Moonlight Sonata Piano Notes: Tutorial & Score
You want to learn Moonlight Sonata on the piano? You’ve come to the right place!
Moonlight Sonata is a piano composition written by the virtuoso musician Ludwig Van Beethoven in 1801 and published the following year. A dedication to the Countess Giulietta Guicciardi also appears on the original score, a dedication that testifies to the love the pianist had for this high ranking woman.
The composition is very pretty and nostalgic, which is why it was a great success from the moment it was published, and still is today. Indeed, many pianists enjoy playing it.
In this article, we will learn how to play the notes of Moonlight Sonata on the piano. First, we will discuss the notes to play with the right hand. In a second time, we will see those of the left hand. Finally, we will see how to play the song with both hands at the same time.
Each part is accompanied by a tutorial video that shows you the notes to play. In this way, you can benefit from an audiovisual support that will help you to progress faster.
At the end of this article, you will also find the free sheet music of Moonlight Sonata to download in PDF format.
If you are interested in this composer, you can also read our article dedicated to the best Beethoven’s piano songs.
Let’s get started!
Bonus: you can also learn to play this song at your own pace on our interactive piano learning application La Touche Musicale.
Joris, the author of this article, recommends the following resource: Piano Tutorials: learn the 10 easiest songs.
Learn to play the best classical music pieces on the piano
La Touche Musicale app offers more than 250 songs specially dedicated to classical music category, including Moonlight Sonata in an easy version. Connect your piano to your device and learn to play them at your own pace while having fun.
Moonlight Sonata on the piano: finding your way around the keyboard
Before we start playing Moonlight Sonata, let’s first review the basics of piano playing and learn how to find our way around a keyboard. Start by looking at the following image:
The name of the notes on a piano keyboard.
The image above shows all the keys of a keyboard and the notes associated with them (C, D, E, F, G…).
It is interesting to observe the structure of the piano keys. As you can see, the keys do not all follow the same pattern. In fact, the black keys work in groups of two and three keys in succession. With this structure, you can use the black keys to help you find your way around the keyboard.
For example, if you’re looking for the note F, you’ll first look at the black keys and look for a group of three. Once identified, press the white key just to the left of the group of three black keys: that’s your F!
Practice recognizing the notes on the piano easily. Once you know them, you’ll be able to follow this tutorial on learning Moonlight Sonata on the piano much more easily.
Free guide: Piano tutorials: learn to play the 10 easiest songs
Discover our resource dedicated to learning 10 famous and very easy to play piano songs (notes, letters and video tutorials).
Moonlight Sonata: playing the notes with the right hand
Where to start?
Now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of playing Moonlight Sonata with the right hand. Let’s start by using what we saw in the previous section to identify the first note to play with your right hand. This is the note A :
A is the first note of the right hand in Moonlight Sonata on piano.
The notes of the right hand
Did you find the A note? Great!
Now we’ll play all the notes that make up the melody of the song. Press the following notes in succession:
D – F – D – F – D – F – D – F – D – F – D – F – D – F – D – F – D# – G – D# – G – C# – G – D – F – D – E – C# – E – D.
To get the melody of the song Moonlight Sonata, you have to play all these notes in a row with your right hand.
Practice playing this sequence of notes several times in a row until you feel comfortable with it and your playing is smooth. Then you can start playing the left hand of the song on the piano.
Moonlight Sonata for piano: the notes of the right hand.
The tutorial video below shows you the notes to play with your right hand. Take the time to look at all these notes and get familiar with the tempo of the song. This way, you will have a complete learning and dynamic playing.
Video tutorial of the notes to play with the right hand for Moonlight Sonata.
Moonlight Sonata: playing the notes with the left hand
Where to start?
Once you have learned to play the notes with your right hand, you can start playing with your left hand. We will proceed here in the same way as the previous part: identify the first notes to be played with the left hand. The first notes are D and D :
D and D are the first notes of the left hand in Moonlight Sonata.
The notes of the left hand
Did you manage to find the notes D and D? Great!
Now we can continue with the rest of the sequence. Play the following notes one after the other with your left hand:
D+A – D+A – D+A – D+A – C+A – C+A – C+A – C+A – A# – A# – G+A# – G+lA# – A – A – A – F+A.
When you play all these notes one after the other, you get the accompaniment of Moonlight Sonata on the piano, played with the left hand.
Practice playing this repetitive sequence of notes over and over so that you can get comfortable with it.
Moonlight Sonata for piano: the notes of the left hand.
As for the right hand, we have created a tutorial video that shows you the notes to play with your left hand. You will thus be able to understand the succession of notes that you must play as well as their rhythms and the general tempo of Beethoven’s composition.
Video tutorial of the left hand notes for Moonlight Sonata.
Congratulations! You now know how to play this famous song on the piano with your two separate hands!
Next step: play with both hands at the same time on the keyboard.
Moonlight Sonata on the piano: playing the song with both hands
The dissociation of the hands is one of the most complicated exercises when a beginner does his first hours of piano. Indeed, the brain is not used to process such fast and precise tasks simultaneously. That’s why it takes a lot of practice before you can acquire a fluid playing style.
To speed up this process, we recommend that you play in short sequences of a few seconds with one hand. Once you feel comfortable with that portion of the game, play the other hand, then both hands at the same time. When you have mastered this sequence of a few seconds with both hands at the same time, move on to the next sequence.
This method will allow you to progressively assimilate the information (notes, chords, rhythms, required dexterity, …) and to have an exponential learning curve on the song. Indeed, your first hours will be much less efficient than the following ones, because your brain will get used to this methodology little by little and will become more and more efficient.
Moonlight Sonata on the piano: the notes of both hands.
This last video shows you the notes of the song to be played with both hands at the same time. Pay special attention to the different rhythms and the coordination of the notes of the different hands. Sometimes, some of them have to be played at the same time. Other times, they will need to be played one after the other.
You can also pause the video as the notes arrive on the virtual keyboard. This will give you time to reposition your fingers on your piano so that you can play the notes at the right time.
Note: on La Touche Musicale app, you don’t need to pause the song. The application waits for you until you play the right note.
Video tutorial to play the two hands notes of Moonlight Sonata on piano.
Congrats! Now you know how to play one of the most famous classical piano piece in the world!
Check out our other piano tutorials on famous songs:
Download the free piano sheet music of Moonlight Sonata in PDF
The main purpose of this article was to help you learn Moonlight Sonata on the piano. But we also thought it would be interesting if you could download the score of this famous classical composition.
Click on the following link to download the sheet music of Moonlight Sonata for free in PDF format. You can then print it out and play it from anywhere.
Recommended Resource: Piano Tutorials: Learn the 10 easiest songs to play (notes and video tutorials)
This guide offers you 10 tutorials of famous and easy to learn piano songs.
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