As a violinist who is a beginner and is less experienced in the more technical aspects of the instrument, you should definitely want to add some songs from the classical music genre to your repertoire. We’ve found some of the best violin songs from the classical genre that include pieces from Mozart and other famous composers.
Even though these pieces are appropriate for beginners, some of these will test your skills to the max and help you build a solid foundation of the basics. We have aimed to put together a good sampling of a variety of works that should appeal to many tastes as well as giving you a good range of arrangements to improve your playing. Let’s kick off our list of classics.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major
- 2 2. Amazing Grace
- 3 3. Mozart – Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
- 4 4. Schubert – Ave Maria
- 5 5. Beethoven – Ode to Joy
- 6 6. J.S. Bach – Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
- 7 7. John S Bach – Minuet in G Major
- 8 8. Edvard Grieg – Morning from Peer Gynt
- 9 9. Jean Baptiste Lully – Au Claire de la Lune
- 10 10. Scarborough Fair
- 11 FAQs
1. Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major
This piece is widely played by violinists and other musicians and has been arranged multiple times – probably more so than any other classical composition out there. The reason the piece is so popular can probably be put down to the way the music was built because it is a true canon. If you’re unsure of what a canon is, it’s from the Baroque era that became a popular form of polyphonic music.
The essence of a canon is simple but it’s in the rhythm that the complexity develops and as you listen to the piece you should notice that it gathers speed. Every section of the canon builds up another layer of the overall composition from the part that came before it. It gives the song much more body, making it enjoyable to play and for others to listen to.
2. Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace was originally penned to be a hymn and was thought to have originated in 1779 with lyrics from John Newton. For beginners, this works really well because the melody is well known and can be sung along to easily. The notes involved in the melody are in a beginner’s normal range as well with no crazy flairs or scales to throw you off.
Many performers will use the G major key for this piece which is a beginner-friendly key for sheet music. This is because there are no sort of leaps in the melody and no overly complex patterns in the rhythm. Being able to play the piece from your memory without the sheet music will also create a great challenge to test your skills.
3. Mozart – Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
When you look at the pieces from Mozart you will probably notice that they are incredibly complex for a beginner. However, he did have a hand in the composition for this classic with his traditional French song penned in 1761. No matter what the origins are of this lullaby, it’s the most accessible of any of Mozart’s pieces. As a beginner, a violin concerto is out of your reach and this will be something for you to work towards at an intermediate level. It’s a lovely tune to perform and easy to commit to memory. The variations that Mozart added in a well worth your time and effort because they add something to the piece.
4. Schubert – Ave Maria
Schubert is probably the most influential and well-known composer to rise from the early Romantic era and he comes with an impressive repertoire of compositions behind him. Ave Maria is one of his more popular and known pieces. Many assume that it has something to do with the Roman Catholic prayer but it actually took its words from a poem called The Lady of the Lake which was written by Walter Scott. When it is performed you get a sense of chamber music but when you look at the sheet music you will appreciate how simple and elegant this composition really is.
5. Beethoven – Ode to Joy
Ode to Joy acted as the cornerstone for the composer’s huge ninth symphony. It’s all about the joy that can be found in being triumphant. You will need to play in the D major key to learn this one. We think it’s ideal for a beginner violinist because of the finger techniques used. It also helps you become more expressive and lyrical in your performances which are both skills a great musician needs to have.
6. J.S. Bach – Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
This is one of Bach’s earlier compositions and comes from his cantata called Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben. It was first penned at the beginner of the 18th century. When you listen to the music you will notice that it has a gentle lilt to it. This feeling comes from the fact that it has been written in triple compound time. If you’re unsure of what this is, it’s where the quavers of the piece get grouped into three sets, with each set containing three notes. You really need to nail the gentle, rhythmic feel to this piece if you want to deliver a performance that is convincing and passionate.
7. John S Bach – Minuet in G Major
This piece causes a lot of controversy because, in all likelihood, it was composed by Christian Petzold and not actually by Bach. The composition is formed from a collection of different tunes which were taken from A Little Notebook for Anna Magdalena in the 1700s. The Minuet proved to be one of the most popular pieces to emerge from the Baroque time period. It’s a really approachable piece that makes it ideal for an inexperienced violinist to try their bow at.
8. Edvard Grieg – Morning from Peer Gynt
Morning is one of the most loved pieces that Grieg ever composed. It effortlessly captures what the beauty of nature has to offer us. The piece has a song-like feel to it with a gentle melody that flows through the entire composition. It’s certainly a piece that should appeal to any violinist, no matter what their age is or level of experience. The reason why so many violinists enjoy playing Morning is that it allows you to deliver a performance with expressive dynamics. Make sure to focus on the smooth, gentle legatos that are used throughout.
9. Jean Baptiste Lully – Au Claire de la Lune
Lully gave us a really charming melody with his offering straight from 18th century France. The tune is very popular among singers and instrumentalists. It’s certainly on the easier side of classical music because of how simple the melody and rhtyhm is as well as how well the piece flows throughout.
10. Scarborough Fair
Another classic piece with a modern twist is Scarborough Fair from Simon and Garfunkel. As a traditional piece it’s been described as modal which means it feels strange and mysterious. It’s a fun piece to learn for a less experienced player to move away from the major keys and start broadening your horizons.
We hope you found some classical songs in this list to be able to learn the sheet music and start on your way to mastering your very first violin concerto. While you may not be playing like Mozart right away, over time you can make sure those skills are solid enough to become a talented musician.
What is the easiest classical violin piece?
The easiest classic violin piece you could ever learn to play is Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major. This is where a lot of beginner violinists get their introduction into the genre of classical music and it’s also a popular song used at weddings.
What is Mozart’s most famous violin piece?
Violin Concerto No. 5 is probably Mozart’s most famous violin piece.
Which is the easiest Mozart violin concerto?
Many seasoned violinists have hailed Concerto No. 3 as his easiest piece but none of his violin pieces are straightforward and easy to play right from the start.
What is the saddest violin piece?
Tchaikovsky has been hailed as having the saddest violin piece out there with his Violin Concerto (second movement). It is a very moving song that will definitely bring a tear to your eye.