10 Easy Beethoven Piano Pieces (With Sheet Music)

Charmaine Li  /  Articles  /  UPDATED Apr 5, 2024

Looking for easy Beethoven piano pieces? You’ve come to the right place!

Ludwig van Beethoven is one of—perhaps the—most famous composers of all time. He’s written everything from concertos to symphonies, but he’s perhaps best known as a piano composer.

Some of Beethoven’s pieces are among the most difficult in piano repertoire, but unlike Liszt and Rachmaninoff, Beethoven wrote a big share of beginner-friendly pieces too. We’ll introduce you to some in this article.

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10 Easy Beethoven Piano Pieces

Ecossaise in E-Flat Major (WoO 86)

Beethoven’s ecossaises are among his most accessible pieces. The Ecossaise in E-Flat Major is particularly popular among beginners. It’s only a page long and is largely built on the E-flat and B-flat major triads. So if you’re comfortable with triad shapes, this should be easy peasy!

> Free Sheet Music

German Dance in E-Flat Major (WoO 13, No. 9)

Beethoven wrote two sets of twelve German dances (WoO 8 and WoO 13) that are all very beginner-friendly. The No. 9 in E-Flat Major features a simple melody and two contrasting sections: a rhythmic first section and a more flowy second. Pay attention to the hand position changes.

> Free Sheet Music

6 Ecossaises (WoO 83)

If you can play one ecosaisse, why not try six? This set of little pieces is two pages of whimsical fun. It’s a good training piece for reaching octaves, it feels good underneath the hands, and there are recurring parts that make the set feel shorter than it is.

> Free Sheet Music

“Für Elise” Bagatelle in A Minor (WoO 59)

Perhaps THE Beethoven piece, “Für Elise” is a fairly accessible intermediate piece in A minor. What I like about this piece is that it takes you on a journey through several moods: plaintive, cheerful, angry, then plaintive again. Then, there’s the iconic chromatic melody centered around the E and D-sharp notes and even a dramatic, show-offy arpeggio in the middle that dances across octaves.

Watch the video above for an in-depth, step-by-step tutorial on the piece. We think it’s the best “Für Elise” tutorial on the internet!

> Full Lesson
> Free Sheet Music

Sonatina in G Major (Anh. 5)

This cheerful sonatina has two parts: a moderato section in common time and a Romanza allegretto section in 6/8 meter. It contains a nice variety of common patterns and techniques: Alberti bass, waltz accompaniment, slurs, and even a modern-sounding tension build made up of rolled chords.

> Free Sheet Music

Minuet in G Major (WoO 10, No. 2)

This Minuet is a charming, stately dance in three parts: minuet, trio, and minuet again. At first glance, the fingering may seem a tad tricky, and it is challenging, but the song is essentially built on triad shapes and fits quite comfortably under the hand. Find a version of sheet music with fingering or write your own fingering to help you along.

> Free Sheet Music

FUN FACT: Trios were traditionally pieces played by three-stringed instruments, hence the name!

Bagatelle in G Minor (Op. 119, No. 1)

If you’re a fan of the “Für Elise” moodiness (and who isn’t?!), you’ll love the Bagatelle in G Minor. This piece is classic Beethoven: dignified yet sorrowful, with a brief contrasting section in between that wanders into the hopeful. The opportunities for expressive articulation and dynamics in this piece are also plenty of fun for more advanced players.

> Free Sheet Music

“Happy Sad” Bagatelle (WoO 54)

This piece is split into two sections: Lustig (“happy”) and Traurig (“sad”). Unsurprisingly, the “happy” section is in C Major and the “sad” section is in C Minor. The Bagatelle in C Minor looks short and simple on paper, but there are some trickier parts because the hands must change positions frequently.

> Free Sheet Music

“Moonlight” Sonata – 1st Mvt. (Piano Sonata No. 14, Op. 27, No. 2)

Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 is a must-play for many pianists. And while the “Moonlight” sonata holds legendary status, it’s actually not that difficult. The first movement should be accessible to intermediate students and its slow, expressive tempo is very forgiving. In addition to developing your dynamics, this moody piece also introduces players to playing three lines of music with two hands: bring out the melody with your pinky!

> Full Lesson
> Free Sheet Music

“Pathétique” Sonata – 2nd Mvt. (Piano Sonata No. 8, Op. 13)

One of Beethoven’s most famous sonatas, the “Pathétique” offers a beautiful and accessible second movement. While it looks busy, the notes feel ergonomic under the hands. It’s definitely the most challenging piece on this list, however, as the pianist must balance four voices with two hands!

> Free Sheet Music

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Charmaine Li is a Vancouver writer who has played piano for over 20 years. She holds an Associate diploma (ARCT) from the Royal Conservatory of Music and loves writing about the ways in which music—and music learning—affects the human experience. Charmaine manages The Note. Learn more about Charmaine here.

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