The date and circumstances of Johann Pachelbel's (1653-1706) composing of the Canon in D is unknown. The piece (which is paired with a rarely performed Gigue) was mostly forgotten by music history until 1968, when a recording was released and it soon became a huge hit. It is now one of the most beloved pieces of classical music. The cello and bass play a repeating eight note pattern throughout the entire piece with three violins playing a strict canon. A canon is a musical process like a round where a melody is played by one instrument, then imitated by another. In this case the viola acts as the first violin, playing the melody first. It is imitated by the violin after four measures, and again by the second violin four measures after that. The imitation continues through the entire piece. The Canon is scored for viola, two violins and basso continuo. In this version the basso continuo is made up of cello, double bass played pizzicato, and harpsichord.
Learn how to play the notes of "Pachelbel’s Canon in D Viola" on viola for free using our animated scrolling tablature including sheet music and tab options for the easiest way to quickly learn the music. Enjoy playing along with 7 backing tracks which you can control with the track display. Use this tutorial with our tab to learn the song without having to read notes in sheet music.