The Canon in D | 1690-present

One of the most influential musical works of all time. Obscure till the 20th century. Why is it special? Who revived it? What is it’s significance today? Step back in time and experience 1690-present through the eyes of Pachelbel’s Canon in D. 

Hello readers! I hope you’re having a wonderful day so far! Last time I asked you guys what you wanted to see next and the majority was for baroque music. So here it is! I hope you guys enjoy. Please like and share if you do enjoy it and subscribe if you want to see more posts like this! ❤

But before we get into it…a little musical meme… 😉

canon in d

Now one of the most famous classical works of all time, Pachelbel’s Canon in D was obscure and sadly unnoticed till the 20th century. It was revived by pop artists some time in the mid-20th century and has since been re-established as part of our culture. Wedding entrances, film scores, pop re-mixes, the Canon in D has seen it all.

This beautiful piece was composed sometime in the 1690’s by Johann Pachelbel (09/01/1653-03/09/1706), the German composer known for his wide range of secular and religious works, and of course the Canon. 

It was composed for three violins, a basso continuo and a gigue. This Baroque ensemble enhances the work’s subtle notes and simplicity. The notes flow easily and the few instruments just give it the simple air. Of course it’s beautiful in many forms, but I think that like with a lot of things, this piece heard in it’s original intended form can’t be beat.

The Canon also follows a special scale and ascension of notes known today as the Pachelbel Progression. For those very musically talented or studied it’s the following: I-V-vi-iii-IV-I-IV-V. If you’re like me and that was space talk it means in layman’s terms something like this: D major-A major-B minor-F# minor-G major-D major-G major-A major. Anyhow, this has become famous as the Pachelbel progression as he was the first to use this particular progression. Now it’s used in many variations and re-mixes but still carries the same flavor.

This little piece, often taken forgranted, is as integral to our culture as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (also a German composition, interestingly enough). Go listen to it! Explore the world of music. I think we’re many times caught up in today’s complicated music that we forget the simple things and the roots of where our music came from. What’s your favorite piece of music? What piece do you think is important?

If  you want to play this piece on your instrument here are a couple sheet music’s I recommend*:

For piano: Sheet music for piano

For guitar: Sheet music for guitar

Love you all and I hope you have a great rest of your day!


*These are affiliate links and earn me a commission if you buy. This is at no additional cost to you. 



3 thoughts on “The Canon in D | 1690-present

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