Famous Artists and their Circles 4 : Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel (1653 – 1706)

You may wish to use this page along with Merry-Go-Round Booklet p.18: Five Currant Buns : Merry-Go-Round booklet

The circle is often used in diagrams to show how things are shared, or divided into portions. Do you think the shoppers shared their currant buns when they got home?  To share one’s food – or anything – really means to give some of it away.

Sharing is also a fundamental ingredient of successful human interaction. It lies at the heart of all healthy relationships, strengthens social ties and aids our wellbeing.

An artist who writes a piece of music is called a composer. Sometimes a composer writes a whole piece based on only one tune that is shared by all voices or instruments, each starting at a different time in imitation. You might have sung ‘London’s / Scotland’s Burning’ as a round with friends, or heard the famous canon (pictured below) by the German composer Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706). Can you see where the theme begins in the top part?

Pachelbel was particularly clever because he wrote an accompaniment to his Canon in D Major called a ground, a second pattern of notes that comes round again and again in the lowest part. Can you spot it?

Find out more:

Watch this performance of his piece played on original instruments from the time the music was first written, hundreds of years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvNQLJ1_HQ0

Just for fun, you might enjoy this alternative version, called ‘Pachelbel Chickens’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khOfSVULtsU


Download a pdf version of this page : _Famous Artists and their Circles 4 Pachelbel

Produced by An Lanntair as part of Full Circle Arts programme.  Funded through the Aspiring Communities Fund with support from the European Social Fund.