Important: Today’s post is the 3rd movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata 14 (“Moonlight”) in C# Minor (below).
If you’re looking (instead) for the most famous movement of this sonata, the slow, sort of haunting first movement, that sheet is right here: Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement.
Hello again, Beethoven fans!
Here’s a brand new sheet music offering. This one is another custom job for keyboard players who read music “a little bit,” but who may have trouble remembering the details about key signatures, or may sometimes be unsure about which piano key belongs to which line or space on the staff. Perhaps you’re an adult who had lessons many years ago, for example.
This Beethoven piano sheet music was prepared by me, and was very carefully cross-checked for accuracy by doing note-for-note comparisons against three other “standard format” publications of this sonata. All references used are from reputable sources.
I highly recomend that you also have access to a “conventional” copy of this piece (one that has no letter-names added), because it will likely contain many standard markings that I deliberately left out, due to the additional clutter created by adding all those letters! Important markings left out by me, in this lettered version, include phrasing and dynamics symbols, which are essential information for studying and playing any piece like this.
About Marking Note Names (letters, plus #’s and b’s) on Sheet Music
The sheet music below has each note’s letter-name marked in (such as E, F#, Ab, G). There are many situations where this reading aid, the adding of letter-names, can be really useful. Beware, some teachers get extremely upset about this kind of alphabetic behavior, declaring it to be pretty much a horrible thing under any circumstances. I’m not exaggerating. But I have used this aid in many successful ways, with students who all ended up being good music readers, and good players. That said, I guess I also should say: If you are a formal student of piano, who intends to read music really well, please be careful about decisions regarding the marking in of letter-names, and maybe just be guided by your teacher, when it comes that. Myself, when I choose to use this letter-note aid with a private student, the letter-notes have to come from me. That is, they are generally not allowed to mark in any note-names themselves.
Okay, there’s that!
Today’s selection is Beethoven’s famous “Moonlight Sonata,” entire 3rdmovement.
Below is printable sheet music for Beethoven's Für Elise (the entire piece), which I've marked up for you, to include each note's letter name (E, A, B, D#, etc.) . I've used this mark-up method with many of my early piano students, allowing them to start playing great sounding pieces that are well beyond their current reading level.
This approach is best for people with a general idea of how piano notation works, but who are weak on associating all those lines and spaces with the keys on the piano, or maybe not too keen on interpreting key signatures.
I left out various markings such as dynamics, crescendos, phrase markings, and pedal markings. This is so the inexperienced music reader can focus strictly on the keys to be played. The WAY they are played, and the RHYTHM in which they are played, can be gathered by listening to a good recording of Fur Elise, and/or by looking at the standard notation.
Regardless, I guess it almost goes without saying, the ideal way for an early/intermediate piano student to learn this piece is with a professional piano teacher. Regrettably, not all people have that luxury!
Side bar: I once had a young student who thought for a while that I was saying "Furry Lease" instead of Für Elise. Cute, huh?
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Here’s a new sheet music post for keyboard players who read music “a little bit,” but who may have trouble remembering the details about key signatures, or may be unsure about which piano key belongs to which line or space on the staff. Maybe you’re an adult who had lessons years ago, for example.
I highly recommend that you also have access to a “conventional” copy of this piece (one that has no letter-notes added, I mean), because it will likely contain many markings that I have left out, in order to deal with the page clutter that I created by adding all those letters. Important markings left out by me, in this lettered version, include phrasing and dynamics symbols, which are critically important in studying a piece like this.
About Marking Notes with Letter-names on Sheet Music
Disclaimer: The marking of letter-names on sheet music is a valid tool for learning piano, depending on how and when it is used.
Be advised that in the context of academic study, for example traditional piano lessons, this practice should be at the discretion of the professional instructor, and not of the student. This is because, when used in the wrong setting, or in the wrong way, letter-notes can actually become a hindrance to one’s learning to read music fluently!
A big focus of “Piano with Kent” is to get people to their pianos, and to bring musical experiences and knowledge to those who may not have the time, the funds, or the circumstances to be taking formal lessons. Millions of people want to play piano, and also to play better and better, and most of those millions do not have the luxury of a private instructor. The letter-name sheets provided here, are in that spirit.