Pachelbel Canon Sheet Music

Written by Serena Berger
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Pachelbel Canon sheet music is a staple in the wedding music repertoire. Countless brides have walked down the aisle to this piece, eschewing the heavier and more bombastic Wagner wedding march. Pachelbel's Canon embodies grace and beauty, and as such has become a beloved standard in chamber music.

You might think of Pachelbel as the classical equivalent of the one-hit wonder. As was the case for Handel, as a contemporary of Bach, no amount of prolificacy was going to make Johann Pachelbel the Baroque period's favorite son. While Pachelbel was in fact responsible for several noteworthy organ chorales and a lovely Magnificat (among other pieces), a betting man would give you in the neighborhood of 1000:1 odds that someone searching for Pachelbel sheet music is looking for Pachelbel Canon sheet music.

If you're going to go down as a one-hit wonder, however, what a way to go! This beloved piece is part of the Canon and Gigue in D, written for three violins and basso continuo. The piece has been described with all manner of rhapsodic metaphors incorporating gentle waves and breezes, evoking classic romance and enduring love. The same progression repeats over and over (a very nice progression, to be sure, which might be aptly described as the classical equivalent of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing," a progression on which rock and jazz musicians will happily jam for inordinately long periods of time) while the violins play increasingly layered counterpoint above.

Pachelbel Canon Sheet Music for Almost All Instruments

Many musicians have taken Pachelbel Canon sheet music and run with it, either re-orchestrating the piece, or improvising on it. Wynton Marsalis, for example, recorded an exquisite version playing three trumpet parts himself. There have also been jazz and rock musicians who have been far more innovative with instrumentation and interpretation. If you want to see what you can do with this piece, you should be able to find sheet music arranged for a variety of instruments which will give you a solid foundation for your musical exploration.


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