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Next to nothing is known about the origins of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D. The earliest manuscript dates from the nineteenth century and the piece only emerged from obscurity through radio play in the 1970s. Now one of the best-loved and ubiquitous classical pieces, the Canon’s repeating chord sequence has inspired countless pop tunes from the Streets of London, to I Should be so Lucky and Don’t Look Back in Anger.
This version is arranged and transposed to a suitable key as a duet for two Alto Saxophones. The original note values have been doubled to make the rhythms easier to read. There is an additional and optional Bass part at the end of the PDF which can be played on any bass instrument to add texture and harmonic context.
Musicians at an intermediate level and above will find this ideal for formal and informal performances, and being a Canon, both parts play the melody. Full Quartet versions of this piece can also be found by browsing from the link below. The overall performance time is around four and a half minutes.
Teachers will enjoy using this arrangement as a fun way to help with stamina, concentration and rhythmic consistency.
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