St John's C of E Primary School

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Ostinato: Pachelbel 'Canon in D major' 18.3.24

Pachabel: ‘Canon in D’ 


Johann Pachelbel  (1653– 1706) was a German composer, organist, and teacher. He wrote music in the Braque era.  


His ‘Canon in D’ is a famous piece of music often played in adverts and in films and at weddings! 


This piece of music has an ostinato that is played on the bass line (the lowest instrument or group of instruments). This is often called the ‘basso continuo’. It is played over 2 bars (8 notes) and is repeated throughout.  


The ‘tune’ played on the higher pitched instruments is called the melody. In a canon, the melody is often repeated on other instruments and sometimes it is changed around a bit with extra notes and patterns. This is called a variation on the melody.  

Pachelbel Canon in D Major