Clavier Companion - July/August 2017 - 34
Expanding your vocabulary
by Ron Sprunger
o you think Johann Pachelbel
knew how popular his Canon in D
When I discovered the same chord
progression in a few familiar songs, my search
for more examples began. As you play this chord
progression are there songs that come to your
begins with the third scale degree in the top voice
of the chord.
Example 3: Chord progression from Pachelbel's Canon in D
transposed to F major.
Example 1: Chord progression from Pachelbel's Canon in D.
This chord progression is often played with a
scale in the bass:
Example 2: Chord progression from Pachelbel's Canon in D
with descending bass line.
Lifelong learners often create their own
challenges, no longer needing extrinsic motivation
such as an upcoming exam. You might enjoy the
challenge of playing the above progression in
additional keys. To make this more enjoyable, sing
a familiar melody like Jolly Old St. Nicholas as you
play the chords.
Excerpt 4: Jolly Old St. Nicholas.
The Canon in D progression works in all keys, and
the design of the bass part is the same regardless
of the key: down a fourth, up a second, down a
fourth, up a second, etc. The right hand usually