to imitate the original instruments with the articulations you apply to each note.

Advanced classical piano songs

Here are four classical piano pieces from Skoove’s Advanced Classic course, which will help you showcase your skills as a pianist, also on a virtual piano:

9.“Nocturne in E-flat major” classic piece by Friedrich Chopin

“Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2” is a solo piano piece composed by Frédéric Chopin. It is a slow and contemplative piece, featuring a beautiful and melodic main theme. It is often played as a standalone piece, but also as a part of Chopin’s set of Nocturnes.

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:bulb:Please note that the lesson is also available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • Practice playing the melody with a soft and legato touch to achieve the smooth, singing quality that is characteristic of Chopin’s nocturnes.
  • Practice the left hand arpeggios and chords separately, paying attention to the cleanliness of the notes and the smoothness of the transitions between them.
  • Take time to experiment with different pedal techniques to create the desired effect of blending the notes together.

10.“Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy 

This classical piano piece was composed by Claude Debussy, and it’s the third movement of his “Suite Bergamasque”. The piece is known for its dreamy and atmospheric qualities, featuring a lush and harmonically rich melody. 

It’s a very popular piece in the classical repertoire, and often featured in movie and tv show soundtracks.

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:bulb:Please note that the lesson is also available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • Practice playing the melody with a soft and fluid touch to achieve the dreamy, impressionistic quality that is characteristic of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.”
  • Take note of the frequent use of rubato, or the slight deviation from strict tempo for expressive effect. Experiment with different degrees of rubato to find the interpretation that feels most natural to you.
  • Take note of the use of dissonance and unresolved piano chords in the piece, and experiment with different ways of approaching these harmonic elements to create the desired effect.

11.“Moonlight Sonata” classic piece by Ludwig Van Beethoven

The first movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” is a slow and contemplative movement, featuring a melancholic and evocative melody that is played over a repeating harmonic pattern. 

The movement is known for its emotional expressiveness, and it requires a high level of technical skill and control from the pianist. The movement is considered one of the most challenging and rewarding movements of the entire sonata, and it is essential for advanced pianists to master it.

Learn the song

:bulb:Please note that the lesson is also available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • Pay close attention to the dynamics, particularly the crescendos and diminuendos, and practice creating a gradual increase or decrease in volume to enhance the emotional expressiveness of the piece.
  • Take note of the use of silence and space in the piece, and practice to create a sense of tension and release.

What is neoclassical music?

Neoclassical music is a style that combines musical elements from the classical period, with modernist influences. However, similar to the term classical music, neoclassical music can also take on different meanings in popular culture. 

Strictly speaking, neoclassical music is meant to refer to the works of European composers during the late 19th and early 20th century that followed this approach of reinterpreting classical music era ideas in new ways. However, it may also be used to describe any music that takes these traditional musical forms, techniques, and idioms from the classical period and adds a new and fresh twist to it.

For those who enjoy old classical music, neoclassical music may offer a unique blend of traditional and contemporary sounds that can be both nostalgic and exciting. And for those who are looking for fun classical piano pieces to play, neoclassical compositions can provide a fresh challenge that showcases their skills while offering a playful and enjoyable experience.

Classical vs neoclassical music

The main difference between classical and neoclassical music is that classical music is more focused on the traditional forms, techniques and structures of the past, while neoclassical music is interested in incorporating new and modern elements. You can learn the main differences of classical piano vs pop piano and jazz piano vs classical piano as well.

Best neoclassical songs

Here are four neoclassical piano solo pieces that showcase the style’s blend of classical and modernist influences, all part of Skoove’s new Neoclassical Music course.

12.“Comptine d’un autre été” by Yann Tiersen

“Comptine d’un autre été” is a solo piano piece composed by Yann Tiersen. It is a simple and beautiful melody that is featured in the French film “Amélie” as part of the soundtrack. 

The piece is considered one of Tiersen’s most popular and recognizable compositions, and it is a favorite among piano players of all skill levels.

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  :bulb:Please note that the lesson is available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • The original tempo marking for “Comptine d’un autre été” is “très calme.” This is a fairly flexible tempo marking, and you can experiment with finding the tempo that feels most natural and comfortable for you.
  • The left-hand arpeggios in the piece can be challenging to play cleanly. Practice these arpeggios slowly and gradually increase the tempo as your technique improves.
  • The title of the piece “Comptine d’un autre été” means “nursery rhyme of another summer” in French. Try to convey a sense of nostalgia and longing through your playing to bring out the emotional depth of the piece.

13.“Gymnopédie I” by Erik Satie

“Gymnopédie I” is a solo piano piece composed by Erik Satie. It is a slow and contemplative piece, characterized by its bittersweet character. The melody is simple and has a repetitive pattern that creates a sense of hypnotic lull. 

The piece is the first of three Gymnopedies and it is considered one of Satie’s most popular and recognizable compositions.

Learn the song

  :bulb:Please note that the lesson is available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song.

  • The piece is written in a very delicate and ethereal style, and it is important to use a light touch to create a sense of fragility and vulnerability.
  • Experiment with using different types of pedal techniques to find the one that best suits your interpretation of the piece.
  • The piece has a certain degree of flexibility in terms of tempo, and you can use rubato to bring out the emotional nuances of the piece.
  • Try to play the melody with a sense of simplicity and purity to bring out the beauty of the piece.

14.“The Passacaglia” by Johan Halvorsen

The Passacaglia is a solo instrumental piece composed by Johan Halvorsen, a Norwegian Composer and Violinist. It is based on the ancient form of Passacaglia, which is a series of variations over a repeating bass line. 

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  :bulb:Please note that the lesson is available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • Pay close attention to the rhythm in the left hand. The passacaglia features a repeating bass line that serves as the foundation for the piece. It’s important to keep the rhythm steady and consistent throughout.
  • Take advantage of the piece’s polyphonic texture. The passacaglia features multiple melodies happening simultaneously. Practice playing the different voices separately and then bring them together.

15.”Nuvole Bianche” by Ludovico Einaudi

“Nuvole Bianche” (White Clouds) is a solo piano piece composed by Ludovico Einaudi. It is characterized by its emotive and evocative melody, which is often described as dreamy and contemplative. 

The piece is known for its delicate and ethereal sound, which is created by the use of soft dynamics, repetitive patterns, and a minimalistic approach to harmony.

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  :bulb:Please note that the lesson is available on the mobile app

Tips for playing the song

  • The sustain pedal is an essential part of Einaudi’s sound and playing style, and it’s particularly important in “Nuvole Bianche.” Use the pedal to create a smooth, legato sound that connects the different phrases of the melody.
  • Einaudi’s music is known for its emotional depth, and “Nuvole Bianche” is no exception. Be mindful of the dynamic markings and phrasing in the piece to bring out the emotional content.

Conclusion

Classical music can provide a great opportunity for emotional expression yet still offer further complexity as skills grow over time. No matter your experience level, there can always be a classical piano song with something special to offer. Find your favourite songs and play them with the help of Skoove. You can play any piece of classical music, as simple as Canon In D, or as advanced as Clair De Lune by Debussy.

Common questions

Classical music can be extremely rewarding to learn, but if the piece you’re practicing is too challenging, it can be easy to develop bad technique habits or risk getting injured. The key is to be mindful of your body, and notice if your body is tense while playing.

You can play classical music on any piano. That said, your technique will be better suited if you practice on a weighted-key piano. Additionally, the more advanced the piece, the more likely it will require a wider range. Therefore, 88-key pianos work best for advanced and intermediate players.

The piano is a highly versatile instrument — it allows a single person to simultaneously play multiple piano notes, melodic and accompaniment layers, and can produce interesting textures with the pedals.

For this and many other reasons, composers have historically found it an ideal instrument for composition and performance, consequently resulting in a vast body of piano repertoire.

Each person’s learning curve is different. What is most important is that you choose the correct piece to work on depending on your level, develop a steady practice routine, and spend your practice time mindfully.

Since Skoove has many online piano lessons based on skill level, so you can easily explore and find out what your level is.

Yes! Skoove has multiple courses for classical music, including the Beginner Classical Songs, Neoclassical Music, Advanced Classic courses, and many more!


Author of this blog post:

Felipe Tovar-Henao is a Colombian composer, developer, and researcher, whose work focuses on algorithmic creativity, sound perception, memory, and recognition. His music has been performed and commissioned by international artists and ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound, Grossman Ensemble, Sound Icon, NEXUS Chamber Music, and Quatuor Diotima, and featured in many festivals around the world, including WOCMAT (Taiwan), SICMF (South Korea), SEAMUS and SCI (US). He’s currently based in Medellín, Colombia, where he’s Professor of Music theory at EAFIT University.

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