Piano music from my childhood

I believe so much in the beauty, the construction, the architecture invisible, the importance for all generations, for young people to come that it will help their minds, develop their attitudes, and give them values.

— Van Cliburn, 1958

Just as with literature, one’s music preferences are a very personal thing. No two people experience exactly the same emotions from listening the one piece of music. Our brains are programmed with sounds from our environment, and during this process we develop our taste for some melodies and not others.

Here are 50 pieces that had a positive impact on my passion for the piano as a child:

  1. Solomon Linda: Mbube / The lion sleeps tonight (Africa)
  2. Greensleeves (England, 1580) – played by Mr Whippy icecream vans in Australia
  3. Auld lang syne (Scotland)
  4. God save the queen (England) – my National Anthem until after I was five years old.
  5. There’s a hole in my bucket (Germany, 17th century)
  6. Johann Pachelbel: Canon in D (Germany, 17th century, PWC 37) / modern arrangement
  7. J.S. Bach: Prelude in C major (Germany, 1722, BWV 846)
  8. J.S. Bach: Jesu (Germany, 1723, BWV 147)
  9. Antonio Vivaldi: Four Seasons – Spring (Italy, 1725)
  10. George Handel: Arrival of the queen of Sheba (England, 1748, HWV 67)
  11. John Stafford Smith: To Anacreon in heaven / Star-spangled banner (England, 1780)
  12. W. A. Mozart: Piano Concerto 21 (Austria, 1785, K. 467) – especially the first movement (I cry happy tears every time I hear this)
  13. W. A. Mozart: The marriage of Figaro – overture (Austria, 1786, K. 492)
  14. W. A. Mozart: Symphony 40 (Austria, 1788, K. 550)
  15. Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata in C minor (Austria, 1798, Op. 13, No. 8)
  16. Frédéric Chopin: Polonaise in A major (France, 1838, Op. 40, No. 1)
  17. Euphemia Allen: The celebrated chop waltz (UK, 1877)
  18. Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Dance of the sugar plum fairy (Russia, 1892)
  19. Christina Macpherson: Waltzing Matilda (Australia, 1895) – Australia’s unofficial national anthem
  20. Leslie Stuart: Lily of Laguna (England, 1898) – anthem of the Carlton Football Club
  21. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Flight of the bumblebee (Russia, 1899)
  22. Scott Joplin: The entertainer (USA, 1902)
  23. John Bratton: Teddy bears’ picnic (USA, 1907)
  24. The quartermaster’s store (England, 1914)
  25. Sergei Prokofiev: Peter and the wolf (Russia, 1936)
  26. Hoagy Carmichael: Heart and soul (USA, 1938)
  27. Harold Arlen: Over the rainbow (USA, 1938)
  28. Leigh Harline: When you wish upon a star (USA, 1939)
  29. Sherman brothers: It’s a small world (USA, 1962)
  30. Peter Yarrow: Puff the magic dragon (USA, 1963)
  31. Kenny Young and Arthur Resnick: Under the boardwalk (USA, 1964)
  32. Bob Thiele: What a wonderful world (USA, 1967)
  33. Procol Harem: A whiter shade of pale (UK, 1967)
  34. Johnny Pearson: Piano parchment (UK, 1968)
  35. Gershon Kingsley: Popcorn (USA, 1969)
  36. B.J. Thomas: Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head (USA, 1969)
  37. Paul de Senneville: Ballade pour Adeline (France, 1976)
  38. John Williams: Star Wars theme (USA, 1977)
  39. Paul Williams & Kenneth Ascher: Rainbow connection (USA, 1978)
  40. Elton John: Song for Guy (UK, 1978)
  41. Peter Allen: I still call Australia home (Australia, 1980) / Fazioli version
  42. Vangelis: Chariots of fire (Greece, 1981)
  43. John Williams: Indiana Jones theme (USA, 1981)
  44. Taco Ockerse: Puttin’ on the ritz (Germany, 1981)
  45. David Paich: Africa (USA, 1982)
  46. Shuki Levy: Inspector Gadget theme (USA, 1983)
  47. Howard Goodall: Red Dwarf theme (UK, 1987)
  48. Michael Land: Monkey Island theme (USA, 1990)
  49. Enya: Caribbean blue (Ireland, 1990)
  50. Enya: Book of days (Ireland, 1991)

18 pieces of Christmas music that were popular in Australia:

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