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Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel

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Johann Pachelbel

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  1. Heather Bell 10/04/13 Music 1010/Ferrin Johann Pachelbel Figure 1Courtesy of

  2. Biography Johann Pachelbel was born in Germany in 1653 to Johann (Hans) Pachelbel & Anna (Anne) Maria Mair. The precise date of his birth is not specified. After highschool, Johann attended the University of Altdorf in June of 1669. Pachelbel was a great student and showed that he was exceptionally talented in music. Johann received musical lessons from Kaspar (Caspar) Prentz and developed a keen interest in contemporary Italian music (All Music).” In Eisenach Johann became friends with Johann Ambrosiusand taught his family music. In about 1678 Johann “was employed at Erfurt, as organist of the ‘Predigerkirche’ (All Music).”

  3. Johann’sjob at the church consisted of maintaining the organs and composing “large-scale work which proved his talents as a composer and organist (Biography).” In 1686, he was chosen as organist of the St.Trinitatis church in ‘Sondershausen’. He worked in the city for the next four years. Johann left Erfurt and was appointed as the musician-organist in the Württemberg court at Stuttgart in 1690. Johann was married twice. His first marriage was to Barbara Gabler in 1681. They had a son, but both his wife and son died in 1683 due to a plague. In 1684 Johann did re-marry. Her name was Judith Drommer (Trummert). Johann and Judith had seven children; five were sons and two were daughters. Johann was motivated by southern, German composers. His music style was clear and simple, which “laid importance on the melody and harmonic clarity (All Music).” Johann was known as an organ composer and famed for this. He also made a considerable variety of vocal music compositions. “There are close to 530 compositions in Johann’s name (The Famous People).” Johann wrote approximately “100 fugues in which, 30 are free fugues and the remaining 90 are called ‘Magnificat Fugues’ (Biography).” Besides about 40 big scale works, Johann wrote many “Chaconnes, Preludes, Ricercars, Arias and other keyboard music (All Music).” Many of Johann’s compositions went missing in the period of the World Wars, but there are a handful of documents that survived. They can be seen in the Oxford Bodleian library.

  4. Johann was known for beautifully composing music, many pieces while in “Nuremburg and he also published his chamber music collection ‘MusicalischeErgötzung’ and the ‘HexachordumApollinis’ (All Music).” In Johann’s last years, he composed “‘Concertato Vespers’ and a set of more than ninety ‘Magnificat fugues’ (The Famous People).” One will find different death dates for Johann. Different sources show that the he may have died on March 3rd or March 7, 1706. Johann was laid to rest at St. Rochus Cemetery.

  5. References • All Music. (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2013, from • Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2013, from • The Famous People. (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2013, from

  6. Compositions One of my favorite compositions is Canon in D Major. It was written in 1680 during the Baroque era. It was discovered again in the 1920’s and published. In the 1970’s it became really popular. It is one of the most recognizable pieces of classical music. And it is commonly heard at weddings. Initially it was written for three violins and basso continuo but has since been tailored for other instruments. The chord progression is minimal and simple nonetheless it has been used in music today. The “Beatles and Fleetwood Mac (52 composers)” are just a few of the artists that have used and modified Canon in D Major. The list of fairly recent artists who have used this composition is continuous. The other composition that I have chosen is PachelbelPartie No.6 in B flat major, T.336. This piece was published in 1695, Pachelbel was approximately 42. It was hard to find more history on this piece and why Pachelbel composed it. “Originally a French folk dance that became a courtly dance with Louis XIV and subsequently used in Baroque suites (EarSense).”

  7. References • (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2013, from 52 composers: • (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2013, from EarSense:

  8. Canon in D Major Video courtesy of You Tube

  9. Time Listening Guide Canon in D Major • 0:00 Introduction: The string instruments and the organ open the song. The pitch is low and even and they are in harmony with each other. • 0.12 The violins come in and are in harmony with the organ and cello. The violin is smooth and clear. The string instrument keeps is slow beat. The rhythm is interwoven with the harmony. • 0.22 The third violin comes into play. It is right in harmony with the other instruments. Its texture is the same as the other two violins. • 0.37 Two of the violins are still in harmony. One seems to be playing another verse. The pitch is lower than the other two violins. The organ and string instruments maintain their low tempo. • 0.56 The tempo is becoming more upbeat. The organ has not really changed its tone, its sound is still low and consistent. One violin’s pitch is going up and down. The violin’s rhythm is faster. • 1.23 One violins pitch and beat have become faster. The pitch is up and down. The organ is in harmony with the cello and string instruments, both have a lower tone and slower beat. • 1.47 One violin is now on a solo. The other two violins are in complete harmony. It is fast and upbeat then slows down at 1.56. The strings instruments keep their even beat. • 2.25 The song goes back to a more subdued version. Two violins are in harmony, the third seems to jump in and out of the piece. The string instruments and organ’s tempo seem to have stayed the same, they are low and the rhythm is slow. • 2.57 All three violins are playing different notes. Yet they all seem in harmony. The tone slows down at 3.06. The string instrument is being plucked the same. The beat is slow and repetitive. • 3.31 The cello has been in and out. It comes in strong, you just have to listen for it. The organ and strings instruments keep their low tone. The violins pitch is higher. • 3.50 The piece is coming to an end. The violins slow down to the beat of the other string instruments. The string instruments change texture. All instruments end on note. • 4.10 Ends.

  10. PachelbelPartie No.6 in B flat major, T.336 Video courtesy of You Tube

  11. Time Listening Guide PachelbelPartie No.6 in B flat major, T.336 • 0:00 Introduction: The string instruments and violin open this piece. The violin seems to overpower the other instruments. You can hear it’s pitch and harmony more clearly. • 0.33 The violin continues its high pitch. The tone of the other instruments is low. The melody seems to “sway”. The violin is more in harmony with the other string instruments. • 0.52 The beat is up and down. The violin’s pitch is not as high. The string instruments tone are low and in harmony. • 1.19 All instruments pick up and have an upbeat tempo. The string instruments are being played at a faster rhythm. The melody seems repetitive. • 2.08 The tone of all the instruments change. It becomes a low, slow tempo. The beat and rhythm are clear and slow. The violins pitch is higher. • 3.06 The verse seems to change. The string instruments beat and rhythm are a little faster. • 4.07 The violins are not in harmony with the other string instruments or organ. The violins have taken on their own upbeat rhythm and tempo. The violin is heard clearly over the other instruments. • 5.09 There is a pause. The violin comes in fast and at a higher pitch. The tone of the violin changes from fast to slow. The string instruments and organ remain a background tone. The rhythm of these instruments is a little slower than the violin. They are in harmony. • 6.35 Another pause. The violin comes in and almost sounds like a trumpet. Only violins are playing at this point. They are in harmony with each other. The string instruments and organ come in about 10 seconds later.

  12. 7.12 The violin’s high pitch “trumpet” like sound comes in. It is followed by other instruments at about 7.22. The pitch is not as high on the violins. You can hear the string instruments in rhythm in the background. • 7.48 The violins are playing alone. They dynamic and tone are in harmony. • 8.25 There is a very minimal pause. The violins play alone again. They are upbeat and the pitch and tone are medium. All instruments join in harmony at 8.40. • 8.55 There is a change in melody and texture. The piece is coming to an end. The organ and string instruments are heard more clearly. Their pitch and tone seem to be in line with the violins. The violin ends the piece smoothly. • 9.05 Ends. • References: •