Thursday, December 21, 2006
Here's what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:
Pachelbel's canon in popular culture
The Pachelbel canon may represent the most extraordinary instance of the crossover phenomenon in all of music. During a short period in the early 1970s it went from being a quite obscure work of early music to a universally familiar cultural item. It was played in countless versions in its original notes and instrumentation, as well as in arrangements for other instruments and in adaptations into other musical genres. The process shows no sign of abating.
- The popularization is thought to have originated with the release of a 1970 recording of the work (Erato 98475) performed by the Paillard Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jean-François Paillard. It was also brought to recognition by what is often considered as the best recording of Pachelbel Canon, arranged and performed by Karl Münchinger with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 1970.
- The canon was first adapted musically in a pop song by the Spanish vocal group Pop Tops on their 1968 hit "O Lord, Why Lord?", which made modest chart showings in both the USA (peaking at #79 on the Hot 100) and the Netherlands. Later that year it was adapted by the Greece band Aphrodite's Child on their hit Rain and Tears. In more recent times, Australian-British string quartet bond played a modified, more updated version of the Pachelbel Canon in their song Lullaby on their 2004 album Classified.
- The soundtrack of the film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser by Werner Herzog features the Canon; it was also used in the film's trailer.
- The second half of Brian Eno's pioneering 1975 ambient music recording Discreet Music consists of a series of versions of Pachelbel's canon to which various algorithmic transformations have been applied, rendering it almost unrecognisable. The chord progression of the canon also surfaces in Eno's 1983 Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks recording on the track Always Returning. In 1991, RCA released a compilation CD called Pachelbel's Greatest Hit. It contained eight different versions of the piece, including performances by James Galway, Isao Tomita, and the Canadian Brass. Also released that year was the P. D. Q. Bach album WTWP Classical Talkity-Talk Radio, a spoof of classical radio and the canon's ubiquity there (WTWP stands for "wall-to-wall Pachelbel").
- Mark Knopfler, known to have gone through a classical musical training, seems to have been inspired by the harmonies in Dire Straits' "Tunnel of Love" (1980).
- In 1984, Japanese singer/actress Togawa Jun's song "Mushi no Onna" was adapted from Canon in D with lyrics.
- Also in 1984, The movie Electric Dreams featured a duet between a Cello player and Edgar the sentient computer.
- In 2000, The song was featured as part of the opening tune for Arthur's Perfect Christmas.
- The song plays a prominent role in the 2002 Korean comedy "My Sassy Girl." (The song is actually a variation composed by George Winston).
- Snapcase, a former metalcore band from Buffalo, New York adapted the melody and chord progression of the Canon for the song "ID/Hindsight" off of their 2002 album End Transmission.
- Banya released a rock version of Canon titled Canon-D (Part of the Memories #1) for the game Pump It Up Exceed 2. The music in the game is accompanied by an anime-style music video background.
- In 2005, a video of a young Taiwan guitarist calling himself JerryC, short for Jerry Chang - who arranged and performed an energetic rock version of Pachelbel's Canon on electric guitar. Over 50 guitarists have published a "Canon Rock" video.
- A guitar rendition of the same played by Korean guitarist funtwo is one of the most watched Youtube clips of all time.
- In 2006, a Korean video featured a remix of hip-hop canon in D with a beatboxer, turntables, traditional Korean instruments called gayageum, and breakdancers or b-boys, Last For One.
- A slightly modified version of the canon is played on three alto saxes and one baritone sax annually in the Plymouth Canton Marching Band.
- The song is present in the animated version of the manga Ichigo 100%.
- A revised version of this song can be found in the Canon Groove, a popular song for the online game Audition Online.
- Rob Paravonian's comedic take on 'Canon in D' in popular music.
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