Pachelbel's canon is one of the most popular pieces of music
from the Baroque period. Like most
hit tunes, popularity derives from a
simple melodic line and basic harmony. The melody repeats many times
Shields described the canon in his book Reality Hunger
which explores how creativity in literature and music depends on copying and
adapting existing works. Johann
Pachelbel’s “Canon and Gigue in D Major for three Violins and Basso Continuo”
was written around 1680 and lost. Rediscovered in the 1920s, it was first
recorded by Arthur Fiedler in 1940.
The music repeats a two-bar bass line and harmonic sequence
28 times, using the chord sequence I, V, VI, III, IV, I, IV, V — a sequence
Handel used in the second movement of his Organ Concerto No. 11 in G minor and
Mozart used in a passage of “Die Zauberflöte” (1791) and his 1786 Piano Concerto
No. 23 in A Major. Haydn used it in the minuet of his string quartet Opus 50 No.
2. Haydn may have taught the sequence to Mozart. None of the three composers
following Pachelbel exactly matches his harmonic structure; they all created
slight variations. Pachelbel’s structure is thought to derive from the ancient
six-part polyphonic song form called “the round,” in which singers enter the
song at different points, as they do in, say, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” The
date or origin for the round is estimated at 1260, and the composer is
Stephen has arranged and recorded several variations of the canon.l
Pachelbel's Canon Fourth Variation
Persona Music Recordings: Our Music Catalogue includes recorded performances
under the titles Persona Digital, P2500 Band, Em4U, and the Persona Classical Consort.
The focus of Persona Classical is the creation of digital performances of pieces
by J.S. Bach. Other performances include pieces by Mozart, Pachelbel and
Music online is offered to illustrate music history, advance music education and appreciation. The recordings presented online demonstrate Persona
Studio's arranging, recording and mastering techniques. All the recordings are
arrangements and performances completed in house by Stephen Gislason. The music selections and their history
are explained in the book, Sound of Music.
Topics presented at Persona Digital Studio are from the The Sound of Music by