Music

The Most Recognisable Piano Pieces 

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3.2k votes 950 voters 33.7k views 36 items

List Rules Pieces famous because of the piano. Bad: 'Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman?', piano version of 'Pavane', etc.

Certain piano pieces have been done to death. Many of them are perfectly good pieces, such as Moonlight and the Entertainer, but too much of a good thing inevitably becomes a bad thing. If you hear anyone talking endlessly about these pieces, there's a good chance he or she pretends to know a thing about music when he or she doesn't know anything at all.

Please only list pieces that are (at least partially) famous because of the piano. Examples of works that should not be listed:

-Pavane by Fauré - although originally for the piano, it's the orchestrated version that's famous
-Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman by Mozart - only famous because of Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars and the Alphabet Song; few people can play the variations in their heads.

Examples of works that can be listed:
-Ragtime Dance by Joplin - originally has lyrics, but that version is long forgotten
-Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov - Although many versions are known, including the original and violin arrangement, Rach's piano arrangement is one of the best-known versions
-Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Liszt - the orchestral version is famous, but not as known as the original piano version
-Toccata and Fugue by Bach - everyone's heard that on the piano, right?

Rule of thumb: Do you think someone who knows nothing about classical music has heard it played on the piano before? If the answer is yes, list it!

*Also, CONCERTOS COUNT!*
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Ludwig van Beethoven
2
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Ludwig van Beethoven
3
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
4
River Flows In You is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Recognisable Piano Pieces
ColeSmith added River Flows In You
Yiruma
5
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Clair de Lune
6
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Flight of the Bumblebee
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sergei Rachmaninov
7
The Entertainer - A Ragt... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Recognisable Piano Pieces
The Entertainer - A Ragtime Two-Step
Joshua Rifkin
8
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Fantasie Impromptu
Vladimir Ashkenazy
9
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First Movement from Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 16
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
10
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Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
Johann Sebastian Bach
11
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Maple Leaf Rag
12
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13
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Minute Waltz
14
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Gymnopédie No. 1
Erik Satie
15
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Hungarian Rhapsody No.2
16
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Adam Tyler added
Franz Liszt
17
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Arabesque No.1
18
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Meditation on Prelude No. 1 of Bach, for violin or cello & piano with organ or cello ad lib. (or other instrumental arrangement)
J. S. Bach
19
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Second Movement from the Pathétique Sonata
Ludwig van Beethoven
20
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thomas-nelson added Piano Man
Billy Joel
21
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Polonaise, Op. 53 A-Flat Major "Heroic"
22
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Piano Concerto No. 2
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George Gershwin
24
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Revolutionary Etude
25
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Anna Magdalena Notebook: Minuet in G minor, BWV Anh. 115