Songs for a toy piano
January 19, 2020 3:29 PM   Subscribe

What can I learn to play on a little eight key toy piano with a C-to-C range (no sharps or flats)?
posted by griphus to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
The melody for The First Noel fits perfectly

Edit: here's a link
posted by acidnova at 3:39 PM on January 19


Jingle Bells (at least the refrain part). Bonus points if you play it with one finger and glare at somebody.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:40 PM on January 19 [5 favorites]


Ode to Joy! Mi mi fa so so fa mi re do do re mi mi, re re
posted by 8603 at 3:42 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


Brahms Lullaby
posted by dydecker at 3:51 PM on January 19




A 3fer: Twinkle Twinkle Little Stat, Baa Baa Black Sheep, the alphabet song.
posted by charmedimsure at 3:57 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


There exist music books for this, like these:

8 Note Bell Songs
More 8-Note Bell Songs

They're exactly what you're looking for: one octave, C to C, no sharps or flats. Perfect for toy pianos and toy xylophones and the like.
posted by Syllepsis at 4:00 PM on January 19 [11 favorites]


Sadly, Ode to Joy has a low G in it if you go a few measures further. This infuriated me when my kid was in her “banging on the toy xylophone” phase.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:11 PM on January 19 [3 favorites]


Yes there are good lists but one oft overlooked is
People are Strange by The Doors. Just start on D and it almost rolls off the fingers.
posted by SaltySalticid at 4:20 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


"Amazing Grace" in the key of F works
posted by thelonius at 4:31 PM on January 19


For He's a Jolly Good Fellow, Old McDonald
posted by dydecker at 4:37 PM on January 19


The well-known hymn tune Hyfrydol.
posted by Melismata at 4:42 PM on January 19


If we're doing hymn tunes, Nettleton (usually used for "Come, thou fount of every blessing"); start on E.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:52 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


Three Blind Mice (start on E)
posted by charmedimsure at 5:34 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


Twinkle twinkle (did I miss it upthread?? [edit - oh yes I did])

Joy to the world -- it was a revelation when my daughter was learning a month ago in her beginning piano lesson and I realized that the beginning is just a descending major scale!
posted by leahwrenn at 7:35 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


Most old-fashioned vocal music for ordinary people (including many hymns, especially old ones, and also many traditional songs like folk ballads, drinking songs, sea shanteys, union songs, and so on) will fit in a single octave. You might need to transpose it, but it will fit once you do.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:59 PM on January 19 [2 favorites]


Mary Had a Little Lamb, Oh Susanna. The Marine's Hymn (From the halls of Montezuma), In the Still of the Night (5 Satin's version), Pack up your Sorrows, If I Had a Hammer (leaving off an unnecessary high D embellishment)
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:17 AM on January 20


The rocky theme
posted by umbú at 6:15 AM on January 20


I always end up ignoring the octaves on a small instrument and try to play something without any huge interval leaps. Also, I may fudge a few accidentals, given the constraints of the instrument. For example, how about the Star Wars main theme (in C). (Here, “c” is the high note.)

Edit: I saw your “no sharps or flats” requirement, but I just put this out there for an example where, by the time you get to an accidental, anyone listening totally gets the song you’re playing and it’s not terribly jarring to the ear.

C G F E D c G F E D c G F E F D (repeat)
G G A F E D C C D E D A B
G G A F E D C G D D
G G A F E D C C D E D A B
G G c B A G F E D C G (this line is out of key, but hopefully forgivable)
posted by klausman at 7:13 AM on January 20


The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Mbube):

C D E D E F E D C D E D C E D (repeat)
G E D E G F E D C D E D C E D
posted by klausman at 7:25 AM on January 20


Blister In The Sun:

Verse ("When I'm out walkin"):
C E C F E, C E C F E, C E C F E, C (click sticks x 4)

Chorus ("Let me go on"), play two-note chords:

Let me go (E-A) on like a

(F-A) Blister in the sun

Let me go (E-A) on

Big (G-B) hands, I know you're the one
posted by klausman at 7:41 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Frère Jacques.
posted by millipede at 9:06 AM on January 21


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