Overture to William Tell: Beginner Piano

 

 

Hello!

Today’s sheet music arrangement is courtesy the website Piano Mother – the Overture to William Tell, better known as the Lone Ranger Song. It’s fast, it’s got pep, and it’s even got a key change! This piece is best suited to those who have been playing piano at least 3-6 months, since it isn’t super easy, especially if you want to play it fast. I recorded it at a moderate tempo, but feel free to cruise with it! 🙂

Overture to William Tell – Sheet Music

Sheet music to Overture to William Tell

And in case you wanted to hear the original Overture to William Tell, here it is:

Overture to William Tell – Backstory


This piece was actually the introduction to a famous opera in the 1800s, but has been played so much in pop culture that it’s hard to believe it’s that old. The opera was created by Rossini, but everyone’s favorite romantic-era rock star Franz Liszt created a piano arrangement for it, playing it a lot at his concerts, to all the swooning audiences.

Key signature – Major or minor?

The key signature is 2 sharps, which is telling us that it’s either in the key of D major, or B minor (see the videos how to tell major and minor keys apart, and D major scale) – the first couple notes suggest it’s D major.

About halfway through, you’ll notice that the notes B, D, F# appear – they are the three notes of a B minor chord. So halfway through this piece, it actually changes keys, from D major to B minor. This is a common songwriting route, and you’ll inevitably see it a lot, where a song changes keys to the relative minor or major.

The last couple lines return to D major, basically identical to the beginning.

Italian terms

Surely you also noticed the tempo I played this – quite fast, as indicated by the Italian ‘allegro’.

As for dynamics, the D major sections are marked with mp (mezzo piano = medium quiet), and the B minor section is f (forte = loud), so you can get a sense of what the climactic, intense moment of the piece is – that minor section. Don’t ignore the dynamics here!

A note on finger markings

There are no finger markings in this particular arrangement of the piece, so what I suggest is printing it out, and adding your own number markings where needed. I do this often, because it’s important to keep your fingering consistent. If you just use random fingers each time you play, your “finger memory” won’t be triggered.

Conclusion

Have fun with Overture to William Tell – it certainly isn’t an easy piece, so make sure you’ve got at least 3 months under your belt before attempting this one.

xo,
Allysia

 

Allysia has been teaching piano in Canada for nearly a decade, and has her Grade 10 RCM certificate. She especially enjoys nerding out to music history and theory. When she’s not making videos or teaching, she’s reading, writing, and jamming in a rock band.