Canon in d matt Lee

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Canon in D Matt Lee

Canon in D was written by Johan Pachelbel around 1680 and is his most famous piece; it is sometimes even referred popularly as Pachelbel’s Canon (partly because a canon is a sort of repetition and if every canon in the world was called by “repetition” then it would be very confusing). A little background on Johan Pachelbel: born in Germany, influenced many of his organ and piano playing in the area. He was a Baroque age composer, teaching his style to famous pupils such as Johann Christoph Bach, and influencing music in such a broad way that his students who travelled to the American colonies became the first famous American composers.

It is a based on a two measure, eight note ground bass part that goes on for the entire piece while variations and different melodies that correspond with the chords are played in the right hand (when played on a piano, keyboard, or organ). A pattern of a tonic A major chord, B minor, F# minor, G major, tonic D major, G major, and A major again. In the numbering system of scale degree (with the Roman numerals learned in class), it is I, V, vi, iii, IV, I. The final two notes are actually part of a scale going back up in order to start the pattern again (seemingly endless or infinite). The harmonies played with the ground bass usually has to do with a scale moving up and down in order to create a rippling effect contrasting the plodding movement of the ground bass. The greatest thing about the canon is that it does not use any inversions, augmentations, or diminution to portray its musicality.

The music itself is widely known and composers from Mozart to Vitamin C have used the ground bass chord progression for their songs. It is a famous wedding song in America and sometimes graduation. Here are some of the songs and advertisements and what-not that are written based off of the pattern that Pachebel wrote:

Songs based on or inspired by the Canon

The progression chords of Pachelbel's Canon can be found in many modern songs.

"All together now" by The Farm

"Basket Case" by Green Day
"Cryin" by Aerosmith
"Domain" on the album "Lifeforms" by The Future Sounds of London
"Don't let it be love" by Bowling for Soup
"End Transmission" album by Snapcase, a band from Buffalo New York (2002)
"Graduation (Friends forever)" by Vitamin C (1999)
"Hook" by Blues Traveler
"I should be so lucky" by Kylie Minogue inspired by Canon
"Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space" by Spritiualized
"Let it be" by The Beatles
"Machine head" by Bush
"Push" by Matchbox 20
"No woman, No cry" by Bob Marley
"On & On & On" by Catch 22 uses chords similar to those in Canon in D Major (1998)
"One Tin Soldier" by Coven
"Piano Love Songs" by pianist Bradley Joseph (2006)
"Rain and Tears" by Aphrodite's Child based on Canon in D mayor (1968)
Rick Wakeman from the band Yes performs the song on their Wakeman 2000 DVD (2000)
"Rocket Surgery" by Amy Kuney
"Salve Regina" by All Angels
"Sk8ter boy" by Avril Lavigne
"Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia
"Tunnel of Love" by Dire straits (1980)
"Valley of the Damned" by Dragonforce
"We're not gonna take it" by Twisted Sister
"With or without you" by U2

Movie and tv-series themes based on or inspired by the Canon

"13 going on 30" directed by Gary Winick (2004)
"Arthur's Perfect Christmas" (2000)
"Bob the butler" directed by Gary Sinyor (2005)
"Evangelion: Death and Rebirth" (1997)
"Fatal attraction" directed by Adrian Lyne (1987)
"Ichigo 100%" (animated manga)
"Kanon" (anime series) - Canon D is in episode 1 and 14
"My Sassy Girl" (2002) (Korean comedy)
"Ordinary People" directed by Robert Redford (1980)
"Runaway bride" directed by Garry Marshall (1999)
"Seul contre tous" by Caspar Noé (1998)
"Step Up" - Canon played in a scene
"Super Android 13" (Dragonball Z movie)
"The Classic" (Korean film)
"The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser" by Werner Herzog
"The Persistence of Memory" - an episode of Carl Sagan's Cosmos series
"The Sweetest Thing" directed by Roger Kumble (2002)
"The Wedding Planner" directed by Adam Shankman (2001)
"Wedding Crashers" directed by David Dobkin (2005)
"Wedding Wars" (TV-series) written by Stepheb Mazur, directed by Jim Fall (2006)

Commercials with music based on or inspired by the Canon

Coca Cola TV-ad for World Cup 2006
Korean commercial - Is it a commercial or just a music video? My korean is a bit poor :) Anyway, it is a cool hip hop version.

Game themes based on or inspired by the Canon

"Audition Online" in the Canon groove - online game
"Gran Turismo 4" contains Canon while driving
"Mother 3" for Gameboy Advance, Canon D remix
"Pump It Up Exceed 2" - rock version performed by Banya
"Super Smash Brothers" for Nintendo 64, Canon D remix
"Utopia" for Amiga and Super Nintendo
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