I can’t believe how quickly the summertime is going! Hopefully your summer has been filled with lots of fun times and memories. We’re already halfway through the month of July! We’re starting through our July playlist today. If you missed the July listening lessons playlist, be sure to check it out! Today’s piece is one of the most recognized wedding pieces, Pachelbel’s Canon in D. This piece has always been one of my favorites, and we played it during our wedding (if you’re looking for more wedding music selections, be sure to check out this great post from the Domestic Musician!).
I chose this piece for our July playlist because summertime is such a popular time for weddings. If you go to many weddings, you’ll notice many of the same pieces played. Of course, there’s Wagner’s traditional Bridal Chorus, which also appears on our July playlist, but perhaps the second most recognized wedding music is Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
*this post contains affiliate links. If you click them, I may receive a commission.
About the composer: Johann Pachelbel
Here are some interesting facts about the composer:
- born in 1653 in Nuremburg
- German composer during the Baroque era
- well known for organ and keyboard compositions
- composed over 500 pieces
- his music was popular during his lifetime, but Canon in D regained popularity again around the 1970s, and hasn’t gone out of style since that time.
Check out these other works by Pachelbel:
- Chaconne in F minor
- Toccata in E minor for organ
About the music: Canon in D
Canon in D is also known as Pachelbel’s Canon. Here are a few quick facts about the piece:
- it’s unclear when the piece was composed, although it was probably around 1680.
- originally written for three violins and basso continuo (literally continuous bass, a popular type of accompaniment used during the Baroque era)
- the bass part repeats the same two measure pattern throughout the piece, called an ostinato
- the three violins create the musical canon by playing the same part at different times
I like to begin listening times by asking if children have heard that piece before. This piece is so popular in weddings, and other events, that I’m guessing most children will say they have heard the piece.
Here are some simple questions to ask about the piece:
- Have you heard this song before?
- What did you think of the music?
- What did it make you think of?
- Where might you hear this song?
- What instruments did you hear?
- Was the music fast or slow?
Once you have asked them questions, you can give some info on the piece. You can do a repeat listen and add an activity with the repeated listenings, if you’d like. Check out some of the ideas below:
*compare and contrast different versions of the piece-I’d suggest two totally different versions, like this one from Transiberian Orchestra (Christmas Canon), and an instrumental one, like this classic version.
*listening map or listening log- Cori Bloom has a listening lesson for Canon in D included in her Autumn Songs Music Listening Set on teachers pay teachers
*movement activity- put on the music and see how your child responds to it through movement. Bring out your music props, like bean bags and scarves, and let them choose items to use
*painting or drawing to the music- set out crayons, colored pencils, markers, sidewalk chalk, finger paints, etc. and let your children create as they listen. They can try to recreate what they hear, or just create something unique while listening. This was always a favorite with my students!
Hope your children have fun with this listening lesson!