Have I mentioned that I play "Canon in D" on the harp?

I must have, because every bride
at the Wedding Expo on Sunday wanted to hear it.

I offered Bach, I suggested Purcell, I began Wagner, I mentioned Clarke, I even tried to sneak in Andrés...but it was always the Pachelbel they wanted.

I can't blame them. "Canon in D" is an exquisitely beautiful piece. That up-down-up-down chord progression in the bass, that long and lingering stretch of downward steps in the melody that turns elegantly fluid as the work progresses. It has a natural rise and fall that makes it a perfect play on the emotions...and always tear-jerking when a vision in white walks down the aisle.

I don't really know when Johann Pachelbel's "Canon in D" emerged on the wedding scene. It was composed during the Baroque period but wasn't published until 1919. I often wonder as I play it at a wedding what Herr Pachelbel would think of his music's current success. Would he wish he had it under perpetual copyright? Imagine the royalties.

Anyway, it's also a wonderfully satisfying piece to play. The left hand gets a workout keeping the basso continuo going, the right hand does its best creating the canon (if I had another hand, I could really make it the round it's supposed to be but...well, you know...that's ok).

I can play it without looking so I can keep my eyes on the bride. I can play it totally distracted by a reluctant flower girl or a screaming ring bearer (it happens). I can play it as long as I need to for big wedding parties, I can play a shortened version for the bride who wants it for her own processional alone.

As long as they love it, I will play it.


  1. Anonymous1/13/2010

    Whatever you play has beauty. I love that word, beauty. We don't use it often enough.
    "Canon in D" was played at our wedding in 1980 by my violin students. That was BEFORE the movie "Ordinary People" came out which is when the piece became so very popular. You are beautiful and making memories for so many people.

  2. I had the same piece played at my wedding by a friend who's a classical guitarist, and it was just beautiful. But you have to watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdxkVQy7QLM I laughed so hard! :-)

  3. Anonymous3/23/2010

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