Famous Duets
Brahms' Hungarian Dances

Famous duets your students will enjoy: Brahms' Hungarian Dance Number 5 in two easy arrangements, for early beginners and Level 2 players.  

This soaring minor melody never grows old!

My favorite, and the most famous?

Brahms wrote a whole set of Hungarian Dances, but this one, Number 5, is surely the most irresistable and crowd-pleasing.

Brahms' Hungarian Dances are so full of "sound and fury" that we may think they were originally conceived as orchestral pieces.  Apparently they were piano duets first, and were later transcribed by Brahms himself for orchestra.

Here is a VERY SIMPLE version, for beginners, of the Hungarian Dance Number 5:

Hungarian Dance Number 5 by Brahms

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Lyrics for young kids

I couldn't resist adding some words to the song, for young children.  It really does make the song easier to remember and more fun to play, as those of you who played as children will recall!  

Us the solo for a duet primo

To turn this easy version into duet music, make up a pattern using the chord symbols above each line.

A more formal duet approach

And below is the arrangement for Level 2/3 players Secondo, and Level 1 Primo:

Hungarian Dance duet sheet music for piano

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Pages 1 & 2 are just the same, except that the Primo goes up an octave.

The fast-moving eighth notes in the Primo part are usually a new phenomenon for students who are playing this otherwise simple part.  

How should beginners count the fast notes?

  Rather than tedious explanations about "1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and", which many are not ready for, I might say "One-two-three, tee-tee-Tah-two-three-four," in the fast parts (such as measure five, end of line one). 

Primo and Secondo for Hungarian Dance number 5

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

I know that's not very technical, but "Tah" and "tee-tee" really do make sense to young kids!  

Less talk, more music.  The strong melody will itself pull this piece together.

Many editions & arrangements of this piece

There are quite a few book editions of the Hungarian Dances available in their original - and exciting! - form.  You may also download a digital copy from Sheetmusicplus of some of the Hungarian Dances for duet or solo piano.

According to one publisher (Wiener), 

"The 'Hungarian Dances' were published in three different, yet authentic versions during the composer's lifetime: (1) all 21 dances arranged for piano duet, (2) nos. 1-10 also for solo piano and (3) nos. 1, 3 and 10 as orchestral arrangements."

A Youtube video featuring many paintings of the handsome Brahms throughout his life, with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra playing the music of the famous Hungarian Dance Number 5:


The links for the piano music:



Download Brahms duet primo for easy piano



Download famous duets Hungarian Dance Number 5, Primo & Secondo together








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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.