Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706)

How to say the name:

‘Pachelbel’ is said like Pack-el-bell. ‘Johann’ is said like ‘Yo-han’.

Born:

In Nuremberg, Germany, probably sometime in August 1653 (he was baptised on the 1st September).

Pachelbel’s grave in Nuremberg

Died:

In Nuremberg, probably in early March 1706 (he was buried on the 9th March).

Buried:

St Rochus Cemetery in Nuremberg.

Type of Music:

Classical music from the baroque period.

A famous piece:
The sort of music he wrote:
  • Keyboard music (especially organ). (See below for a video example.)
  • Choral (sung) music for the church.
  • Chamber music (music for a small number of instruments).
Some interesting facts:
  • He was very popular when he was alive.
  • He is only really known for one piece of music today—the Canon in D. However this piece is very popular. Even people who don’t know much classical music will often know this piece.
  • Most of his music was written for the church.
  • A lot of his music has been lost.

Here is a video of Pachelbel’s Canon in D. See if you can hear the same eight low notes played over and over again.

Pachebel’s Canon in D

And here is a video of an organ piece by Pachelbel. You will probably think of this sort of music as ‘church music’. And you would be right! It was indeed written to be played in church.

A fugue in D major by Pachelbel

Picture credits:
  1. Johann Pachelbel. This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.
  2. Pachelbel’s grave in Nuremberg. This image may be used freely. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
Video credits:
  1. Pachelbel Canon in D: High Definition Video (HD). Performed on original instruments by Voices of Music. Featuring Katherine Kyme, Carla Moore & Cynthia Freivogel, baroque violin; Tanya Tomkins, baroque cello, Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque organ; David Tayler, theorbo. There is more information about this one on the video’s YouTube page.
  2. J. Pachelbel: Fugue in D major. Played on Johannus organ. From “20 Fugues” album.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny 5th July 2012

Even people who don’t know much classical music will often know this piece.

So true. This is definitely me. I love Pachelbel’s Canon in D.♥

Cameron Dolt 3rd October 2012

That was so wicked!!!!!!!

Nathan Thomas 23rd October 2012

Pachabell’s Music is very catching!!!

Fiona 21st November 2012

This is great example of great composers, he was such a great man!

Rachel 11th January 2013

Very easy to read webpage. He composed some very famous music!

Florence 11th January 2013

What an amazing composer, I had to find out 10 facts about him, instead I started listening to his music!
I am not in to classical but pachelbels canon is <3 xxxxxxx

Nadia 16th February 2013

This piece of music is deeply spiritual. But it was meant to be……. so are many immortal compositions of many composers of the past They have left great treasure behind. It makes one ask him/herself ‘what will we leave behind’?

Ruby 22nd February 2013

This really helped me with my homework and the music is fantastic.

Charlotte K-W 26th September 2013

Thanks this really helped me with my music homework his music is phernominal chal!!!’

lillli 5th October 2013

AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Genia 2nd January 2014

BEYOND BEAUTIFUL!!!

dily 2nd February 2014

that was awesome

dily 2nd February 2014

love it

delia 11th May 2014

awesome and beautiful
it helped with my hw

Rosalie 7th September 2014

I love pachelbels cannon and this really helped with my music home work

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