Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major (The Canon in D major was composed around…
Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major
The Canon in D major was composed around 1680 (exact date uncertain)
The work is scored for three violins and a continuo.
The piece that follows the canon is a Gigue
basso continuo was a “continuous bass”
EG: cello, double bass
German composer in the Baroque period
Progression of chords
Has light, playful melody
Pachelbel provides a bass and gives blend of both major and minor chords.
D major/A major/B minor/F# minor or D over F#/G major/D major/G major/A major
The bass line (eight notes long) is repeated throughout the piece.
D, A, B, F#, G, D, G, A
The bass is heard first then the first violin plays the falling line.
Full of imitation
Next is the second violin imitating the first violin.
Finally is the third violin imitating the second violin.
Pachelbel builds the texture through imitation
Melodies underneath maintains the same bass line.
The dynamic implications in the melody are intuitively interpreted.
CANNON is an imitation-based song
The first violin part is the trendsetter
The second violin part plays the exact same thing but a couple bars delayed
The third violin copies the first violin, delayed for 4 bars.