8th Grade Canons

Dear 8th grade,

Please take time to listen to these performances and answer the corresponding questions.

Using the color of their HATS to distinguish between the characters, please explain …

  1. Who sings the first part?
  2. Who comes in second?
  3. Who comes in third?

When performing in canon, it is important that the voices are balanced and that each entrance can be heard. In other words, we shouldn’t have one part that is far too quiet to be heard or one that drowns out the rest. On the other hand, when you have a new entrance (and come in for the first time) your part should be heard a little bit clearer than the others.

4. How would you rate the balance in this performance? would you change anything?

When performing in canon, the performers should enunciate, to make sure they are understood by their audience.

5. Listen closely, and determine who sings, “Just a minute boys I’ve got the feed box noise”

6. Please explain how drama is used to keep this performance visually interesting.


Pachelbel’s Canon, also known as Canon in D major was originally written to be played by 3 Violins and a bass instrument or bass instruments such as cello, double bass, organ, or harpsichord.


This canon has been very popular for many years. This piece is used in wedding ceremonies, it has been sampled in hip hop music, used in popular music, and it continues to inspire many modern musicians.

In this video, Pachelbel’s canon is played on older instruments. Instruments that would have existed during Pachelbel’s life time. Although they look similar to modern day instruments, they are different and some of them have different names. During the credits at the end of the video, the names of the performers and the names of their instruments are provided. Please take notice of what the instruments are called

7. How many baroque violins play in canon when performing this original version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D? 1? 2? 3? or more?

8. In this video of Pachelbel’s Canon, how many instruments seem to be playing the “bass part”? What are the names of these additional instruments? (Don’t make up an answer, use the information provided in the credits)


One response to “8th Grade Canons

  1. jocelyn melendez

    October 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    cool music


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