Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major Analytical Essay by Master Researcher

Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major
An examination of Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major.
# 43198 | 1,650 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Oct 21, 2003 in Music Studies (Classical and Baroque)

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This paper examines Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major and analyzes the structure of this piece, discusses the composer's thematic approach, and compares and contrasts three different recordings of the work. The author includes a personal reaction to hearing this piece. The paper includes a lot of resource material.

From the Paper:

"Johann Pachelbel was an important seventeenth-century German composer of Protestant church music, and brought to his musical art an element acquired from acquaintance with Catholic forms of music in Vienna and Italy. He was employed as an organist at Erfurt, then at court in Stuttgart, as organist at Gotha and finally from 1695 in his native city of Nuremberg, where he died in 1706. Essentially, Pachelbel's works are in a contrapuntally simple style, and his organ pieces demonstrate a knowledge of Italian forms derived from Frescobaldi.
"As a leading performer of the organ, Pachelbel wrote a considerable amount of organ music, including a series of organ chorales, based on well known Lutheran hymn-tunes. Other organ music includes works in forms later used by Bach, fugues, toccatas, fantasias and a set of six chaconnes. Pachelbel composed a number of sacred concertos, works for voices and a small group of instruments on sacred texts as well as a number of Magnificat and other settings for the evening service of Vespers. But of all of Johann Pachelbel's wonderful compositions, Canon in D Major stands out for its haunting beauty and inspiring composition."

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