Classical Fact

Nearly everyday, string quartets around the world play Pachelbel's Canon in D as part of a wedding ceremony. Advertising agencies have long used it to help sell everything from shampoo to luxury automobiles in television and radio ads. Its creator, Johann Pachelbel, was an important composer in the Baroque period. His contributions to music influenced the work of Johann Sebastian Bach, among others. Pachelbel composed hundreds of pieces for the organ as well as sacred works and keyboard suites. But nothing compares to the seeming immortality of his Canon in D Major. This canon is a two bar ostinato, or repeating phrase, that becomes the foundation for a set of 28 variations.