Piano Music Suggestions

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Piano Music Suggestions

Postby KestrelLowing » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:08 pm UTC

This summer I'll be renting a room in a house that actually has a piano!! I'm not sure if it'll be any good, but here's hoping.

However, I don't actually own any piano music. I've always just played from my mothers. (She is a piano teacher) So I'm looking for some ideas. I'd ask my mom, but obviously she already has all the ones she'd suggest, (and they're mostly religious, her being a church music director and all) and I don't really want to duplicate.

Sadly, I never actually took lessons or was in any competitions or anything, so there's no metric I can put on how well I play.

I simply played piano when I wanted, so even though I started at 3, I stopped playing for quite some time and only took it back up in middle school. I went through some method books, but after 3 or so, I just started picking pieces I wanted to learn and picking them apart piece by piece (basically, I can play pieces that are probably beyond my actual ability simply because I've worked on those particular pieces so long)

I can play Moonlight Sonata (the famous portion), I've got the majority of Maple Leaf Rag memorized (that's one I worked on for a very long time - also, I had to edit it because my hands simply aren't big enough), I can play all the lord of the rings piano books, Ave Maria. Ummmm, I'm trying to think of more famous type ones. If anyone knows of Mark Hayes, I can usually get through one of his pieces in a couple weeks.

Basically, I'm looking for maybe a couple good pieces I can work at for a while. (Also, I can only reach an octave, so more Joplin probably isn't the best idea ;) )

So, does anyone have any ideas? I'm thinking of trying Clair de Lune by Debussy, but that's about all I've got.

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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby Microscopic cog » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:22 pm UTC

I'm just a beginner ( Only been playing for like 5 months ) but I'm learning Für Elise in my spare time and it's really fun, once you get past the overplayed start of the song.

I don't know about many other piano music that is fun to play but I do have some that is fun to hear.

Famous movie-music composer Michael Nyman's The Heart asks for Pleasure First fittingly from the movie the Piano.

Edward Grieg has many cool things and I have lots of old books full of things for the piano ( previously from my mother who got them when she was learning the piano 40 years ago ) which is pretty sweet, but my favourite remains the, probably aslo overplayed, Piano concerto in A minor.

Something more modern, by my favourite dude ever, Nick Cave. The lyrics are meh ( which is odd as most of his lyrics are amazing ) but the piano is pretty. Here's a great version of him performing Into My Arms
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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby Роберт » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:32 pm UTC

Microscopic cog wrote:I'm just a beginner ( Only been playing for like 5 months ) but I'm learning Für Elise in my spare time and it's really fun, once you get past the overplayed start of the song.

Yeah, but the reason it isn't as overplayed is because it's so hard. It is a fun piece, though.
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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby Dirk » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:23 pm UTC


Have been piano for 8 years now, and I have some teaching experience, so I get requests for piano music a lot.

Here is some.
I've tried to order it from easy to harder (somewhat).
Seeing that playing piano is not really one skill but rather dozens of skills combined, it can be hard to say which is more difficult to play than which, I would say it depends on your current skills.

- Yann Tiersen - comptine d'un autre été http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyCRJmerW1Q
- Mendelssohn - Venetian Boat Song n.2 (p 30 n.6) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiP4OyPL6BY
- Yann Tiersen - La Valse d'Amelie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWrxs2RDNRU
- Yann Tiersen - Sur Le Fil http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJqYjL4kia8
- Chopin - Waltz in A Minor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpLYn65qjR8
- Mozart - Fantasy in D Minor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8P7-1IzhwU
- Tchaikovsky - The Seasons, June, Barcarolle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xLQW5rm92s
- Chopin - Nocturne in C Sharp Minor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5qeuVOIbHk
- Chopin - Nocturne in Eb Major http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZUw78FXpG4
- Chopin - Fugue in A Minor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIOXyYH6qPA
- Chopin - Prelude in Db Major http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OFHXmiZP38
- Chopin - Polonaise in C# Minor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dutPFyKJWYY
- Chopin - Nocturne in F# Minor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqEk73LvnzQ

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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby darthdidious » Mon May 02, 2011 1:14 am UTC

If you're looking for something off the beaten path, might I suggest the 5th and 6th volume's of Bartok's Microcosmos. There's some very difficult pieces in there, but lots of stuff you should be able to manage.

A sample (one of the dances in Bulgarian rhythm):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeUTzCvo ... re=related

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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby KestrelLowing » Mon May 02, 2011 3:48 pm UTC

Oh, I almost forgot I started this thread. Unfortunately I'm at work right now, but when I get home I'll check out the stuff everyone suggested. Thanks!

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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby mjm » Tue May 03, 2011 8:38 pm UTC

You may want to try some jazz. It's both different and similar to classical, and now that I am somewhat used to it I like it a lot. I would not play only jazz, but Ain't Misbehavin' is a nice change from Bach.

Bach would be my other recommendation because he wrote all ranges of difficulties. I'm not good enough to do any fugues justice, but the preludes from Well Tempered Clavier are great for me, as are his dance suites.

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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby BurningLed » Sat May 07, 2011 2:15 am UTC

Chopin's Nocturnes and Waltzes are all pretty fun, though some of the nocturnes lean on the more difficult side. If you can play through the later parts of Für Elise though, you shouldn't have too much trouble.

If you're trying to train your fingers to go faster, I'd learn Solfeggio in C Minor (Solfeggietto) because that's not too hard to memorize and really helps your muscle memory for faster movement, as well as moving between dynamics quickly and keeping a beat. It's the song to play when you want to show off how fast you are.

Burgmuller's Arabesque is a bit simpler, but it was my first real piece (not in a training book, and not a nursery rhyme) so I have a fondness for it.

Rondo Alla Turca is a good benchmark song for a "difficult" piece. Not much to say about it, it's pretty much Mozart's most famous piece. Edit: I just realized you said you could only reach an octave - The piece's ending might give you some trouble, actually; but the chords are meant to be rolled anyways.

Also, definitely check Mozart's Fantasy in D Minor that Dirk linked - It is pretty much my favorite slow piece. Better than Moonlight Sonata's first movement, in my opinion.

And if you can, post a video of you on the piano sometime. I'd love to hear you play!
Last edited by BurningLed on Sun May 08, 2011 2:24 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby bosonicyouth » Sat May 07, 2011 1:03 pm UTC

Erik Satie's Gymnopides and Gnossienes. They're very simple pieces but the subtleties are in the dynamics and the loose timings. For those who haven't heard of Satie, you'll probably recognise a fair few pieces from movie soundtracks.

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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby Toeofdoom » Sat May 07, 2011 5:50 pm UTC

Although it doesn't directly add anything, if you want actual sheet music for the classical music mentioned above it will probably be here: http://imslp.org/wiki/Main_Page - though you're not meant to download it if copyright laws don't make it public domain in your country :shrug:

If you're interested in some recent/rock-ish piano music I can suggest some (Ben folds would be the obvious one, lots of varied difficulty levels) but it also has the disadvantage of the sheet music not being free. :P
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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby KrazyerKate » Mon May 09, 2011 12:11 pm UTC

I've been teaching myself piano the past couple months and there are tons of super-easy modern piano songs where you just mash a chord at every quarter note. They only take an afternoon to learn. Is easy what you want, or are you looking for a project?


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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby KestrelLowing » Thu May 12, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

Well, sadly the piano is basically unplayable. The majority of the keys stick and of course it's horribly out of tune. Add to that the fact that the piano will be in someone else's room when they move in a week from now and it doesn't look like I'll get to play this summer :cry:

But I'll definitely keep this suggestions in mind! Thanks!

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Re: Piano Music Suggestions

Postby Drakohel » Mon May 16, 2011 3:39 am UTC

Shame to hear it's unplayable. If you do manage to get it in working condition/find another piano, I'd recommend looking at a couple of pieces by Yiruma (also known as I Ru-ma) - they're generally not very long and probably not as complex as some of the other suggestions, but they do sound good and make for fun learning pieces. In particular, When The Love Falls and River Flows In You are well worth looking at.

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