Monday, August 07, 2006


There have been many variations on the arrangement of Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. Interestingly, this was his only canon and gained popularity in the late 20th century though it was written in the 17th century. I very much enjoyed JerryC’s arrangement of Canon in D, including the playful changes near the end. If you want to see what real musicians do in their bedrooms - behind closed doors - I think this is a great example.

The only troubling thing was one of the comments that sarcastically accused JerryC of ruining “another classical music masterpiece.” Ruined it? Really? It is not uncommon for connoisseurs of classical music to bemoan the horrid sounds of rock and roll. I heard this often during my music years but, as a person that had also played baroque arrangements on trumpet before picking up a bass guitar, learned to ignore it as banal commentary.

However, this comment was left by an elitist music lover who is also a moron. The nature of Pachelbel’s Canon in D was apparently completely lost to this absurd pseudo-intellectual. Most of us are familiar with the slow and sultry pace of Canon in D yet unaware that it was originally written to be accompanied by a gigue. A gigue is a lively baroque dance. The key word here I think is – lively. This implies that Johann Pachelbel did not necessarily intend the piece to be ponderous or pretentious in any way.

The reality is this: many of the classical composers have far more in common with today’s struggling and experimenting rock and pop musicians than they have with the institutionalized sheep of humanity who pompously claim exclusive ownership of classical music. Given that Pachelbel’s works were almost lost to the world, I think he would be pleasantly surprised to see how revered his work is today. Especially at how many times his work is played at weddings and funerals. I also think he would smile from ear to ear to watch JerryC, a young aspiring guitarist from Taiwan, interpret his work as a lively piece and also given a contemporary feel with the instruments of the time. I also think it is a nice gesture to Johann Pachelbel since it is now 2006 – exactly 300 years from the year he died.

You might also check out Funtwo's version of the same arrangement by JerryC (band homepage). I had to include Funtwo when I saw him wielding the ever dangerous ESP guitar. Nonetheless, they are both technically proficient and fun guitarists. There are some critical comments by other guitarists but so what? It only reminds me of a joke we used to have in the music biz: How many guitarists does it take to change a light bulb? Ten. One to do it – and nine to stand around saying, “I could have done that better.”
Yeah, whatever!
So now JerryC - WooHooooo - ROCK ON DUDE!!!
-Just a peasant
Painting "Fractured Cello" by Susanne Clark