Piano for the 21st Century

Author: 21stcenturypiano


Smoothly, connected;


Legato is an italian term meaning played smoothly or connectedly (literally “tied together” in italian) so there is no break in the sound between the notes. Legato notes are marked by a slur (a curved line joining two or more notes).


Past participle of legare (“to tie together/bind”), from Latin ligō (“tie, bind”).

Circle of Fifths

The circle of fifths organises the 12 pitches of the chromatic scales into a sequence of perfect fifths. Starting on a C, the next note is G (counting C as 1, G is 5), then D, A, E, B, E, F# (Gb), Db, Ab, Eb, Bb, F (returning to C).

Each key has it’s own key signiture showing which combination of notes are to be played in each key.




The italian term Staccato means notes are to be played in a detached manner and are symbolised by a dot above or below the note.


The word staccato literally means detached in italian and is the past participle of the verb staccare (“to detach”).


Fast tempo, quickly;


Allegro is an italian term literally meaning happy or cheerful.


Allegro, from Latin alacer meaning eager or brisk.

Old MacDonald


Muzio Clementi

Muzio Clementi (1752 – 1832) was a contemporary of both Mozart and Beethoven due to his relatively long life.

Although Clementi outlived Beethoven, his music more closely resembles the earlier Classical Style of Mozart.

Piano Works

Clementi wrote many piano sonatas, with some of his best known piano works being his sonatinas (little sonatas), which are still commonly taught by piano teachers.

Other Enterprises

As well as being a renowned composer and pianist, Clementi was also a pedagogue, piano manufacturer, teacher and publisher.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791) was born in Salzburg (modern day Austria), to a composer, Leopold Mozart.


Taking early instruction from his father, Wolfgang was an accomplished keyboardist by the age of 5, and also composed music (although his compositions were almost certainly corrected and improved by his father, Leopold).

Keyboard works

Mozart wrote 18 Piano Sonatas, and although they are not as popular as Beethoven’s set, they are still held in high esteem amongst pianists and musicians.

Some of Mozart’s most popular Sonata movements include:

  • Sonata in C major (K545)
  • Sonata in A major (K331)

J.S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) was a composer from the late Boroque period of classical music.

Born into a family of musicians, Bach was first instructed by his father, Ambrosius, and later at the age of 10 by his eldest brother, Johann Christoph.

Counterpoint and Harmony

A contemporary George Frederic Handel, Bach is also renouned for his conterpount and harmony, which can be found, for example, in his fugue writing and his harmonisations of contemporary hymn melodies.


Music by Anthony Paul

Keyboard Works

Some of Bach’s most well known keyboard works include:

The Well Tempered Clavier Books I and II

Each of these books include 24 preludes and fugues of varying difficulty.

The Goldberg Variations

Each variation of this lengthy keyboard work employs the same underlying bassline.

Two and three part inventions

As with the fugues, these works are highly contrapuntal.


Music by Anthony Paul

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in Bonn in December 1770 and died in Vienna on 26th March 1827.

He is best known for his piano sonatas, string quartets and symphonies and is considered as the first composer of the Romantic era.


Music by Anthony Paul

Piano Sonatas

Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas were written between 1782 and 1822 and are now considered one of the most important collective works in the piano repertoire.

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