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#003: Canon Law: A Harpist’s Guide to the Pachelbel Canon

music and meaning Jun 07, 2021

 What’s the one piece any harpist could name after just the first two chords? It’s the Pachelbel Canon of course.

Whether you’ve played it a thousand times or have yet to learn it, the Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel has become standard repertoire for harpists. The piece has embedded itself in our musical culture so deeply that it is on every gigging harpist’s most requested list and a favorite with any audience. 

But it isn’t all that easy to play, unless you know the shortcuts.

In this episode I explain some of the musical elements of the Canon with the idea that the more you understand about this piece, or any piece, the easier it is to learn it quickly and to play it well.

Plus, I share some of my favorite Pachelbel practice techniques with you, ones that can save you a lot of practice time and frustration, even if you’ve played the piece before. You’ll discover:

  • Why your harp version isn’t really a “canon.”
  • The unique features of the melody and harmony and how to play them musically. 
  • Why that C natural isn’t a misprint. 
  • My practice guide so you can create your own foolproof version of the Canon.

Join me as we explore some of the inner workings of this interesting piece and some very  practical playing pointers too.

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode: 


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