Tarik Rahman

Learning the Classical Piano Repertoire

Tarik Rahman
Learning the Classical Piano Repertoire

Piano Teachers Connect believes that classical piano students should take an active role in selecting the repertoire they learn in their piano lessons. It’s important to develop a strong sense of the history of Western classical piano music.

The Baroque Era:
The history of piano repertoire in Western classical music is generally thought of as starting before the piano was actually invented, in the Baroque era (1600 - 1750). Pieces that were written in the Baroque era for harpsichord, clavichord, organ, and other keyboard instruments, are now commonly played on the piano.

You will encounter Baroque era classical piano pieces written by: Johann Sebastian Bach, François Couperin, George Frideric Handel, Henry Purcell, Jean Phillippe Rameau, Domenico Scarlatti, and Georg Philipp Telemann.

 The Classical Era:
The Classical era (1750 - 1820) marks the birth of piano, and the first works specifically written for this “new” instrument. At the forefront are the sons of J. S. Bach - Carl Philipp Emanuel, Johann Christian, and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach - as well as other great masters, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

 The Romantic Era:
The Romantic era (1820 - 1910) brings the piano into the spotlight, with piano virtuosity soaring to new heights, and solo piano concerts now coming into vogue. Among the most prominent composers for piano we find Johannes Brahms, Frédéric Chopin, Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, Sergei Rachmaninov, Maurice Ravel, Franz Schubert, and Robert Schumann.

 The 20th Century and the Modern Era:
The 20th century brought a new degree of inventiveness to the piano repertoire, with composers experimenting, and exploring new sounds, at times taking dissonance and tension to their extremes. The master piano composers here are Béla Bartok, Charles Ives, György Ligeti, Olivier Messiaen, Sergei Prokofieff, Erik Satie, Arnold Schoenberg, Alexander Scriabin, and Dmitri Shostakovich. 

Now it’s time to start listening! Discover your favourite classical piano composers, and discuss them with your classical piano teacher!


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