Musical Musings

Sharing musical thoughts and ideas.

Baroque Composer - Johann Pachelbel

Wednesday, September 1, 2021 by Paula Augustine | Student Article

Johann Pachelbel

(1653 - 1706) Baroque Period

At some weddings the famous Pachelbel's Cannon is played as the bride walks down the aisle. This piece has been played and arranged in many ways for 300 years! A couple of students in the studio are learning this famous piece on piano this fall. 

Johann Pachelbel was born in Numberg Germany. His father enrolled him in the St. Lorenz High School but soon recognized Johann's musical potential and arranged for outside musical training. In addition to his academic and musical studies, he served as organist at the Pfarrkirche. During his high school years at Gymnasium Poeticum in Regensburg, Johann was given permission to study music outside the Gymnasium with Kaspar Prentz. It is believed that this teacher helped to develop Pachelbel's interest in Italian and church music.

In 1677, he returned to Germany and settled in Eisenach where he worked as the court organist for Prince Johann Georg of Sachsen-Eisenach. During this time he became known as not only an important German organist but also a composer. Pachelbel also became friends with the Bach family and began to tutor Johann Christoph Bach.

Johann Pachelbel wrote many sacred and secular works during his lifetime as a composer, organist and teacher. He is best remembered for his Canon in D and is through his work has become an important Baroque composer.

There is not many videos made on Pachelbel's life, here is a short 1 minute video. 


And... The Famous Cannon in D

Played with original instruments - Look at the Big Lute in the middle of the group.


Played as a Flash Mob by a kids orchestra: