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Thirteen divisions on the Ground Bass of Pachelbel's Canon (solo piano)

by Michael Hannan (2009)

Piano music. Volume III


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Piano music. Volume III / Michael Hannan.

Library shelf no. 786.2/HAN 44 [Not for loan]

Work Overview

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.

Work Details

Year: 2009

Instrumentation: Piano.

Difficulty: Medium — AMEB Grade 5

First performance: by Fred Cole at Michael Hannan - retrospective (D Block Studio 129, Southern Cross University, Lismore campus) on 14 Nov 2019

Performances of this work

14 Nov 2019: at Michael Hannan - retrospective (D Block Studio 129, Southern Cross University, Lismore campus). Featuring Fred Cole.

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