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.