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Pachalbel's Canon Progression

By the German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel.

PUBLISHED: Jan 29, 2014 UPDATED: Sep 27, 2019 • VIEWS: 37 • LESSON CODE: UL59h

Instruments: ANY ukulele Subjects: chordsprogressionstheory

Pachalbel's Canon Progression

In the key of C major Pachelbel's Canon is: C G Am Em F C F G. This is a I V VI III IV I IV V in harmonic analysis notation. In Nashville Numbering it's 1 5 6 3 4 1 4 5.

C G Am Em F C F G

It is a full diatonic progression with all the chords coming from it's parent major scale. A bit of a variation of the famous Four Chord Pop chord progression.

Pachelbel's Canon is the name commonly given to a canon by the German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel in his Canon and Gigue for 3 violins and basso continuo. It is his most famous composition. It was originally scored for three violins and basso continuo and paired with a gigue. Both movements are in the key of D major.

Pachelbel's Canon combines the techniques of canon and ground bass. Canon is a polyphonic device in which several voices play the same music, entering in sequence. In Pachelbel's piece, there are three voices engaged in canon, but there is also a fourth voice, the basso continuo, which plays an independent part.

Example Songs

  • The Who - Pictures of Lily (the chorus)
  • The Beatles - In My Life (the piano break)
  • Bee Gees - Spicks and Specks
  • Petula Clark - Don't Sleep In The Subway
  • David Bowie - Changes
  • David Bowie - All the Young Dudes
  • Oasis - Whatever
  • The Monkees - It's Not Too Late
  • Green Day - Basket Case
  • Vitamin C - Graduation Friends Forever
  • Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter - One Tin Soldier
  • Belle & Sebastian - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying
  • My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
  • Blues Traveler - Hook
  • The Polyphonic Spree - Light And Day / Reach for the Sun
  • Coolio - C U When U Get There
  • Joe Jackson - Hometown
  • Tupac - Life Goes On
  • Therapy Sisters - Pachelbel's Tantrum
  • The Farm - All Together Now
  • First Class - Beach Baby
  • Traditional - My Jesus I Love Thee
  • Mary-Kate and Ashley - Imagine
  • Relient K - Operation
  • The Farm - All Together Now
  • The Polyphonic Spree - Section 9
  • Happa-tai - Yatta
  • Delerium - Paris
  • Aphrodite's Child - Rain and Tears
  • Lutricia McNeal - Rise
  • Menelik - Je Me Souviens
  • Libera - Sanctus
  • Ozone - Dragostea Din Tei

Additional Song Links


End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

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Common Chord Progressions • Updated: Sep 10, 2013

Learning the similarities between chord progressions and songs helps you remember a lot of songs. There's a lot more in common between songs than one might think.

This series of lessons explores common chord progressions.

Four Chord Pop Progressions - I V VI IV ( 1 5 6 4 ) • Updated: Nov 27, 2020

This is the most popular chord progression in use today. It has replaced the most common chord progression that was used in the 50s, the 1 6 2 5 chord progression.

Remembering Songs • Updated: Mar 19, 2019

Listening to songs and wanting to play the same songs on ukulele - that's what draws most people to the ukulele. That and it looks like a load of fun and easy too play - which it is. Then you need to actually remember the songs that you're learning so you can play them again. And, hopefully not have to read them off a sheet all the time.

Remembering a song is lot like remembering the directions for a road trip. There are the turn-by-turn directions, road maps, signs and landmarks that will get you to where you are going. Turn here, turn there, remember this and remember that landmark. With a songs it's the chords, the melody, style, the harmonic cells, the form, etc that are part of the song that you want to remember.

Harmonic Analysis Lesson Series • Updated: Jan 6, 2020

Harmonic Analysis ( HA ) is the process used to determine the harmonic function of chords within a chord progression. A chord progression is defined as a sequence of chords, each chord has a root and has a particular chord type. The relationship of a chord's root to a scale determines its function within that scale's tonality. Once a chord's function is identified, scale selections along with chord and scale substitutions can be made. This process is called Root Movement Analysis ( RMA ). This series of lessons are extracted from my book for use with individual private and on-line students. Each lesson directly corresponds the chapters in my book Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution by Curt Sheller (me).

The Major Scale • Updated: Feb 11, 2016

Called the learning scale for a reason. The major scale is a great scale for learning how music and chords work. It’s a core scale from which a majority of your core, essential scales can be derived. There are 15 major scales.

The Harmonized Major and Minor Scale Charts • Updated: Sep 5, 2011

The Major Scale or Ionian scale is a diatonic scale, made up of seven distinct notes, plus an eighth which duplicates the first one octave higher. In solfege these notes correspond to the syllables “Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti/Si, (Do)”, the “Do” in the parenthesis at the end being the octave of the root.

Related Books

Related Books for Pachalbel's Canon Progression at this time.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution
Updated: Nov 20, 2020

Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Pachalbel's Canon Progression at this time.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale and Chord Selection
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

Harmonic Analysis is the process used to determine the harmonic function of chords within a chord progression or song. A chord progression is defined as a sequence of chords, each chord has a root and is a particular chord type. The relationship of a chord's to a scale determines its function within that scale's tonality.

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