Music
986 voters

The Most Recognisable Piano Pieces

Updated April 10, 2019 3.9k votes 986 voters 34.2k views36 items

List RulesPieces 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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  • 1
    287
    38

    Fur Elise

    Ludwig van Beethoven
  • 2
    229
    42

    First Movement from Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 16

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • 3
    221
    43

    Moonlight Sonata

    Ludwig van Beethoven
  • 4
    155
    32

    Gymnopédie No. 1

    Erik Satie
  • 5
    177
    44

    Rondo Alla Turca

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • 6
    195
    84

    River Flows In You

    Yiruma
  • 7
    149
    71

    The Entertainer - A Ragtime Two-Step

    Joshua Rifkin
  • 8
    114
    47

    Flight of the Bumblebee

    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sergei Rachmaninov
  • 9
    71
    34

    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
  • 10
    55
    22

    Maple Leaf Rag

  • 11
    60
    32

    Minute Waltz

  • 12
    146
    124

    Clair de Lune

  • 13
    45
    21

    La Campanella

    Franz Liszt
  • 14
    62
    41

    Divenire - Ludovico Einaudi

  • 15
    33
    13

    Etude No. 21 in G flat major "Butterfly", Op. 25 No. 9

  • 16
    50
    35

    Piano Man

    Billy Joel
  • 17
    70
    60

    Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565

    Johann Sebastian Bach
  • 18
    75
    69

    Fantasie Impromptu

    Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • 19
    29
    20

    Rhapsody in Blue

    George Gershwin
  • 20
    37
    31
  • 21
    36
    35

    The Girl With the Flaxen Hair

  • 22
    49
    56

    Hungarian Rhapsody No.2

  • 23
    24
    23

    Second Movement from the Pathétique Sonata

    Ludwig van Beethoven
  • 24
    15
    12

    Hungarian Dance No. 1

    Johannes Brahms
  • 25
    31
    35

    Arabesque No.1