Composer Project:

Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel (pronounced Yo-Hann Pockelbell) is remembered as one of the most beloved musicians and composers of his time, and is still much admired today. His most famous piece is "Canon in D Major", which has been covered and played by many other musicians currently. As well as being an organ player and composer, he was sometimes a organ and composition tutor for children and teenagers.


Pachelbel was born in August of 1653, and was baptized on September 1st as a Lutheran. Pachelbel showed musical talent even as a child, and was educated in music from an early age into his high school years. He studied with Heinrich Schwemmer, and then Georg Caspar Wecker. Pachelbel attempted to go to college for some sort of degree in music, but his family was not particularly wealthy, and he couldn't afford to go after the first year.


Pachelbel bounced from job to job as an organist in churches, sometimes catching an extra opportunity as a tutor for music students. He met Barbara Gabler, and in 1681, they married. Two years later, their first child was born, a son. Tragedy struck when a plague swept through the country and killed both his wife and new born son. His sorrow inspired him to compose new organ pieces while he grieved.


In 1684, Pachelbel remarried. Judith Drommer was his new wife, and soon to be the mother of their seven children, one of whom would become composer Wilhelm Hieronymus Pachelbel. Pachelbel continued to bounce through his organist jobs, happy at one place for a few years before moving on to the next church. Eventually, though, he returned to Nuremburg, and played in St. Sebalduskirche Church for 11 years. This is where he finished his incredible collection of arias, the Hexachordum Apollinis.


Pachelbel died at the age of 52, of unknown causes. His death date is speculated to be either March 3rd or 7th of 1706. He was buried in Nuremburg.
Pachelbel - Canon in D (Best Piano Version)