Pachelbel's Canon

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Pachelbel’s Canon Versus Beethoven’s Fifth
Matt Turley
October 20, 2011
HUM 266
University of Phoenix
Stuart Stilling

In what people consider as classical music, there are different eras of music, two in particular that deserve a closer look are the Baroque Period and the Classical Period. The two different styles, or eras, are very close in what the untrained ear. Listening to the two different eras at first it was difficult hear a distinct difference between the two eras of music. In the Baroque Era music like Bach’s Water Music, Handel’s Messiah and Pachelbel’s Canon are soft rhythmic pieces generally with smaller ensembles of instruments, the focus on strings in the music and was generally written between 1600 and the 1750’s (Differences 2011). In the Classical Era such as Haydn’s String Quartet, Mozart’s Symphony no. 40 and Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5 the music is a little more chaotic and not as in tune with the other pieces. Classical pieces also tended to be larger orchestras that focused more on the winds and brass, even though strings were still part of the group. The music is generally considered to from 1750’s to the 1820’s (Differences 2011).

Two pieces of music that are good to compare from the eras is Pachelbel’s Canon and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Pachelbel’s Canon is a very peaceful, rhythmic and melodic piece of music that is soothing to ear and is escape music, it has the power to take the listener and transport, or escape them from where they are at. Canon has been used in advertisements as well as a wedding song, which is what is most known for this day is as a processional piece of music.

Beethoven’s Fifth is another popular and well known piece, Beethoven uses the whole orchestra and the piece rises and lowers throughout the piece in its different movements. Pachelbel’s Canon is more of a peaceful piece; this piece is more violent and chaotic. Beethoven has described the opening notes, some describe as s-s-s-L, as “Fate...
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