Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major

Baroque Music
Years 7 & 8 Mandatory Music Students

 Focus Content:

Students will learn about pitch and texture through listening, performing and composing to Pachelbel’s Canon. With this particular piece they shall explore the uses of the canon technique in baroque music and will also learn to distinguish the key of D Major in traditional notation.

Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major by Johann Pachelbel.



–       Use of simple melodic and bass lines and the use of the canon.


–       The idea of thick and thin texture and how it is demonstrated in Pachelbel’s Canon.

Learning Activities


The students will listen through Pachelbel’s Canon and will answer several questions on texture and pitch.

–       What instruments are being used and when do they enter the piece?

–       Does the piece begin with a thick or thin texture?

–       How many melodies can you hear?

Pachelbel’s Canon in D maj with Sheet Music

The students will perform the bass line of Pachelbel’s Canon as a class by reading traditional notation.

Then they will form small groups/ ensembles and improvise over the bass line. After some practice time they will then perform the final product to the entire class.

How others have covered Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major


The students will each get a chance to improvise a new melody over the canon while in their groups. They will be experimenting with pitch by using the chance method and will learn more about their chosen instruments range and pitch capabilities (Stage 4).

Students will research other baroque composers who have used canons in their compositions and write a paragraph about how those pieces are similar and dissimilar to Pachelbel’s Canon.


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