Day 1. Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel

Canon in D
Johann Pachelbel


Decided to start with a piece I’ve heard half a dozen times before but never listened to well enough to accurately identify it. In fact, I’m fairly certain the only reason that I remembered it at all was down to a comedy routine on Youtube all about it (linked below!).

To be honest, I thought that by listening to it as more than merely the most popular ‘walk down the aisle’ music *ever* I might develop more of an appreciation for it. I’m not entirely sure that it worked. 

While I do think that this piece of music is technically lovely, and the harmonies really beautiful; I don’t find it to be romantic in the slightest. To me, there is something rather cloying about the repetitive violins chasing each other. In fact, I think that there is a poignant air; a sense of expectation that seems to be unrealised.

This is the most famous piece from the German composer. Indeed, most of his other works has been lost to time. According to that font of all knowledge – Wikipedia – Yohan Pachelbel was renowned in his own lifetime for his chamber works and largely forgotten about until 1919 – when the sheet music for his canon was published. 

The canon – a piece for thee violins paired with a gigue (which is a lively baroque dance. I had to look that up, thought I’d save you the effort!) – was written in 1694, possibly for the wedding of his close friend Yohann Sebastian Bach. No one really knows as only one copy of the piece survives.

If you so desire, you may listen to a beautiful version of Pachelbel’s canon here

Things I learned that I don’t quite understand
but hope to by the end of this challenge

Think that it sounds familiar? You should do…this progression is a very common one, used in a plethera of modern pieces, as this video demonstrates very effectively!



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