Thirteen divisions on the Ground Bass of Pachelbel's Canon (solo piano)
by Michael Hannan (2009)
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Library shelf no. 786.2/HAN 44 [Not for loan]
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Library shelf no. 786.2/HAN 46 [Not for loan]
The origin of this piece can be traced back to my early years as
a music academic when I taught keyboard harmony and improvisation
at The University of Sydney. One of the skills in the curriculum
was improvising "divisions" on a ground bass. Here the term
division principally refers to different rhythmic groupings
although it can also refer to particular textural ideas such as
combining scale-based melodic motion with arpeggios.
The baseline of Pachelbel's Canon in D was one of the harmonic structures employed for this improvisation task.
Later I wrote a rather irreverent electronic parody of Pachelbel's Canon in D as a work for modern dance theatre (I called it The Hannan Canon) but the recording of this work got lost in a Lismore flood.
The popularity of Pachelbel's Canon in D was reinforced to me throughout my time teaching composition at university. In almost every semester there was a least one work presented in the examination folios which had a clear reference to either the melody or the chords of this evergreen.
Difficulty: Medium — AMEB Grade 5
Performances of this work
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