Top 50 Modern Dueling Piano Songs in 2023

Dueling pianos involves a lively and interactive entertainment act with two piano players facing off on stage, engaging in musical comedic improvisation while taking audience requests. Originating from New Orleans in the 1970s, the act grew popular as a singalong entertainment option in bars and venues.

Today, dueling pianos remains a crowd-pleasing performance style focused heavily on audience participation. Patrons eagerly shout out their song requests as the pianists try to stump each other, alternating back and forth to perform hits that will get the crowd pumped up and singing along. The most skilled dueling piano acts have extensive song repertoires spanning genres and eras, allowing them to cater to diverse audiences.

To succeed, dueling pianists rely heavily on playing popular singalong songs that will delight crowds. The keys are picking tunes the audience knows and loves, that inspire people to belt out the lyrics together. Modern dueling piano repertoires draw from recent chart-topping pop and rock hits, nostalgic older tunes, plus everything in between. Exciting shows feature high-energy songs with big, fun singalong choruses. With the right song selection, the two sparring piano players can transform any room into a lively, vocal singalong party.

Characteristics of Modern Dueling Piano Songs

Modern dueling piano songs that get crowds excited share some common traits and qualities.

Upbeat, Driving Tempo

Successful dueling piano songs typically have an energetic, uptempo rhythm and fast tempo. The lively speed gets people moving and makes the songs conducive for singing along. Slower ballads don’t work as well in the dueling format, while quick, danceable rhythms bring infectious energy.

Memorable Melodies and Hooks

Catchy melodies that are simple to remember help make dueling piano songs into hits. Songs with a hummable chorus or identifiable riff stick in the audience’s head, allowing people to quickly recognize the tunes and chime in on the lyrics. Clever hooks grab attention and also give opportune moments for call-and-response with the crowd.

Relatable Themes

The lyrical content of great dueling piano songs has mass appeal, with themes audiences immediately relate to. Typical topics include having fun, partying, dancing, relationships, love, and celebration. The lyrics often resonate with people from their own lives and experiences. Songs with storylines or messages about universal human emotions connect with crowds on a deeper level.

Familiar Pop Hits

Dueling pianists rely heavily on playing popular songs that audiences already know and love. Covering recent and past favorites across genres gives crowds the chance to hear their most-loved tracks in a new way. The familiarity also means people can easily sing along without having to learn a new or obscure song. Pianists choose hits that remain cultural staples for generations.

Opportunities for Audience Participation

Great dueling piano songs build in moments where the crowd can actively participate through call-and-response and singalongs. Anthemic choruses, repetitive lyrics, and songs with word gaps allow the audience to seamlessly join in the performance. Simple, easily-learned sections let even casual fans feel they can lend their voices.

The Best 50 Modern Dueling Piano Songs in 2023

Pop Chart-Toppers

  1. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke ft. T.I. & Pharrell – Funky party hit with risque lyrics

  2. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen – Catchy, flirty pop song with an unforgettable hook

  3. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – Groovy funk/pop jam that’s impossible not to dance to

  4. Sugar – Maroon 5 – Feel-good pop rock song about a sweet romance

  5. Party In The U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus – Miley’s ode to culture shock moving to Hollywood

  6. Dynamite – Taio Cruz – High energy dance-pop song with an explosive chorus

  7. Yeah! – Usher ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris – Hip hop/crunk club banger famous for Lil Jon’s shouts

Female Pop Anthems

  1. Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson – Breakup revenge pop anthem with a killer hook

  2. Roar – Katy Perry – Inspirational pop power ballad about finding one’s courage

  3. Raise Your Glass – P!nk – Feel-good toast celebrating being yourself and having fun

  4. Bad Romance – Lady Gaga – Eccentric dance pop song about a toxic relationship

  5. Irreplaceable – Beyoncé – Sassy kiss-off to a cheating ex

  6. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) – Beyoncé – High-energy relationship ultimatum and dance challenge

  7. Crazy In Love – Beyoncé ft. Jay Z – Horn-driven pop/R&B smash about romantic obsession

Throwback Singalongs

  1. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey – Uplifting arena rock anthem and quintessential 80s karaoke classic

  2. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond – Nostalgic stadium favorite with a singalong “bah bah bah” chorus

  3. Piano Man – Billy Joel – Melancholy piano ballad about patrons at a bar

  4. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen – Bombastic six-minute rock opera with operatic vocals

  5. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees – Disco funk jam with unmistakable beat and falsettos

  6. Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera – Pop rock song praising a partner’s dance skills

  7. Hey Ya! – Outkast – High energy hip hop track with an infectious chorus

Crowd Participation Songs

  1. Old Town Road – Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – Country/hip hop viral hit with built-in call-and-response

  2. Mo Bamba – Sheck Wes – Hype hip hop track where crowd shouts player’s name

  3. Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s – Sweet acoustic ballad with lyrical prompts for shouting responses

  4. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor – Body positive pop anthem with repeating “So What?” line

Emotive Ballads

  1. Someone Like You – Adele – Heartbreaking piano ballad about lasting love for an ex

  2. Rolling In The Deep – Adele – Scorned woman’s powerhouse revenge ballad

  3. All of Me – John Legend – Passionate piano love song with vulnerable lyrics

  4. Fallin’ – Alicia Keys – R&B ballad about the ups and downs of love

  5. Piano Man – Billy Joel – Wistful piano-driven story song about lonely bar patrons

Other Popular Singalong Hits

  1. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift – Cheery self-empowerment pop anthem about ignoring haters

  2. Thrift Shop – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz – Humorous

hip hop song about bargain hunting

  1. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO ft. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock – Hyper electronic dance song and shuffle dance craze

  2. Let It Go – Idina Menzel – Broadway power ballad from Frozen about freedom and self-acceptance

  3. Love Story – Taylor Swift – Pop fairytale about forbidden love

  4. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars – Smooth retro R&B jam capturing old school glamour

  5. Believer – Imagine Dragons – High energy rock anthem about perseverance

  6. Royals – Lorde – Minimalist pop song criticizing materialism

  7. Happy – Pharrell Williams – Uplifting funk/pop feel-good song

  8. Cake By The Ocean – DNCE – Flirty, upbeat retro pop song using cake as a metaphor

  9. Timber – Pitbull ft. Ke$ha – Folk pop club banger about romantic chemistry

  10. Grenade – Bruno Mars – Dramatic pop ballad pledging selfless devotion

  11. The Middle – Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – Electronic pop song about persevering through hardship

  12. Shut Up And Dance – Walk The Moon – Feel-good indie pop song about letting loose on the dance floor

  13. Despacito – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber – Sexy Latin pop song and global hit

  14. Chandelier – Sia – Haunting electropop ballad about substance abuse and partying

  15. Kiss From A Rose – Seal – Soulful pop ballad comparing love to a blooming rose

  16. Mamma Mia – ABBA – Jaunty disco ode to a free spirit mother

  17. Poison – Bell Biv DeVoe – Seedy new jack swing song equating love to poison

  18. Baby – Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris – Catchy pop/R&B song casting romance as an addiction

Also Read: The 100 Best Dueling Piano Songs of 2023

Elements That Make Songs Work Well

Certain components come together to create songs that successfully get dueling piano audiences excited and actively participating.

Familiar, Popular Songs

The foundation is choosing songs that audiences already know and love. People are far more likely to sing along to something familiar than an obscure or unknown tune. Even casual music fans light up hearing their favorite hits, creating a communal atmosphere.

Easy to Learn Lyrics

Lyrics that are simple and repetitive make songs ideal for group singalongs. Audience members can quickly memorize and chime in on choruses that repeat lyrics. Songs with the same phrase sung over and over stick in people’s heads and invite participation.

Anthemic, Powerful Choruses

Great dueling piano songs build to big, bold choruses everyone loves belting out together at the top of their lungs. These anthemic sections often lift to a higher melody, have a rallying cry quality, and provide cathartic release.


The best songs contain hooks, phrases, or lines that prompt the crowd to respond. The piano player pausing to let the audience yell back a key lyric gets them involved. Call-and-response also allows improvisation and interaction between performers and patrons.

Singalong Sections

Songs with a distinct segment where the instruments drop out while people sing a cappella are huge group bonding moments. The spotlight shifts to the crowd to carry the tune together, often swaying arms and lifting lighters.

Simple Rhyme Schemes

Rhyming lyrics are easy for audiences to quickly memorize and sing along to. Rhyming verses or choruses get people recalling the words and anticipating the rhymes with each repetition.

Upbeat, Danceable Tempo

The energy and mood of uptempo songs inspires movement and participation. It’s hard to resist singing and bouncing to an infectious, lively rhythm. Slower ballads don’t create the same excitement levels.

Relatable Themes

Lyrics reflecting universal emotions and experiences form an instant connection with listeners. Songs about love, fun with friends, celebration, hardships overcome, or just letting loose on the weekend resonate broadly.

In summary, dueling pianists cherry pick songs with elements encouraging crowd camaraderie and lively participation all night long.

Also Read: The 50 Most Unusual Dueling Piano Songs of 2023


Dueling piano shows rely heavily on song selection to create an engaging, interactive atmosphere. More so than many musical acts, the success and energy of the performance depends on choosing songs the audience knows and loves to sing along to. Modern dueling pianists pull from recent pop chart toppers, nostalgic older hits, party anthems, and a variety of genres to curate an eclectic songbook. Their extensive repertoire allows adapting setlists to please any crowd. Top performers possess seemingly endless musical knowledge, familiar with hundreds of catchy singalong tunes spanning decades.

Great dueling piano songs contain qualities making participation irresistible. Uptempo rhythms get people moving, catchy choruses stick in everyone’s heads, and lyrics with call-and-response prompts seamlessly engage crowds. Singalongs during instrumentals and anthemic liftoff moments get patrons belting lyrics together at full voice.

By artfully selecting songs audiences connect with and want to be part of, skilled dueling piano acts get the crowd passionately involved. Audience energy and response drives the show as much as the performers. The piano players feed off the crowd’s enthusiasm during call and response or favorite singalongs.

In the hands of talented musicians equally adept at playing and working the room, dueling pianos transforms into an infectious, interactive party. Audiences forgetting inhibitions and uniting voices with strangers reflects the communal joy and magic of music. For both hardened show veterans and casual attendees alike, the appeal is obvious – who doesn’t love live entertainment that encourages singing your heart out to your favorite songs?

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