The Easiest Beethoven Piano Pieces (Beginner to Intermediate)

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Last month I did a video on the Easiest Chopin Pieces (even though there’s really no such thing as an easy Chopin piece), and it went over well – so today I’m going to follow the same format and do a video on the easiest Beethoven pieces.

The thing about Beethoven is that, though his sonatas are crazy-difficult (we’ll get to that in more depth later), he has a bunch of short works that are doable even for a beginner, as well as some good intermediate-level works.

There’s a Beethoven for every level!

Easiest Beethoven: Categories

So we’ll start by grouping his pieces into categories:

Ecossaises
German Dances
Bagatelles
Sonatas
Variations

Beethoven wrote other piano pieces, some quite famous (like “Rage Over a Lost Penny”), so if you don’t see a piece you love included here, it’s because:

  • It wasn’t originally written for piano (Such as his National Folk Songs, op. 107)
  • It’s not as common (like his sonatinas – I generally don’t teach those, opting for Mozart instead)
  • It’s way too difficult (like his Rondos, or Rage)

 

Beethoven’s Ecossaises

Beethoven’s Ecossaises are very approachable for a beginner, as they’re all around a grade 1-2 level. Grade 1 level isn’t an absolute beginner – you need to have a good grip on the basics – but still, these are among the first Beethoven pieces you can attempt.

Beethoven’s Easiest Ecossaises: (Some favorites)

Ecossaise in Eb Major, WoO 86 – Grade 1 RCM
Ecossaise in G Major, WoO 23 – Grade 2 RCM
6 Eccosaises, WoO 83 – Not in RCM Syllabus – but around the same level

German Dances

Beethoven has several collections of German dances that you can check out, but his most popular is probably his 12 German Dances, WoO 13.

Three of those dances are in the RCM syllabus, which I’ll list below – but any of the 12 will be around the same level. These pieces are at an early intermediate level.

Some easy Beethoven German Dances:

German Dance in E flat Major, WoO13 –Grade 4 RCM
German Dance No 1 in D major, WoO13 –Grade 5 RCM
German Dance No 5 in F major, WoO13 – Grade 5 RCM

Bagatelles

Beethoven wrote around 30 bagatelles, including the famous Fur Elise. They’re around a late intermediate level. Here are some of my picks.

Some Easy Beethoven Bagatelles (all intermediate-level):

Bagatelle in D major, op 33 no 6 – Grade 7 RCM
Bagatelle in G minor, op 119 no 1 – Grade 7 RCM
Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor, WoO 59 (Fur Elise) – Grade 7 RCM
Bagatelle in F major, op 33 no 3 – Grade 8 RCM
Bagatelle in E flat major, op 33 no 1 – Grade 9 RCM

Easy Beethoven Sonatas

Many of Beethoven’s Sonatas are extremely advanced, but I’ll show you the ones I think are the most doable, even though they’re at a late intermediate/early advanced level.

His Sonatas are definitely worth aspiring to, as they are some of the best piano pieces ever written. There are 32 sonatas in total – today we’ll be looking at his easiest 3.

If you consider individual movements, other sonatas will become more accessible. For example, I consider the first movement of Moonlight Sonata to be around a grade 7-8 level, but the third movement is ARCT. So you could always learn easier parts of sonatas, instead of the full thing.

Sonatas 19 & 20 are both very short, with only 2 movements, and are the easiest of his sonatas – they’re a good starting point.

His 25th Sonata has 3 movements, and is a little more challenging, but still one of the most doable Beethoven sonatas.

Some easy sonatas (Early-advanced level):

Sonata No. 20, Op. 49 No. 2 in G Major – Grade 8 RCM
Sonata No. 19, Op. 49 No. 1 in G Minor – Grade 8 RCM
Sonata No. 25 in G major, Op. 79 – Grade 9 RCM

Variations

Some of Beethoven’s Variations are around the same level as his easiest sonatas, and are worth checking out. He has over 20 variations written – here are some of the easiest.

Some of Beethoven’s Easiest Variations (Early-Advanced level):

Six Variations on a Swiss Folk Song, WoO 64 – Grade 8 RCM
Nine variations on “Quant e piu bello”, WoO 69 – Grade 9 RCM
Six Variations on “Nel cor piu non mi sento”, WoO 70 – Grade 9 RCM
Six Easy Variations on an Original Theme, WoO 77 – Grade 9 RCM

List of Easiest Beethoven Piano Pieces

So now we’ll put all of those choices on a list, from easiest to most difficult. This list spans levels from Grade 1 all the way to Grade 9. And, of course, if you’re an advanced piano player, you can carry on to his more difficult sonatas and variations.

All of the pieces I’ve included on this list are from the RCM syllabus, just for convenience and accuracy.

Beginner Beethoven Piano Pieces:

Ecossaise in Eb Major, WoO 86 – Grade 1 RCM
Ecossaise in G Major, WoO 23 – Grade 2 RCM
 

Intermediate Beethoven Piano Pieces:

German Dance in E flat Major, WoO13 –Grade 4 RCM
German Dance No 1 in D major, WoO13 –Grade 5 RCM
German Dance No 5 in F major, WoO13 – Grade 5 RCM
Bagatelle in D major, op 33 no 6 – Grade 7 RCM
Bagatelle in G minor, op 119 no 1 – Grade 7 RCM
Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor, WoO 59 (Fur Elise) – Grade 7 RCM

Early Advanced Beethoven Piano Pieces:

Bagatelle in F major, op 33 no 3 – Grade 8 RCM
Sonata No. 20, Op. 49 No. 2 in G Major – Grade 8 RCM
Sonata No. 19, Op. 49 No. 1 in G Minor – Grade 8 RCM
Six Variations on a Swiss Folk Song, WoO 64 – Grade 8 RCM
Bagatelle in E flat major, op 33 no 1 – Grade 9 RCM
Sonata No. 25 in G major, Op. 79 – Grade 9 RCM
Nine variations on “Quant e piu bello”, WoO 69 – Grade 9 RCM
Six Variations on “Nel cor piu non mi sento”, WoO 70 – Grade 9 RCM
Six Easy Variations on an Original Theme, WoO 77 – Grade 9 RCM

Note

There are a couple ways students generally like approaching works by composers like Beethoven.

Option 1: Get absorbed in a genre. So maybe you like the Beethoven Bagatelles – learn a bunch of them, regardless of the fluctuations of levels.

Option 2: Learn by level. So instead of doing all the Bagatelles, you learn those Beethoven pieces which are level-appropriate. Like if you’re level 8, you learn a few variations, a few sonatas, and/or a few bagatelles.

Neither way is better than the other. People tend to have their own personal preferences. Myself, I like to get absorbed in a work. Like if I’m learning one bagatelle, I’m gonna learn all the bagatelles in the set. I do that when I listen to music, too. Instead of listening to a playlist with a bunch of artists, I much prefer to listen to full albums.

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Hopefully this list of easiest Beethoven pieces has helped you some on your piano journey. Enjoy!

xo,
Allysia

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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.