An analysis of the musical canon

canon in d

The Canon in D major is the most famous piece of music by composer Johann Pachelbel. So the origin story of Canon in D is unknown. This type is most common in Renaissance music which is during the Baroque period.

It contains two more chamber suites. This was for two reasons, the first being it was his job to write these pieces and secondly because there is evidence to say that Pachelbel believed these pieces to be morally uplifting and spiritually important. The common musical term for this is ostinatoor ground bass see the example below.

Canon mozart

The bass repeats the same two bar line throughout the piece. Johann Ambrosius Bach , Pachelbel, and other friends and family provided music for the occasion. It was, in fact, the only canon Pachelbel ever wrote. At the age of fifteen Pachelbel enrolled as a student at Altdorf University where he would have studied a variety of traditional subjects. It was during this time in Vienna that Pachelbel had the important chance to study the influential composers of the day. Johann Pachelbel was German baptized, in Nuremberg in and lived until the age of 52, dying in Nuremberg in Hans-Joachim Schulze , writing in , suggested that the piece may have been composed for Johann Christoph Bach 's wedding, on 23 October , which Pachelbel attended. At the time of its composition, the work did not stand out in any way from his already substantial output of choral, instrumental and chamber music. If you analyse the chords you quickly discover that Pachelbel uses all the chords we enjoy hearing in successful popular songs and many other more serious pieces of music. This did not mean that Pachelbel was not a fine contrapuntist but that he enjoyed the richness of melody and colourful, almost transparent harmonies. It was originally written for 3 violins and a basso continuo. The first violin part is the trendsetter, and then the second violin part plays the exact same thing but a couple bars delayed, and then the third violin copies the first violin, but at a delay of 4 bars. It was not published on its own.

Canon in D in pop Since Canon in D has resurged in pop music over the last few decades, I thought it would be neat to look at some of the pop songs that use the same ground bass as Canon in D. The popularity and success of this period was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church. His research indicated that the Canon may have been composed as a kind of "answer" to a chaconne with canonic elements which Biber published as part of Partia III of Harmonia artificioso-ariosa.

Canon in g

Another scholar, Charles E. Finally, the third violin enters imitating the second violin. Instead, I thought I would include a few links to the best of these just below. If a song is in the key of D, the tonic is a D. Polyphonic is multiple melodic voices which are independent from or in imitation with one another. So in Canon in D, the three violins are all playing imitation parts. The return to the dominant or fifth chord at the end of the sequence always leads the ear back to the home key and chord of D major but also gives the feeling of moving on. That would indicate that Pachelbel's piece cannot be dated earlier than —the year of publication of Biber's collection. It was, in fact, the only canon Pachelbel ever wrote. A couple bars later, the second violin repeats. The sheer quantity of songs that include or are in fact an exact copy of the Pachelbel chords is too many to mention individually by name. In Pachelbel's piece, there are three voices engaged in canon see Example 1 , but there is also a fourth voice, the basso continuo , which plays an independent part. If you analyse the chords you quickly discover that Pachelbel uses all the chords we enjoy hearing in successful popular songs and many other more serious pieces of music.

Monophonic includes a single melodic line with no accompaniment.

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An analysis of the musical canon