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Canon in D piano sheet music

Johann Pachelbel


Practice broken chords and left hand arpeggios with the most popular wedding song in music history.

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Not too much is known about when exactly “Canon in D” was written, but it seems to be some time around 1700 and is considered to be from the baroque period of music. It was lost for a couple of hundred years and rediscovered in the early 20th century. 

This famous piece by Johann Pachelbel has become hugely popular as a wedding march in recent years. It has a sophistication and beauty that lends itself to the journey down the isle.

Cheat sheet


ArtistJohann Pachelbel
ComposerJohann Pachelbel
Release Year~1700
Difficulty levelIntermediate
Instrument Piano
Key(s)D major
Meter 4/4
Techniques Broken chords in right hand. Steady, repetitive pattern in left hand

How much do you know about Canon in D piano chords?

If you’ve ever been to a wedding, graduation, or some other fancy celebration, there is a good chance you’ve heard the chords for Pachabel’s Canon In D. It is so iconic that often the composers name is left out, and it is just referred to as “Canon in D”. Because of its status, it is a great song to learn and play for others and it is instantly recognizable. 

It is also an incredible song to introduce yourself to the key of D major. D major is one of the first keys that pianists will learn, because it introduces the second sharp, F# and C#. It is also a particularly good key to learn how to play with others, because often singers feel comfortable singing in this key. 

Tips for playing the song

  • Be comfortable with the concept of arpeggios, playing a chord one note at a time
  • Make sure all the F’s and C’s are raised by a half step
  • Play all the two note chords with the right hand
  • Be sure to not play the left hand on beat 1
  • Try to think of the song in groups of 8 bars, rather than in groups of 4

Learning the Canon in D piano chords has never been easier than with Skoove! 

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Interesting fact

The magic ingredient is the first four notes in the bass: I V vi IV. There are many modern pop songs that use that same harmonic structure. Some of those songs include “Let it Be” by The Beatles, and “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C.

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