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MUSIC ANALYSIS

Pachelbel's Canon in D
by

Caylin Smith

on 19 September 2012

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Transcript of MUSIC ANALYSIS

Canon in D Johann Pachelbel Canon in D has a contrapuntal texture, meaning that it has two or more equally important melodies weaving along at the same time. The contrapuntal texture is created through one musical idea, and the violins simply imitating each other. The piece starts off with the first violin playing the first two bars of the canon’s melody, followed by the second violin playing the melody and then finally the third violin beginning the canon, whilst the second violin plays the third and fourth bars and the first violin continues with the fifth and sixth. The three violin parts then follow one another at intervals of two bars until the end of the piece. Texture Texture Melody Harmony The same eight chord progressions are used in a sequence throughout the canon which is arranged as:
~ D Major
~ A Major
~ B minor
~ F sharp minor
~ G Major
~ D Major
~ G Major
~ A Major Pachelbel’s Canon in D is one of the most famous compositions ever as it is often played at weddings as well as being a great inspiration to modern day musicians. Pachelbel’s bass chord progressions are found in many well-known songs of today such ‘Sk8er Boi’ by Avril Lavigne, ‘No Woman No Cry’ by Bob Marley or ‘Let it Be’ by The Beatles Canon in D has a contrapuntal texture, meaning that it has two or more equally important melodies weaving along at the same time. The contrapuntal texture is created through one musical idea, and the violins simply imitating each other. The melody starts off with the first violin followed by the second violin imitating the melody in the fifth bar whilst the first violin develops the melodic idea continuing in quavers and finally the third violin enters with the original melody whilst the first and second violin grow the melody in a contrapuntal way Brief History Johann Pachelbel was born on the 1st of September, 1653 ( the actual date of his birth is unknown, but was baptized on this day and is therefore said to have been born on this day or during late August) In Nuremberg Germany.
and died on 9 March 1706 (aged 52)
Nurenberg, Germany Although Pachelbel’s most known work is unquestionably the ‘Canon in D’ he also wrote other works such as ‘Hexachordum Apollinis’ and many pieces for the organ including preludes and fugues, vocal pieces such as motets and arias and pieces for various instruments Dolce A Canon (or Kanon) is a piece of music characterized by imitation and repetition What is a Canon? Friends with Bach and family, he taught other members of the Bach family including , Johann Sebastian Bach and Johann Christoph, married twice and had three sons named William Hieronymus, Johann Michael and Carl Theodor. Pachelbel's music is generally easy on the ear. It is tuneful which includes his organ music as well as church, vocal and chamber music.
A canon is a contrapuntal composition. Another word for contrapuntal is counterpoint. Counterpoint is the interaction of two or more melodies or voices that are both independent (function separately) and interdependent (sound harmonious when played together). Which is why it is called a canon as there are two or three upper voices accompanied by a ground bass. About The Canon Pachelbel’s Canon in D is often referred to as ‘the perfect wedding piece’ due to its elegant and peaceful sound. The melody starts as a descending scale starting on the mediant As shown above the three violins imitate the melody starting off in the third bar by the first violin, making the melody the most memorable part of the piece By Caylin Smith The piece starts off with crotchets at 56 beats per minute (bpm).
The Canon in D uses what is known as variation to its rhythmic pattern, as the actual tempo does not change throughout the duration of the piece. Although the piece follows the same chord progressions the rhythmic patterns are subject to change, from crotchets to quavers to semiquavers, and the like.
The canon becomes increasingly dense towards the middle of the piece as the note values become shorter however, the piece gradually returns to its well-known melody were a less complex structure is found as the note values lengthen once more
The piece makes some use of dynamics but not for the dramatic effect as in pieces such as Joseph Haydn’s ‘Surprise Symphony’ Rhythm He excelled in music right from childhood and studied under several prominent instructors and composers canon also had a gigue associated with it. A gigue is an upbeat, baroque dance. The canon was written to be fast-paced. Nowadays, with many different arrangements, you'll often hear it played slowly. (aka Canon and Gigue in D Major for Three Violins and a Bass Continuo Canon melodic line
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