Johann Pachelbel
Overview
 
Johann Pachelbel was a German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 Baroque
Baroque music
Baroque music describes a style of Western Classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1760. This era follows the Renaissance and was followed in turn by the Classical era...

 composer, organist
Organist
An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists...

 and teacher, who brought the south German organ tradition
German organ schools
The 17th century organ composers of Germany can be divided into two primary schools: the north German school and the south German school...

 to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude
Chorale prelude
In music, a chorale prelude is a short liturgical composition for organ using a chorale tune as its basis. It was a predominant style of the German Baroque era and reached its culmination in the works of J.S. Bach, who wrote 46 examples of the form in his Orgelbüchlein.-Function:The liturgical...

 and fugue
Fugue
In music, a fugue is a compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject that is introduced at the beginning in imitation and recurs frequently in the course of the composition....

 have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.

Pachelbel's music enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany.
Encyclopedia
Johann Pachelbel was a German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 Baroque
Baroque music
Baroque music describes a style of Western Classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1760. This era follows the Renaissance and was followed in turn by the Classical era...

 composer, organist
Organist
An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists...

 and teacher, who brought the south German organ tradition
German organ schools
The 17th century organ composers of Germany can be divided into two primary schools: the north German school and the south German school...

 to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude
Chorale prelude
In music, a chorale prelude is a short liturgical composition for organ using a chorale tune as its basis. It was a predominant style of the German Baroque era and reached its culmination in the works of J.S. Bach, who wrote 46 examples of the form in his Orgelbüchlein.-Function:The liturgical...

 and fugue
Fugue
In music, a fugue is a compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject that is introduced at the beginning in imitation and recurs frequently in the course of the composition....

 have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.

Pachelbel's music enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany. Today, Pachelbel is best known for the Canon in D, the only canon
Canon (music)
In music, a canon is a contrapuntal composition that employs a melody with one or more imitations of the melody played after a given duration . The initial melody is called the leader , while the imitative melody, which is played in a different voice, is called the follower...

 he wrote – although a true canon at the unison in three parts, it is often regarded more as a passacaglia
Passacaglia
The passacaglia is a musical form that originated in early seventeenth-century Spain and is still used by contemporary composers. It is usually of a serious character and is often, but not always, based on a bass-ostinato and written in triple metre....

, and it is in this mode that it has been arranged and transcribed for many different media. In addition to the canon, his most well-known works include the Chaconne in F minor
Chaconne in F minor (Pachelbel)
Chaconne in F minor is an organ chaconne by Johann Pachelbel. One of the six surviving chaconnes by the composer, it is one of his best known organ works....

, the Toccata
Toccata
Toccata is a virtuoso piece of music typically for a keyboard or plucked string instrument featuring fast-moving, lightly fingered or otherwise virtuosic passages or sections, with or without imitative or fugal interludes, generally emphasizing the dexterity of the performer's fingers...

 in E minor
for organ, and the Hexachordum Apollinis
Hexachordum Apollinis
Hexachordum Apollinis is a collection of keyboard music by Johann Pachelbel, published in 1699. It comprises six arias with variations, on original themes, and is generally regarded as one of the pinnacles of Pachelbel's oeuvre...

, a set of keyboard variations
Variation (music)
In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve harmony, melody, counterpoint, rhythm, timbre, orchestration or any combination of these.-Variation form:...

.

Pachelbel's music was influenced by southern German composers, such as Johann Jakob Froberger
Johann Jakob Froberger
Johann Jakob Froberger was a German Baroque composer, keyboard virtuoso, and organist. He was among the most famous composers of the era and influenced practically every major composer in Europe by developing the genre of keyboard suite and contributing greatly to the exchange of musical...

 and Johann Kaspar Kerll
Johann Kaspar Kerll
Johann Kaspar Kerll was a German baroque composer and organist.Son of an organist, he showed outstanding musical abilities at an early age, and was taught by Giovanni Valentini, court Kapellmeister at Vienna. Kerll became one of the most acclaimed composers of his time, known both as a gifted...

, Italians such as Girolamo Frescobaldi
Girolamo Frescobaldi
Girolamo Frescobaldi was a musician from Ferrara, one of the most important composers of keyboard music in the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods. A child prodigy, Frescobaldi studied under Luzzasco Luzzaschi in Ferrara, but was influenced by a large number of composers, including Ascanio...

 and Alessandro Poglietti
Alessandro Poglietti
Alessandro Poglietti was a Baroque organist and composer of unknown origin. In the second half of the 17th century Poglietti settled in Vienna, where he attained an extremely high reputation, becoming one of Leopold I's favorite composers...

, French composers, and the composers of the Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

 tradition. He preferred a lucid, uncomplicated contrapuntal
Counterpoint
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent . It has been most commonly identified in classical music, developing strongly during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period,...

 style that emphasized melodic and harmonic clarity. His music is less virtuosic and less adventurous harmonically than that of Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude was a German-Danish organist and composer of the Baroque period. His organ works represent a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and in church services...

, although, like Buxtehude, Pachelbel experimented with different ensembles and instrumental combinations in his chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

 and, most importantly, his vocal music
Vocal music
Vocal music is a genre of music performed by one or more singers, with or without instrumental accompaniment, in which singing provides the main focus of the piece. Music which employs singing but does not feature it prominently is generally considered instrumental music Vocal music is a genre of...

, much of which features exceptionally rich instrumentation. Pachelbel explored many variation
Variation (music)
In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve harmony, melody, counterpoint, rhythm, timbre, orchestration or any combination of these.-Variation form:...

 forms and associated techniques, which manifest themselves in various diverse pieces, from sacred concertos to harpsichord suites.

1653–1674: Early youth and education (Nuremberg, Altdorf, Regensburg)

Johann Pachelbel was born in 1653 in Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

 into a middle-class family, son of Johann (Hans) Pachelbel (* 1613 in Wunsiedel, Germany), a wine dealer, and his second wife Anna (Anne) Maria Mair. The exact date of Johann's birth is unknown, but since he was baptized
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 on September 1, he may have been born in late August.

During his early youth, Pachelbel received musical training from Heinrich Schwemmer, a musician and music teacher who later became the cantor
Cantor (church)
A cantor is the chief singer employed in a church with responsibilities for the ecclesiastical choir; also called the precentor....

 of St. Sebaldus Church
St. Sebaldus Church
St. Sebaldus Church is a medieval church in Nuremberg, Germany. Along with Frauenkirche and St. Lorenz, it is one of the most important churches of the city, and also one of the oldest. It is located at the Albrecht-Dürer-Platz, in front of the old city hall...

 (Sebalduskirche). Some sources indicate that Pachelbel also studied with Georg Caspar Wecker
Georg Caspar Wecker
Georg Caspar Wecker was a German Baroque organist and composer. A minor composer of the Nuremberg school, Wecker is now best remembered as one of Johann Pachelbel's first teachers....

, organist of the same church and an important composer of the Nuremberg school, but this is now considered unlikely. In any case, both Wecker and Schwemmer were trained by Johann Erasmus Kindermann
Johann Erasmus Kindermann
Johann Erasmus Kindermann was a German Baroque organist and composer. He was the most important composer of the Nuremberg school in the first half of the 17th century.-Life:...

, one of the founders of the Nuremberg musical tradition, who had been at one time a pupil of Johann Staden
Johann Staden
Johann Staden was a German Baroque organist and composer. He is best known for establishing the so-called Nuremberg school.-Life:He was the son of Hans Staden and Elisabeth Löbelle...

.

Johann Mattheson
Johann Mattheson
Johann Mattheson was a German composer, writer, lexicographer, diplomat and music theorist.Mattheson was born and died in Hamburg. He was a close friend of George Frideric Handel, although he nearly killed him in a sudden quarrel, during a performance of Mattheson's opera Cleopatra in 1704...

, whose Grundlage einer Ehrenpforte (Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, 1740) is one of the most important sources of information about Pachelbel's life, mentions that the young Pachelbel demonstrated exceptional musical and academic abilities. He received his primary education in St. Lorenz Hauptschule and the Auditorio Aegediano in Nuremberg, then on June 29, 1669 became a student at the University of Altdorf
University of Altdorf
The University of Altdorf was a university in Altdorf bei Nürnberg, a small town outside Nuremberg. It was founded in the late 16th century, received university privileges in 1622 and was closed in 1809 by Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria....

, where he was also appointed organist of St. Lorenz church the same year. Financial difficulties forced Pachelbel to leave the university after less than a year. In order to complete his studies he became a scholarship student, in 1670, at the Gymnasium Poeticum at Regensburg
Regensburg
Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...

. The school authorities were so impressed by Pachelbel's academic qualifications that he was admitted above the school's normal quota.

Pachelbel was also permitted to study music outside the Gymnasium. His teacher was Kaspar (Caspar) Prentz, once a student of Johann Kaspar Kerll
Johann Kaspar Kerll
Johann Kaspar Kerll was a German baroque composer and organist.Son of an organist, he showed outstanding musical abilities at an early age, and was taught by Giovanni Valentini, court Kapellmeister at Vienna. Kerll became one of the most acclaimed composers of his time, known both as a gifted...

. Since the latter was greatly influenced by Italian composers such as Giacomo Carissimi
Giacomo Carissimi
Giacomo Carissimi was an Italian composer, one of the most celebrated masters of the early Baroque, or, more accurately, the Roman School of music.-Biography:...

, it is likely through Prentz that Pachelbel started developing an interest in contemporary Italian music, and Catholic church music in general.

1673–1690: Career (Vienna, Eisenach, Erfurt)

Prentz left for Eichstätt
Eichstätt
Eichstätt is a town in the federal state of Bavaria, Germany, and capital of the District of Eichstätt. It is located along the Altmühl River, at , and had a population of 13,078 in 2002. It is home to the Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, the lone Catholic university in Germany. The...

 in 1672. This period of Pachelbel's life is the least documented one, so it is unknown whether he stayed in Regensburg until 1673 or left the same year his teacher did; at any rate, by 1673 Pachelbel was living in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, where he became a deputy organist at the famous Saint Stephen Cathedral
Stephansdom
St. Stephen's Cathedral is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, OP...

 (Stephansdom). At the time, Vienna was the center of the vast Habsburg empire and had much cultural importance; its tastes in music were predominantly Italian. Several renowned cosmopolitan
Cosmopolitanism
Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality. This is contrasted with communitarian and particularistic theories, especially the ideas of patriotism and nationalism...

 composers worked there, many of them contributing to the exchange of musical traditions in Europe. In particular, Johann Jakob Froberger
Johann Jakob Froberger
Johann Jakob Froberger was a German Baroque composer, keyboard virtuoso, and organist. He was among the most famous composers of the era and influenced practically every major composer in Europe by developing the genre of keyboard suite and contributing greatly to the exchange of musical...

 served as court organist in Vienna until 1657 and was succeeded by Alessandro Poglietti
Alessandro Poglietti
Alessandro Poglietti was a Baroque organist and composer of unknown origin. In the second half of the 17th century Poglietti settled in Vienna, where he attained an extremely high reputation, becoming one of Leopold I's favorite composers...

. Georg Muffat
Georg Muffat
-Life:He was born in Megève, Savoy, , and of Scottish descent. He studied in Paris with Jean Baptiste Lully between 1663 and 1669, then became an organist in Molsheim and Sélestat. Later, he studied law in Ingolstadt, afterwards settling in Vienna...

 lived in the city for some time, and, most importantly, Johann Kaspar Kerll
Johann Kaspar Kerll
Johann Kaspar Kerll was a German baroque composer and organist.Son of an organist, he showed outstanding musical abilities at an early age, and was taught by Giovanni Valentini, court Kapellmeister at Vienna. Kerll became one of the most acclaimed composers of his time, known both as a gifted...

 moved to Vienna in 1673. While there, he may have known or even taught Pachelbel, whose music shows traces of Kerll's style. Pachelbel spent five years in Vienna, absorbing the music of Catholic composers from southern Germany and Italy. In some respects, Pachelbel is similar to Haydn
Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

, who too served as a professional musician of the Stephansdom in his youth and as such was exposed to music of the leading composers of the time.

In 1677, Pachelbel moved to Eisenach
Eisenach
Eisenach is a city in Thuringia, Germany. It is situated between the northern foothills of the Thuringian Forest and the Hainich National Park. Its population in 2006 was 43,626.-History:...

, where he found employment as court organist under Kapellmeister
Kapellmeister
Kapellmeister is a German word designating a person in charge of music-making. The word is a compound, consisting of the roots Kapelle and Meister . The words Kapelle and Meister derive from the Latin: capella and magister...

 Daniel Eberlin
Daniel Eberlin
Daniel Eberlin was a German Baroque composer and Kapellmeister.Eberlin had a vagrant lifestyle. After a brief military career , he worked as a librarian in his hometown, Nuremberg. Later he became Kapellmeister at the Eisenach court...

 (also a native of Nuremberg), in the employ of Johann Georg I
John George I, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach
Johann Georg I, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach .He was the fifth but third surviving son of Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Weimar and Eleonore Dorothea of Anhalt-Dessau....

, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach
Saxe-Eisenach
Saxe-Eisenach was the name of an Ernestine duchy ruled by the Saxon House of Wettin. The State intermittendly existed at three different times in the Thuringian region of the Holy Roman Empire...

. He met members of the Bach family
Bach family
The Bach family was of importance in the history of music for nearly two hundred years, with over 50 known musicians and several notable composers, the best-known of whom was Johann Sebastian Bach...

 in Eisenach (which was the home city of J. S. Bach's
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

 father, Johann Ambrosius Bach
Johann Ambrosius Bach
Johann Ambrosius Bach was a German composer, father to Johann Sebastian Bach.The son of Christoph Bach , Ambrosius was born in Erfurt, Germany as the twin brother of Johann Christoph Bach...

), and became a close friend of Johann Ambrosius and tutor to his children. However, Pachelbel spent only one year in Eisenach. In 1678, Bernhard II, Duke of Saxe-Jena
Bernhard II, Duke of Saxe-Jena
Bernhard II, Duke of Saxe-Jena , was duke of Saxe-Jena.He was the seventh child but fourth surviving son of Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Weimar and Eleonore Dorothea of Anhalt-Dessau....

, Johann Georg's brother, died and during the period of mourning court musicians were greatly curtailed. Pachelbel was left unemployed. He requested a testimonial from Eberlin, who wrote one for him, describing Pachelbel as a 'perfect and rare virtuoso' – einen perfecten und raren Virtuosen. With this document, Pachelbel left Eisenach on May 18, 1678.

In June 1678, Pachelbel was employed as organist of Predigerkirche
Predigerkirche (Erfurt)
Predigerkirche is a Protestant church in Erfurt, Germany. It is a monastic church to the Dominican friary, Predigerkloster, adjacent to the church. Predigerkirche was originally built by the Dominican Order in the 13th century, when the mystic Meister Eckhart was prior here. The church only became...

 in Erfurt
Erfurt
Erfurt is the capital city of Thuringia and the main city nearest to the geographical centre of Germany, located 100 km SW of Leipzig, 150 km N of Nuremberg and 180 km SE of Hannover. Erfurt Airport can be reached by plane via Munich. It lies in the southern part of the Thuringian...

, succeeding Johann Effler (c. 1640–1711; Effler later preceded Johann Sebastian Bach in Weimar
Weimar
Weimar is a city in Germany famous for its cultural heritage. It is located in the federal state of Thuringia , north of the Thüringer Wald, east of Erfurt, and southwest of Halle and Leipzig. Its current population is approximately 65,000. The oldest record of the city dates from the year 899...

). The Bach family was very well known in Erfurt (where virtually all organists would later be called "Bachs"), so Pachelbel's friendship with them continued here. Pachelbel became godfather
Godparent
A godparent, in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who sponsors a child's baptism. A male godparent is a godfather, and a female godparent is a godmother...

 to Johann Ambrosius' daughter, Johanna Juditha, taught Johann Christoph Bach (1671–1721), Johann Sebastian's eldest brother, and lived in Johann Christian Bach's (1640–1682) house. Pachelbel remained in Erfurt for 12 years and established his reputation as one of the leading German organ composers of the time during his stay. The chorale prelude
Chorale prelude
In music, a chorale prelude is a short liturgical composition for organ using a chorale tune as its basis. It was a predominant style of the German Baroque era and reached its culmination in the works of J.S. Bach, who wrote 46 examples of the form in his Orgelbüchlein.-Function:The liturgical...

 became one of his most characteristic products of the Erfurt period, since Pachelbel's contract specifically required him to compose the preludes for church service
Church service
In Christianity, a church service is a term used to describe a formalized period of communal worship, often but not exclusively occurring on Sunday, or Saturday in the case of those churches practicing seventh-day Sabbatarianism. The church service is the gathering together of Christians to be...

s. His duties also included organ maintenance and, more important, composing a large-scale work every year to demonstrate his progress as composer and organist, as every work of that kind had to be better than the one composed the year before.

Johann Christoph Bach, Pachelbel's landlord in Erfurt, died in 1682. In June 1684, Pachelbel purchased the house (called Zur silbernen Tasche, now Junkersand 1) from Johann Christian's widow. In 1686, he was offered a position as organist of the St. Trinitatis church (Trinitatiskirche) in Sondershausen
Sondershausen
Sondershausen is a town in Thuringia, Germany, capital of the Kyffhäuserkreis district, situated about 50 km north of Erfurt. On 1 December 2007, the former municipality Schernberg was incorporated by Sondershausen....

. Pachelbel initially accepted the invitation but, as a surviving autograph letter indicates, had to reject the offer after a long series of negotiations: it appears that he was required to consult with Erfurt's elders and church authorities before considering any job offers. It seems that the situation has been resolved quietly and without harm to Pachelbel's reputation; he was offered a raise and stayed in the city for four more years.

Pachelbel married twice during his stay in Erfurt. Barbara Gabler, daughter of the Stadt-Major of Erfurt, became his first wife, on October 25, 1681. The marriage took place in the house of the bride's father. Unfortunately, both Barbara and their only son died in October 1683 during a plague. Pachelbel's first published work, a set of chorale variations
Variation (music)
In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve harmony, melody, counterpoint, rhythm, timbre, orchestration or any combination of these.-Variation form:...

 called Musicalische Sterbens-Gedancken
Musicalische Sterbens-Gedancken
Musicalische Sterbens-Gedanken is a collection of keyboard music by Johann Pachelbel. It was first published in 1683 and contains four sets of chorale variations.-General information:...

("Musical Thoughts on Death", Erfurt, 1683), was probably influenced by this event.

Ten months later, Pachelbel married Judith Drommer (Trummert), daughter of a coppersmith
Coppersmith
A coppersmith, also known as a redsmith, is a person who makes artifacts from copper. The term redsmith comes from the colour of copper....

, on August 24, 1684. They had five sons and two daughters. Two of the sons, Wilhelm Hieronymus Pachelbel
Wilhelm Hieronymus Pachelbel
Wilhelm Hieronymus Pachelbel was a German composer and organist, elder son of Johann Pachelbel.Born in Erfurt near Eisenach , Pachelbel studied with his father. The first printed reference to either Pachelbel is in Johann Mattheson's Ehrenpforte...

 and Charles Theodore Pachelbel
Charles Theodore Pachelbel
Charles Theodore Pachelbel was a German composer, organist and harpsichordist of the late Baroque era...

, also became organ composers; the latter moved to the American colonies in 1734. Another son, Johann Michael, became an instrument maker in Nuremberg and traveled as far as London and Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

. One of the daughters, Amalia Pachelbel
Amalia Pachelbel
Amalia Pachelbel was a German painter and engraver. She was born in Erfurt and was the oldest daughter of composer Johann Pachelbel. She was named after Amalia Oeheim, Johann's sister-in-law...

, achieved recognition as a painter and engraver
Etching
Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal...

.

1690–1706: Final years (Stuttgart, Gotha, Nuremberg)

Although Pachelbel was an outstandingly successful organist, composer, and teacher at Erfurt, he asked permission to leave, apparently seeking a better appointment, and was formally released on August 15, 1690, bearing a testimonial praising his diligence and fidelity.

He was employed in less than a fortnight: from September 1, 1690, he was a musician-organist in the Württemberg
Württemberg
Württemberg , formerly known as Wirtemberg or Wurtemberg, is an area and a former state in southwestern Germany, including parts of the regions Swabia and Franconia....

 court at Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

 under the patronage of Duchess Magdalena Sibylla. That job was better, but, unfortunately, he lived there only two years before fleeing the French attacks of the War of the Grand Alliance
War of the Grand Alliance
The Nine Years' War – often called the War of the Grand Alliance, the War of the Palatine Succession, or the War of the League of Augsburg – was a major war of the late 17th century fought between King Louis XIV of France, and a European-wide coalition, the Grand Alliance, led by the Anglo-Dutch...

. His next job was in Gotha
Gotha (town)
Gotha is a town in Thuringia, within the central core of Germany. It is the capital of the district of Gotha.- History :The town has existed at least since the 8th century, when it was mentioned in a document signed by Charlemagne as Villa Gotaha . Its importance derives from having been chosen in...

 as the town organist, a post he occupied for two years, starting on November 8, 1692; there he published his first, and only, liturgical
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 music collection: Acht Chorale zum Praeambulieren in 1693 (Erster Theil etlicher Choräle).

When former pupil Johann Christoph Bach married in October 1694, the Bach family celebrated the marriage on October 23, 1694 in Ohrdruf
Ohrdruf
Ohrdruf is a small town in the German federal state of Thuringia. It lies some 30 km southwest of Erfurt.-Medieval settling:Ohrdruf was founded in 724–726 by Saint Boniface, as the site of the first monastery in Thuringia, dedicated to Saint Michael. It was the first of several religious...

, and invited him and other composers to provide the music; he probably attended – if so, it was the only time J.S. Bach, then nine years old, met Johann Pachelbel.

In his three years in Gotha, he was twice offered positions, in Stuttgart and at Oxford University; he declined both. Meanwhile, in Nuremberg, when the St. Sebaldus Church organist Georg Caspar Wecker (and his possible former teacher) died on April 20, 1695, the city authorities were so anxious to appoint Pachelbel (then a famous Nuremberger) to the position that they officially invited him to assume it without holding the usual job examination or inviting applications from prominent organists from lesser churches. He accepted, was released from Gotha in 1695, and arrived in Nuremberg in summer, with the city council paying his per diem expenses.

Pachelbel lived the rest of his life in Nuremberg, during which he published the chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

 collection Musicalische Ergötzung
Musicalische Ergötzung
Musicalische Ergötzung is a collection of chamber music by Johann Pachelbel. Published during his lifetime, it contains six suites for two violins and basso continuo....

, and, most important, the Hexachordum Apollinis
Hexachordum Apollinis
Hexachordum Apollinis is a collection of keyboard music by Johann Pachelbel, published in 1699. It comprises six arias with variations, on original themes, and is generally regarded as one of the pinnacles of Pachelbel's oeuvre...

(Nuremberg, 1699), a set of six keyboard arias with variations. Though most influenced by Italian and southern German composers, he knew the northern German school, because he dedicated the Hexachordum Apollinis
Hexachordum Apollinis
Hexachordum Apollinis is a collection of keyboard music by Johann Pachelbel, published in 1699. It comprises six arias with variations, on original themes, and is generally regarded as one of the pinnacles of Pachelbel's oeuvre...

to Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude was a German-Danish organist and composer of the Baroque period. His organ works represent a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and in church services...

. Also composed in the final years were Italian-influenced concertato
Concertato
Concertato is a term in early Baroque music referring to either a genre or a style of music in which groups of instruments or voices share a melody, usually in alternation, and almost always over a basso continuo...

 Vespers
Vespers
Vespers is the evening prayer service in the Western Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours...

 and a set of more than ninety Magnificat
Magnificat
The Magnificat — also known as the Song of Mary or the Canticle of Mary — is a canticle frequently sung liturgically in Christian church services. It is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn...

 fugue
Fugue
In music, a fugue is a compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject that is introduced at the beginning in imitation and recurs frequently in the course of the composition....

s.

Johann Pachelbel died at the age of 52, March 3, 1706, and was buried on March 9; Mattheson cites either March 3 or 7, 1706 as the death date; yet, it is unlikely that the corpse was allowed to linger unburied so long. Contemporary custom was to bury the dead on the third or fourth post-mortem day; so, either March 6 or 7, 1706 is a likelier death date. He is buried in the St. Rochus Cemetery
St. Rochus Cemetery, Nuremberg
St. Rochus Cemetery is a cemetery in Nuremberg, Germany. It is located in the Gostenhof quarter.-History:The cemetery was created in late 1510s to bury the victims of the plague epidemic of 1517-18. To avoid spreading the disease, city authorities decided to build the cemetery at some distance...

.

Posthumous influence

One of the last middle Baroque composers, Pachelbel did not have any considerable influence on most of the famous late Baroque composers, such as George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music...

, Domenico Scarlatti
Domenico Scarlatti
Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti was an Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families. He is classified as a Baroque composer chronologically, although his music was influential in the development of the Classical style...

 or Georg Philipp Telemann
Georg Philipp Telemann
Georg Philipp Telemann was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family's wishes. After studying in Magdeburg, Zellerfeld, and Hildesheim, Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually...

. He did influence Johann Sebastian Bach indirectly; the young Johann Sebastian was tutored by his older brother Johann Christoph Bach
Johann Christoph Bach (1671–1721)
Johann Christoph Bach , was a German musician and composer. He was the eldest brother of the more famous German musician and composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Johann Christoph studied at Erfurt under Johann Pachelbel, and his library of keyboard music included works by Pachelbel, Johann Jakob...

, who studied with Pachelbel, but although JS Bach's early chorales and chorale variations borrow from Pachelbel's music, the style of northern German composers (Georg Böhm
Georg Böhm
Georg Böhm was a German Baroque organist and composer. He is notable for his development of the chorale partita and for his influence on the young J. S. Bach.-Life:Böhm was born in 1661 in Hohenkirchen, near Ohrdruf...

, Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude was a German-Danish organist and composer of the Baroque period. His organ works represent a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and in church services...

, Johann Adam Reincken
Johann Adam Reincken
Johann Adam Reincken was a Dutch/German organist and composer...

) played a more important role in the development of Bach's talent.

Pachelbel was the last great composer of the Nuremberg tradition and the last important southern German composer. Pachelbel's influence was mostly limited to his pupils, most notably Johann Christoph Bach
Johann Christoph Bach (1671–1721)
Johann Christoph Bach , was a German musician and composer. He was the eldest brother of the more famous German musician and composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Johann Christoph studied at Erfurt under Johann Pachelbel, and his library of keyboard music included works by Pachelbel, Johann Jakob...

, Johann Heinrich Buttstett
Johann Heinrich Buttstett
Johann Heinrich Buttstett was a German Baroque organist and composer...

, Andreas Nicolaus Vetter
Nicolaus Vetter
Andreas Nicolaus Vetter was a German organist and composer.He was born in Herschdorf, Thuringia. He first studied music with G.K. Wecker in Nuremberg and was a student at the Rudolstadt Gymnasium from 1683 to 1688...

, and two of Pachelbel's sons, Wilhelm Hieronymus
Wilhelm Hieronymus Pachelbel
Wilhelm Hieronymus Pachelbel was a German composer and organist, elder son of Johann Pachelbel.Born in Erfurt near Eisenach , Pachelbel studied with his father. The first printed reference to either Pachelbel is in Johann Mattheson's Ehrenpforte...

 and Charles Theodore
Charles Theodore Pachelbel
Charles Theodore Pachelbel was a German composer, organist and harpsichordist of the late Baroque era...

. The latter became one of the first European composers to take up residence in the American colonies and so Pachelbel influenced, although indirectly and only to a certain degree, the American church music of the era. Composer, musicologist and writer Johann Gottfried Walther
Johann Gottfried Walther
Johann Gottfried Walther was a German music theorist, organist, composer, and lexicographer of the Baroque era.Walther was born at Erfurt...

 is probably the most famous of the composers influenced by Pachelbel – he is, in fact, referred to as the "second Pachelbel" in Mattheson's Grundlage einer Ehrenpforte.

As the Baroque style went out of fashion during the 18th century, the majority of Baroque and pre-Baroque composers were virtually forgotten. Local organists in Nuremberg and Erfurt knew Pachelbel's music and occasionally performed it, but the public and the majority of composers and performers did not pay much attention to Pachelbel and his contemporaries. In the first half of the 19th century, some organ works by Pachelbel were published and several musicologists started considering him an important composer, particularly Philipp Spitta
Philipp Spitta
Julius August Philipp Spitta was a German music historian and musicologist best known for his 1873 biography of Johann Sebastian Bach.-Biography:...

, who was one of the first researchers to trace Pachelbel's role in the development of Baroque keyboard music. Much of Pachelbel's work was published in the early 20th century in the Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich series, but it was not until the rise of interest in early Baroque music in the middle of the 20th century and the advent of historically-informed performance practice and associated research that Pachelbel's works began to be studied extensively and again performed more frequently.

Popularity of the Canon in D

Pachelbel's Canon in D major, a piece of chamber music scored for three violins and basso continuo and originally paired with a gigue
Gigue
The gigue or giga is a lively baroque dance originating from the British jig. It was imported into France in the mid-17th century and usually appears at the end of a suite...

 in the same key
Key (music)
In music theory, the term key is used in many different and sometimes contradictory ways. A common use is to speak of music as being "in" a specific key, such as in the key of C major or in the key of F-sharp. Sometimes the terms "major" or "minor" are appended, as in the key of A minor or in the...

, experienced a tremendous surge in popularity during the 1970s. This is believed to be due to a recording by Jean-François Paillard
Jean-François Paillard
Jean-François Paillard is a French conductor.He was born in Vitry-le-François and received his musical training at the Paris Conservatory, where he won first prize in music history, and the Salzburg Mozarteum....

 in 1970, which made it universally recognized cultural item. Its visibility was greatly increased by its choice as the theme song for the popular film Ordinary People
Ordinary People
Ordinary People is a 1980 American drama film that marked the directorial debut of Robert Redford. It stars Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton....

. Now one of the most recognized and famous baroque compositions, it has in recent years become extremely popular for use in weddings, rivalling that of Wagner's Bridal Chorus
Bridal Chorus
The "Bridal Chorus" "Treulich geführt", from the 1850 opera Lohengrin, by German composer Richard Wagner, is a march played for the bride's entrance at many formal weddings throughout the Western world...

.

Works

Apart from harpsichord suites, this section concentrates only on the works whose ascription is not questioned. For a complete list of works which includes pieces with questionable authorship and lost compositions, see List of compositions by Johann Pachelbel.


During his lifetime, Pachelbel was best known as an organ
Organ (music)
The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

 composer. He wrote more than two hundred pieces for the instrument, both liturgical
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 and secular, and explored most of the genres that existed at the time. Pachelbel was also a prolific vocal music composer: around a hundred of such works survive, including some 40 large-scale works. Only a few chamber music pieces by Pachelbel exist, although he might have composed many more, particularly while serving as court musician in Eisenach and Stuttgart.

Several principal sources exist for Pachelbel's music, although none of them as important as, for example, the Oldham manuscript is for Louis Couperin
Louis Couperin
Louis Couperin was a French Baroque composer and performer. He was born in Chaumes-en-Brie and moved to Paris in 1650–51 with the help of Jacques Champion de Chambonnières. Couperin worked as organist of the Church of St. Gervais in Paris and as musician at the court...

. Among the more significant materials are several manuscript
Manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

s that were lost before and during World War II but partially available as microfilms of the Winterthur collection, a two-volume manuscript currently in possession of the Oxford Bodleian library which is a major source for Pachelbel's late work, and the first part of the Tabulaturbuch (1692, currently at the Biblioteka Jagiellońska in Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

) compiled by Pachelbel's pupil Johann Valentin Eckelt, which includes the only known Pachelbel's autographs). The Neumeister manuscript
Neumeister Chorales
Neumeister Chorales is the name commonly used for a recently discovered set of chorale preludes compiled by Johann Gottfried Neumeister . The manuscript was passed onto Christian Heinrich Rinck , whose library was bought by Lowell Mason in 1852...

 and the so-called Weimar tablature of 1704 provide valuable information about Pachelbel's school, although they do not contain any pieces that can be confidently ascribed to him.

Currently there is no standard numbering system for Pachelbel's works. Several catalogues are used, by Antoine Bouchard (POP numbers, organ works only), Jean M. Perreault (P numbers, currently the most complete catalogue; organized alphabetically), Hideo Tsukamoto (T numbers, L for lost works; organized thematically) and Kathryn Jane Welter (PC numbers).

Keyboard music

Much of Pachelbel's liturgical
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 organ music, particularly the chorale prelude
Chorale prelude
In music, a chorale prelude is a short liturgical composition for organ using a chorale tune as its basis. It was a predominant style of the German Baroque era and reached its culmination in the works of J.S. Bach, who wrote 46 examples of the form in his Orgelbüchlein.-Function:The liturgical...

s, is relatively simple and written for manuals
Manual (music)
A manual is a keyboard designed to be played with the hands on a pipe organ, harpsichord, clavichord, electronic organ, or synthesizer. The term "manual" is used with regard to any hand keyboard on these instruments to distinguish it from the pedalboard, which is a keyboard that the organist plays...

 only, no pedal is required. This is partly due to Lutheran religious practice where congregants sang the chorales. Household instruments like virginals or clavichord
Clavichord
The clavichord is a European stringed keyboard instrument known from the late Medieval, through the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical eras. Historically, it was widely used as a practice instrument and as an aid to composition, not being loud enough for larger performances. The clavichord produces...

s accompanied the singing, so Pachelbel and many of his contemporaries made music playable using these instruments. The quality of the organs Pachelbel used also played a role: south German instruments were not, as a rule, as complex and as versatile as the north German ones, and Pachelbel's organs must have only had around 15–25 stops on two manuals (compare to Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude was a German-Danish organist and composer of the Baroque period. His organ works represent a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and in church services...

's Marienkirche
St. Mary's Church, Lübeck
The Lutheran Marienkirche in Lübeck was constructed between 1250 and 1350. For many years it has been a symbol of the power and prosperity of the old Hanseatic city, and as Germany's third largest church it remains the tallest building of the old part of Lübeck. It is larger than Lübeck Cathedral...

 instrument with 52 stops, 15 of them in the pedal). Finally, neither the Nuremberg nor the southern German organ tradition
German organ schools
The 17th century organ composers of Germany can be divided into two primary schools: the north German school and the south German school...

 endorsed extensive use of pedals seen in the works by composers of the northern German school.

Only two volumes of Pachelbel's organ music were published and distributed during his lifetime: Musikalische Sterbens-Gedancken (Musical Thoughts on Death; Erfurt, 1683) – a set of chorale variations in memory of his deceased wife and child, and Acht Choräle (Nuremberg, 1693).
Pachelbel employed white mensural notation when writing out numerous compositions (several chorales, all ricercar
Ricercar
A ricercar is a type of late Renaissance and mostly early Baroque instrumental composition. The term means to search out, and many ricercars serve a preludial function to "search out" the key or mode of a following piece...

s, some fantasias
Fantasia (music)
The fantasia is a musical composition with its roots in the art of improvisation. Because of this, it seldom approximates the textbook rules of any strict musical form ....

); a notational system that uses hollow note heads and omits bar lines
Bar (music)
In musical notation, a bar is a segment of time defined by a given number of beats of a given duration. Typically, a piece consists of several bars of the same length, and in modern musical notation the number of beats in each bar is specified at the beginning of the score by the top number of a...

 (measure delimiters). The system had been widely used since the 15th century but was gradually being replaced in this period by modern notation (sometimes called black notation). In most cases Pachelbel used white notation for pieces composed in old-fashioned styles, to provide artistic integrity.

Chorales

Chorales constitute almost half of Pachelbel's surviving organ works, in part because of his Erfurt job duties which required him to compose chorale preludes on a regular basis. The models Pachelbel used most frequently are the three-part cantus firmus
Cantus firmus
In music, a cantus firmus is a pre-existing melody forming the basis of a polyphonic composition.The plural of this Latin term is , though the corrupt form canti firmi is also attested...

 setting, the chorale fugue and, most importantly, a model he invented which combined the two types. This latter type begins with a brief chorale fugue
Fugue
In music, a fugue is a compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject that is introduced at the beginning in imitation and recurs frequently in the course of the composition....

 that is followed by a three- or four-part cantus firmus setting. Chorale phrases are treated one at a time, in the order in which they occur; frequently, the accompanying voices anticipate the next phrase by using bits of the melody in imitative counterpoint. An example from Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist:

The piece begins with a chorale fugue (not shown here) that turns into a four-part chorale setting which starts at bar 35. The slow-moving chorale (the cantus firmus, i.e., the original hymn tune
Hymn tune
A hymn tune is the melody of a musical composition to which a hymn text is sung. Musically speaking, a hymn is generally understood to have four-part harmony, a fast harmonic rhythm , and no refrain or chorus....

) is in the soprano, and is highlighted in blue. The lower voices anticipate the shape of the second phrase of the chorale in an imitative fashion (notice the distinctive pattern of two repeated notes). Pachelbel wrote numerous chorales using this model (Auf meinen lieben Gott, Ach wie elend ist unsre Zeit, Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist, etc.), which soon became a standard form.

A distinctive feature of almost all of Pachelbel's chorale preludes is his treatment of the melody: the cantus firmus features virtually no figuration or ornamentation of any kind, always presented in the plainest possible way in one of the outer voices. Pachelbel's knowledge of both ancient and contemporary chorale techniques is reflected in Acht Chorale zum Praeambulieren, a collection of eight chorales he published in 1693. It included, among other types, several chorales written using outdated models. Of these, Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren (Psalm 103) is based on the German polyphonic song; it is one of the very few Pachelbel chorales with cantus firmus in the tenor. Wir glauben all' an einen Gott is a three-part setting with melodic ornamentation of the chorale melody, which Pachelbel employed very rarely. Finally, Jesus Christus, unser Heiland der von uns is a typical bicinium
Bicinium
In music of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras, a bicinium was a composition for only two parts, especially one with a pedagogical purpose.The term has had two usages in music history:...

 chorale with one of the hands playing the unadorned chorale while the other provides constant fast-paced accompaniment written mostly in sixteenth note
Sixteenth note
thumb|right|Figure 1. A sixteenth note with stem facing up, a sixteenth note with stem facing down, and a sixteenth rest.thumb|right|Figure 2. Four sixteenth notes beamed together....

s. Pachelbel only used the bicinium form in two other pieces.

Fugues

Pachelbel wrote more than one hundred fugues on free themes. These fall into two categories: some 30 free fugues and around 90 of the so-called Magnificat Fugues. His fugues are usually based on non-thematic material, and are shorter than the later model (of which those of J.S. Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

 are a prime example). The contrapuntal devices of stretto, diminution and inversion are not employed in any of them. Nevertheless, Pachelbel's fugues display a tendency towards a more unified, subject-dependent structure which was to become the key element of late Baroque fugues. Given the number of fugues he composed and the extraordinary variety of subjects he used, Pachelbel is regarded as one of the key composers in the evolution of the form. He was also the first major composer to pair a fugue with a preludial movement (a toccata or a prelude) – this technique was adopted by later composers and was used extensively by J.S. Bach.

The Magnificat Fugues were all composed during Pachelbel's final years in Nuremberg. The singing of the Magnificat
Magnificat
The Magnificat — also known as the Song of Mary or the Canticle of Mary — is a canticle frequently sung liturgically in Christian church services. It is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn...

 at Vespers
Vespers
Vespers is the evening prayer service in the Western Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours...

 was usually accompanied by the organist, and earlier composers provided examples of Magnificat settings for organ, based on themes from the chant. Pachelbel's fugues, however, are almost all based on free themes and it is not yet understood exactly where they fit during the service. It is possible that they served to help singers establish pitch
Pitch (music)
Pitch is an auditory perceptual property that allows the ordering of sounds on a frequency-related scale.Pitches are compared as "higher" and "lower" in the sense associated with musical melodies,...

, or simply act as introductory pieces played before the beginning of the service. There are 95 pieces extant, covering all eight church modes: 23 in primi toni, 10 in secundi toni, 11 in tertii toni, 8 in quarti toni, 12 in quinti toni, 10 in sexti toni, 8 in septimi toni and 13 in octavi toni. Although a few two- and four-voice works are present, most employ three voices (sometimes expanding to four-voice polyphony for a bar
Bar (music)
In musical notation, a bar is a segment of time defined by a given number of beats of a given duration. Typically, a piece consists of several bars of the same length, and in modern musical notation the number of beats in each bar is specified at the beginning of the score by the top number of a...

 or two). With the exception of the three double fugues (primi toni No. 12, sexti toni No. 1 and octavi toni No. 8), all are straightforward pieces, frequently in common time
Common Time
"Common Time" is a science fiction short story written by James Blish. It first appeared in the August 1953 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly and has been reprinted several times: in the 1959 short-story collection Galactic Cluster; in The Testament of Andros ; in The Penguin Science Fiction...

 and comparatively short – at an average tempo, most take around a minute and a half to play.

Although most of them are brief, the subjects are extremely varied (see Example 1). Frequently some form of note repetition is used to emphasize a rhythmic (rather than melodic) contour. Many feature a dramatic leap (up to an octave), which may or may not be mirrored in one of the voices sometime during an episode – a characteristic Pachelbel technique, although it was also employed by earlier composers, albeit less pronounced. Minor alterations to the subject between the entries are observed in some of the fugues, and simple countersubjects occur several times. An interesting technique employed in many of the pieces is an occasional resort to style brisé
Style brisé
Style brisé is a term for broken, arpeggiated texture in instrumental music. It usually refers to French Baroque music for lute, keyboard instruments or the viol. French Baroque musicians referred to this type of texture as style luthé , since it originated in lute music...

for a few bars, both during episodes and in codas. The double fugues exhibit a typical three-section structure: fugue on subject 1, fugue on subject 2, and the counterpoint
Counterpoint
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent . It has been most commonly identified in classical music, developing strongly during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period,...

 with simultaneous use of both subjects.

Most of Pachelbel's free fugues are in three or four voices, with the notable exception of two bicinia
Bicinium
In music of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras, a bicinium was a composition for only two parts, especially one with a pedagogical purpose.The term has had two usages in music history:...

 pieces that were probably intended for teaching purposes. Pachelbel frequently used repercussion subjects of different kinds, with note repetition sometimes extended to span a whole measure (such as in the subject of a G minor fugue, see illustration). Some of the fugues employ textures more suited for the harpsichord
Harpsichord
A harpsichord is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It produces sound by plucking a string when a key is pressed.In the narrow sense, "harpsichord" designates only the large wing-shaped instruments in which the strings are perpendicular to the keyboard...

, particularly those with broken chord figuration. The three ricercar
Ricercar
A ricercar is a type of late Renaissance and mostly early Baroque instrumental composition. The term means to search out, and many ricercars serve a preludial function to "search out" the key or mode of a following piece...

s Pachelbel composed, that are more akin to his fugues than to ricercars by Frescobaldi
Girolamo Frescobaldi
Girolamo Frescobaldi was a musician from Ferrara, one of the most important composers of keyboard music in the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods. A child prodigy, Frescobaldi studied under Luzzasco Luzzaschi in Ferrara, but was influenced by a large number of composers, including Ascanio...

's or Froberger, are perhaps more technically interesting. In the original sources, all three use white notation and are marked alla breve
Alla breve
In music, alla breve Italian: at the breve] refers to a musical meter notated by the time signature symbol , which is the equivalent of 2/2. Alla breve is a "simple-duple meter with a half-note pulse"...

. The polythematic C minor ricercar is the most popular and frequently performed and recorded. It is built on two contrasting themes (a slow chromatic pattern and a lively simplistic motif) which appear in their normal and inverted forms and concludes with both themes appearing simultaneously. The F-sharp minor ricercar uses the same concept and is slightly more interesting musically: the key of F-sharp minor requires a more flexible tuning than the standard meantone temperament
Meantone temperament
Meantone temperament is a musical temperament, which is a system of musical tuning. In general, a meantone is constructed the same way as Pythagorean tuning, as a stack of perfect fifths, but in meantone, each fifth is narrow compared to the ratio 27/12:1 in 12 equal temperament, the opposite of...

 of the Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 era and was therefore rarely used by contemporary composers. This means that Pachelbel may have used his own tuning system, of which little is known. Ricercare in C major is probably an early work, mostly in three voices and employing the same kind of writing with consecutive thirds as seen in Pachelbel's toccatas (see below).

Pachelbel's use of repercussion subjects and extensive repeated note passages may be regarded as another characteristic feature of his organ pieces. Extreme examples of note repetition in the subject are found in magnificat fugues: quarti toni No. 4 has eight repeated notes, octavi toni No. 6 has twelve. Also, even a fugue with an ordinary subject can rely on strings of repeated notes, as it happens, for example, in magnificat fugue octavi toni No. 12:


Chaconnes and variations

Pachelbel's apparent affinity for variation form
Variation (music)
In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve harmony, melody, counterpoint, rhythm, timbre, orchestration or any combination of these.-Variation form:...

 is evident from his organ works that explore the genre: chaconne
Chaconne
A chaconne ; is a type of musical composition popular in the baroque era when it was much used as a vehicle for variation on a repeated short harmonic progression, often involving a fairly short repetitive bass-line which offered a compositional outline for variation, decoration, figuration and...

s, chorale variations and several sets of arias with variations. The six chaconnes, together with Buxtehude's ostinato
Ostinato
In music, an ostinato is a motif or phrase, which is persistently repeated in the same musical voice. An ostinato is always a succession of equal sounds, wherein each note always has the same weight or stress. The repeating idea may be a rhythmic pattern, part of a tune, or a complete melody in...

 organ works, represent a shift from the older chaconne style: they completely abandon the dance idiom, introduce contrapuntal density, employ miscellaneous chorale improvisation techniques, and, most importantly, give the bass line much thematic significance for the development of the piece. Pachelbel's chaconnes are distinctly south German
German organ schools
The 17th century organ composers of Germany can be divided into two primary schools: the north German school and the south German school...

 in style; the duple meter
Duple meter
Duple meter is a musical metre characterized by a primary division of 2 beats to the bar, usually indicated by 2 and multiples or 6 and multiples in the upper figure of the time signature, with 2/2 , 2/4, and 6/8 being the most common examples...

 C major chaconne (possibly at early work) is reminiscent of Kerll's D minor passacaglia. The remaining five works are all in triple meter and display a wide variety of moods and techniques, concentrating on melodic content (as opposed to the emphasis on harmonic complexity and virtuosity in Buxtehude's chaconnes). The ostinato
Ostinato
In music, an ostinato is a motif or phrase, which is persistently repeated in the same musical voice. An ostinato is always a succession of equal sounds, wherein each note always has the same weight or stress. The repeating idea may be a rhythmic pattern, part of a tune, or a complete melody in...

 bass is not necessarily repeated unaltered throughout the piece and is sometimes subjected to minor alterations and ornamentation. The D major, D minor
Chaconne in D minor (Pachelbel)
Chaconne in D minor is an organ chaconne by Johann Pachelbel. It is one of the six surviving chaconnes by the composer, and one of his best known organ works....

 and F minor
Chaconne in F minor (Pachelbel)
Chaconne in F minor is an organ chaconne by Johann Pachelbel. One of the six surviving chaconnes by the composer, it is one of his best known organ works....

 chaconnes are among Pachelbel's most well-known organ pieces, and the latter is often cited as his best organ work.
In 1699 Pachelbel published Hexachordum Apollinis
Hexachordum Apollinis
Hexachordum Apollinis is a collection of keyboard music by Johann Pachelbel, published in 1699. It comprises six arias with variations, on original themes, and is generally regarded as one of the pinnacles of Pachelbel's oeuvre...

(the title is a reference to Apollo
Apollo
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

's lyre
Lyre
The lyre is a stringed musical instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later. The word comes from the Greek "λύρα" and the earliest reference to the word is the Mycenaean Greek ru-ra-ta-e, meaning "lyrists", written in Linear B syllabic script...

), a collection of six variations set in different keys
Key (music)
In music theory, the term key is used in many different and sometimes contradictory ways. A common use is to speak of music as being "in" a specific key, such as in the key of C major or in the key of F-sharp. Sometimes the terms "major" or "minor" are appended, as in the key of A minor or in the...

. It is dedicated to composers Ferdinand Tobias Richter
Ferdinand Tobias Richter
Ferdinand Tobias Richter was anAustrian Baroque composer and organist.From 1675 to 1679 Richter served as organist at Heiligenkreuz Abbey in southern Austria. In 1683 he moved to Vienna to become court and chamber organist at the imperial court. In 1690 he was named first organist in the court...

 (a friend from the Vienna years) and Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude was a German-Danish organist and composer of the Baroque period. His organ works represent a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and in church services...

. Each set follows the "aria and variations" model, arias numbered Aria prima through Aria sexta ("first" through "sixth"). The final piece, which is also the most well-known today, is subtitled Aria Sebaldina, a reference to St. Sebaldus Church
St. Sebaldus Church
St. Sebaldus Church is a medieval church in Nuremberg, Germany. Along with Frauenkirche and St. Lorenz, it is one of the most important churches of the city, and also one of the oldest. It is located at the Albrecht-Dürer-Platz, in front of the old city hall...

 where Pachelbel worked at the time. Most of the variations are in common time, with Aria Sebaldina and its variations being the only notable exceptions–they are in 3/4 time. The pieces explore a wide range of variation techniques.
Pachelbel's other variation sets include a few arias and an arietta (a short aria) with variations and a few pieces designated as chorale variations. Four works of the latter type were published in Erfurt in 1683 under the title Musicalische Sterbens-Gedancken
Musicalische Sterbens-Gedancken
Musicalische Sterbens-Gedanken is a collection of keyboard music by Johann Pachelbel. It was first published in 1683 and contains four sets of chorale variations.-General information:...

("Musical Thoughts on Death"), which might refer to Pachelbel's first wife's death in the same year. This was Pachelbel's first published work and it is now partially lost. These pieces, along with Georg Böhm
Georg Böhm
Georg Böhm was a German Baroque organist and composer. He is notable for his development of the chorale partita and for his influence on the young J. S. Bach.-Life:Böhm was born in 1661 in Hohenkirchen, near Ohrdruf...

's works, may or may not have influenced Johann Sebastian Bach's early organ partita
Partita
Partita was originally the name for a single instrumental piece of music , but Johann Kuhnau and later German composers used it for collections of musical pieces, as a synonym for suite.Johann Sebastian Bach wrote two sets of Partitas for different instruments...

s.

Toccatas

About 20 toccata
Toccata
Toccata is a virtuoso piece of music typically for a keyboard or plucked string instrument featuring fast-moving, lightly fingered or otherwise virtuosic passages or sections, with or without imitative or fugal interludes, generally emphasizing the dexterity of the performer's fingers...

s by Pachelbel survive, including several brief pieces referred to as toccatinas in the Perreault catalogue. They are characterized by consistent use of pedal point
Pedal point
In tonal music, a pedal point is a sustained tone, typically in the bass, during which at least one foreign, i.e., dissonant harmony is sounded in the other parts. A pedal point sometimes functions as a "non-chord tone", placing it in the categories alongside suspensions, retardations, and passing...

: for the most part, Pachelbel's toccatas consist of relatively fast passagework in both hands over sustained pedal notes. Although a similar technique is employed in toccatas by Froberger
Johann Jakob Froberger
Johann Jakob Froberger was a German Baroque composer, keyboard virtuoso, and organist. He was among the most famous composers of the era and influenced practically every major composer in Europe by developing the genre of keyboard suite and contributing greatly to the exchange of musical...

 and Frescobaldi
Girolamo Frescobaldi
Girolamo Frescobaldi was a musician from Ferrara, one of the most important composers of keyboard music in the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods. A child prodigy, Frescobaldi studied under Luzzasco Luzzaschi in Ferrara, but was influenced by a large number of composers, including Ascanio...

's pedal toccatas, Pachelbel distinguishes himself from these composers by having no sections with imitative counterpoint–in fact, unlike most toccatas from the early and middle Baroque periods, Pachelbel's contributions to the genre are not sectional, unless rhapsodic
Rhapsody (music)
A rhapsody in music is a one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, free-flowing in structure, featuring a range of highly contrasted moods, colour and tonality. An air of spontaneous inspiration and a sense of improvisation make it freer in form than a set of variations...

 introductory passages in a few pieces (most notably the E minor toccata) are counted as separate sections. Furthermore, no other Baroque composer used pedal point with such consistency in toccatas.

Many of Pachelbel's toccatas explore a single melodic motif
Motif (music)
In music, a motif or motive is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition....

, and later works are written in a simple style in which two voices interact over sustained pedal notes, and said interaction – already much simpler than the virtuosic passages in earlier works – sometimes resorts to consecutive third
Third
Third may refer to:*3 , such as the 3rd of something -see also Ordinal number *Fraction , such as 1/3*1/60 of a second, or 1/3,600 of a minute *Third World, economically underdeveloped nations...

s, sixth
Sixth
Sixth can refer to:* The ordinal form of the number six* Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution* A keg of beer equal to 5 U.S. gallons or 1/6 barrel of beer.* A fraction, such as 1/6-Music:*Interval*Major sixth*Minor sixth...

s or tenth
Tenth
Tenth can mean:* 10th, an ordinal number; as in the item in an order ten places from the beginning, following the ninth and preceding the eleventh.* 1/10, a fraction, one part of a unit divided equally into ten parts...

s. Compare the earlier D major toccata, with passages in the typical middle Baroque style, with one of the late C major toccatas:

Sometimes a bar or two of consecutive thirds embellish the otherwise more complex toccata, occasionally there is a whole section written in that manner, and a few toccatas (particularly one of the D minor and one of the G minor pieces) are composed using only this technique, with almost no variation. Partly due to their simplicity, the toccatas are very accessible works; however, the E minor and C minor ones which receive more attention than the rest are in fact slightly more complex.

Fantasias

Pachelbel composed six fantasias
Fantasia (music)
The fantasia is a musical composition with its roots in the art of improvisation. Because of this, it seldom approximates the textbook rules of any strict musical form ....

. Three of them (the A minor, C major and one of the two D Dorian
Dorian mode
Due to historical confusion, Dorian mode or Doric mode can refer to three very different musical modes or diatonic scales, the Greek, the medieval, and the modern.- Greek Dorian mode :...

 pieces) are sectional compositions in 3/2 time
Time signature
The time signature is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each measure and which note value constitutes one beat....

, the sections are never connected thematically; the other D Dorian piece's structure is reminiscent of Pachelbel's magnificat fugues, with the main theme accompanied by two simple countersubject
Countersubject
In music, a countersubject is a melodic or thematic idea which is played against a primary subject of a fugue, ricercar, invention, sinfonia, or other contrapuntal piece of music...

s

The E-flat major and G minor fantasias are variations on the Italian toccata di durezze e ligature genre. Both are gentle free-flowing pieces featuring intricate passages in both hands with many accidentals
Accidental (music)
In music, an accidental is a note whose pitch is not a member of a scale or mode indicated by the most recently applied key signature. In musical notation, the symbols used to mark such notes, sharps , flats , and naturals , may also be called accidentals...

, close to similar pieces by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Girolamo Frescobaldi
Girolamo Frescobaldi was a musician from Ferrara, one of the most important composers of keyboard music in the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods. A child prodigy, Frescobaldi studied under Luzzasco Luzzaschi in Ferrara, but was influenced by a large number of composers, including Ascanio...

 or Giovanni de Macque
Giovanni de Macque
Giovanni de Macque was a Franco-Flemish composer of the late Renaissance and early Baroque, who spent almost his entire life in Italy...

.

Preludes

Almost all pieces designated as preludes
Prelude (music)
A prelude is a short piece of music, the form of which may vary from piece to piece. The prelude can be thought of as a preface. It may stand on its own or introduce another work...

 resemble Pachelbel's toccatas closely, since they too feature virtuosic passagework in one or both hands over sustained notes. However, most of the preludes are much shorter than the toccatas: the A minor prelude (pictured below) only has 9 bars, the G major piece has 10. The only exception is one of the two D minor pieces, which is very similar to Pachelbel's late simplistic toccatas, and considerably longer than any other prelude. The toccata idiom is completely absent, however, in the short Prelude in A minor:

A texture of similar density is also found in the ending of the shorter D minor piece, where three voices engage in imitative counterpoint. In pairs of preludes and fugues Pachelbel aimed to separate homophonic, improvisatory texture of the prelude from the strict counterpoint of the fugue.

Other keyboard music

Around 20 dance suite
Suite
In music, a suite is an ordered set of instrumental or orchestral pieces normally performed in a concert setting rather than as accompaniment; they may be extracts from an opera, ballet , or incidental music to a play or film , or they may be entirely original movements .In the...

s transmitted in a 1683 manuscript (now destroyed) were previously attributed to Pachelbel, but today his authorship is questioned for all but three suites, numbers 29, 32 and 33B in the Seiffert edition. The pieces are clearly not without French influence (but not so much as Buxtehude's) and are comparable in terms of style and technique to Froberger's suites. Seventeen keys
Key (music)
In music theory, the term key is used in many different and sometimes contradictory ways. A common use is to speak of music as being "in" a specific key, such as in the key of C major or in the key of F-sharp. Sometimes the terms "major" or "minor" are appended, as in the key of A minor or in the...

 are used, including F-sharp minor. Number 29 has all four traditional movements, the other two authentic pieces only have three (no gigue
Gigue
The gigue or giga is a lively baroque dance originating from the British jig. It was imported into France in the mid-17th century and usually appears at the end of a suite...

), and the rest follow the classical model (Allemande
Allemande
An allemande is one of the most popular instrumental dance forms in Baroque music, and a standard element of a suite...

, Courante
Courante
The courante, corrente, coranto and corant are some of the names given to a family of triple metre dances from the late Renaissance and the Baroque era....

, Sarabande
Sarabande
In music, the sarabande is a dance in triple metre. The second and third beats of each measure are often tied, giving the dance a distinctive rhythm of quarter notes and eighth notes in alternation...

, Gigue
Gigue
The gigue or giga is a lively baroque dance originating from the British jig. It was imported into France in the mid-17th century and usually appears at the end of a suite...

), sometimes updated with an extra movement (usually less developed), a more modern dance such as a gavotte
Gavotte
The gavotte originated as a French folk dance, taking its name from the Gavot people of the Pays de Gap region of Dauphiné, where the dance originated. It is notated in 4/4 or 2/2 time and is of moderate tempo...

 or a ballet. All movements are in binary form
Binary form
Binary form is a musical form in two related sections, both of which are usually repeated. Binary is also a structure used to choreograph dance....

, except for two aria
Aria
An aria in music was originally any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer. The term is now used almost exclusively to describe a self-contained piece for one voice usually with orchestral accompaniment...

s.

Chamber music

Pachelbel's chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

 is much less virtuosic than Biber
Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von Bibern was a Bohemian-Austrian composer and violinist. Born in the small Bohemian town of Wartenberg , Biber worked at Graz and Kroměříž before he illegally left his Kroměříž employer and settled in Salzburg...

's Mystery Sonatas or Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude was a German-Danish organist and composer of the Baroque period. His organ works represent a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and in church services...

's Opus 1 and Opus 2 chamber sonatas. The famous Canon in D belongs to this genre, as it was originally scored for 3 violins and a basso continuo, and paired with a gigue
Gigue
The gigue or giga is a lively baroque dance originating from the British jig. It was imported into France in the mid-17th century and usually appears at the end of a suite...

 in the same key. The canon is actually more of a chaconne
Chaconne
A chaconne ; is a type of musical composition popular in the baroque era when it was much used as a vehicle for variation on a repeated short harmonic progression, often involving a fairly short repetitive bass-line which offered a compositional outline for variation, decoration, figuration and...

 or a passacaglia
Passacaglia
The passacaglia is a musical form that originated in early seventeenth-century Spain and is still used by contemporary composers. It is usually of a serious character and is often, but not always, based on a bass-ostinato and written in triple metre....

: it consists of a ground bass over which the violins play a three-voice canon
Canon (music)
In music, a canon is a contrapuntal composition that employs a melody with one or more imitations of the melody played after a given duration . The initial melody is called the leader , while the imitative melody, which is played in a different voice, is called the follower...

 based on a simple theme, the violins' parts form 28 variations
Variation (music)
In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve harmony, melody, counterpoint, rhythm, timbre, orchestration or any combination of these.-Variation form:...

 of the melody. The gigue which originally accompanied the canon is a simple piece that uses strict fugal
Fugue
In music, a fugue is a compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject that is introduced at the beginning in imitation and recurs frequently in the course of the composition....

 writing.
Musicalische Ergötzung
Musicalische Ergötzung
Musicalische Ergötzung is a collection of chamber music by Johann Pachelbel. Published during his lifetime, it contains six suites for two violins and basso continuo....

("Musical Delight") is a set of six chamber suite
Suite
In music, a suite is an ordered set of instrumental or orchestral pieces normally performed in a concert setting rather than as accompaniment; they may be extracts from an opera, ballet , or incidental music to a play or film , or they may be entirely original movements .In the...

s for two scordatura
Scordatura
A scordatura , also called cross-tuning, is an alternative tuning used for the open strings of a string instrument, in which the notes indicated in the score would represent the finger position as if played in regular tuning, while the actual pitch is altered...

 violins and basso continuo published sometime after 1695. At the time, scordatura tuning was used to produce special effects and execute tricky passages. However, Pachelbel's collection was intended for amateur violinists, and scordatura tuning is used here as a basic introduction to the technique. Scordatura only involves the tonic
Tonic (music)
In music, the tonic is the first scale degree of the diatonic scale and the tonal center or final resolution tone. The triad formed on the tonic note, the tonic chord, is thus the most significant chord...

, dominant
Dominant (music)
In music, the dominant is the fifth scale degree of the diatonic scale, called "dominant" because it is next in importance to the tonic,and a dominant chord is any chord built upon that pitch, using the notes of the same diatonic scale...

 and sometimes the subdominant
Subdominant
In music, the subdominant is the technical name for the fourth tonal degree of the diatonic scale. It is so called because it is the same distance "below" the tonic as the dominant is above the tonic - in other words, the tonic is the dominant of the subdominant. It is also the note immediately...

 notes.

Each suite of Musikalische Ergötzung begins with an introductory Sonata or Sonatina in one movement. In suites 1 and 3 these introductory movements are Allegro three-voice fughettas
Fugue
In music, a fugue is a compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject that is introduced at the beginning in imitation and recurs frequently in the course of the composition....

 and stretti
Stretto
The term stretto comes from the Italian past participle of stringere, and means "narrow", "tight", or "close".In music the Italian term stretto has two distinct meanings:...

. The other four sonatas are reminiscent of French overture
French overture
The French overture is a musical form widely used in the Baroque period. Its basic formal division is into two parts, which are usually enclosed by double bars and repeat signs. They are complementary in styles , and the first ends with a half-cadence that requires an answering structure with a...

s. They have two Adagio sections which juxtapose slower and faster rhythms: the first section uses patterns of dotted
Dotted note
In Western musical notation, a dotted note is a note with a small dot written after it. The dot increases the duration of the basic note by half of its original value. If the basic note lasts 2 beats, the corresponding dotted note lasts 3 beats...

 quarter
Quarter note
A quarter note or crotchet is a note played for one quarter of the duration of a whole note . Often people will say that a crotchet is one beat, however, this is not always correct, as the beat is indicated by the time signature of the music; a quarter note may or may not be the beat...

 and eighth notes in a non-imitative
Imitation (music)
In music, imitation is when a melody in a polyphonic texture is repeated shortly after its first appearance in a different voice, usually at a different pitch. The melody may vary through transposition, inversion, or otherwise, but retain its original character...

 manner. The second employs the violins in an imitative, sometimes homophonic structure, that uses shorter note value
Note value
In music notation, a note value indicates the relative duration of a note, using the color or shape of the note head, the presence or absence of a stem, and the presence or absence of flags/beams/hooks/tails....

s. The dance movements of the suites show traces of Italian (in the gigues of suites 2 and 6) and German (allemande
Allemande
An allemande is one of the most popular instrumental dance forms in Baroque music, and a standard element of a suite...

 appears in suites 1 and 2) influence, but the majority of the movements are clearly influenced by the French
Music of France
France has a wide variety of indigenous folk music, as well as styles played by immigrants from Africa, Latin America and Asia. In the field of classical music, France has produced a number of legendary composers, while modern pop music has seen the rise of popular French hip hop, techno/funk,...

 style. The suites do not adhere to a fixed structure: the allemande is only present in two suites, the gigues in four, two suites end with a chaconne
Chaconne
A chaconne ; is a type of musical composition popular in the baroque era when it was much used as a vehicle for variation on a repeated short harmonic progression, often involving a fairly short repetitive bass-line which offered a compositional outline for variation, decoration, figuration and...

, and the fourth suite contains two aria
Aria
An aria in music was originally any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer. The term is now used almost exclusively to describe a self-contained piece for one voice usually with orchestral accompaniment...

s.

Pachelbel's other chamber music includes an aria and variations (Aria con variazioni in A major) and four standalone suites scored for a string quartet
String quartet
A string quartet is a musical ensemble of four string players – usually two violin players, a violist and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group...

 or a typical French five-part string ensemble with 2 violins, 2 viola
Viola
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

s and a violone
Violone
The term violone can refer to several distinct large, bowed musical instruments which belong to either the viol or violin family. The violone is sometimes a fretted instrument, and may have six, five, four, or even only three strings. The violone is also not always a contrabass instrument...

 (the latter reinforces the basso continuo). Of these, the five-part suite in G major (Partie a 5 in G major) is a variation suite, where each movement begins with a theme from the opening sonatina; like its four-part cousin (Partie a 4 in G major) and the third standalone suite (Partie a 4 in F-sharp minor) it updates the German suite model by using the latest French dances such as the gavotte
Gavotte
The gavotte originated as a French folk dance, taking its name from the Gavot people of the Pays de Gap region of Dauphiné, where the dance originated. It is notated in 4/4 or 2/2 time and is of moderate tempo...

 or the ballet. The three pieces mentioned all end with a Finale movement. Interestingly, Partie a 4 in G major features no figuration for the lower part, which means that it wasn't a basso continuo and that, as Jean M. Perreault writes, "this work may well count as the first true string quartet, at least within the Germanophone domain."

Vocal music

Johann Gottfried Walther
Johann Gottfried Walther
Johann Gottfried Walther was a German music theorist, organist, composer, and lexicographer of the Baroque era.Walther was born at Erfurt...

 famously described Pachelbel's vocal works as "more perfectly executed than anything before them". Already the earliest examples of Pachelbel's vocal writing, two arias So ist denn dies der Tag and So ist denn nur die Treu composed in Erfurt in 1679 (which are also Pachelbel's earliest datable pieces), display impressive mastery of large-scale composition (So ist denn dies der Tag is scored for soprano
Soprano
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...

, SATB
SATB
In music, SATB is an initialism for soprano, alto, tenor, bass, defining the voices required by a chorus or choir to perform a particular musical work...

 choir, 2 violins, 3 viola
Viola
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

s, 4 trumpets, timpani
Timpani
Timpani, or kettledrums, are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum, they consist of a skin called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. They are played by striking the head with a specialized drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet...

 and basso continuo) and exceptional knowledge of contemporary techniques.

These latter features are also found in Pachelbel's Vespers
Vespers
Vespers is the evening prayer service in the Western Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours...

 pieces and sacred concertos, large-scale compositions which are probably his most important vocal works. Almost all of them adopt the modern concertato
Concertato
Concertato is a term in early Baroque music referring to either a genre or a style of music in which groups of instruments or voices share a melody, usually in alternation, and almost always over a basso continuo...

 idiom and many are scored for unusually large groups of instruments (Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt (in C) uses four trumpets, timpani
Timpani
Timpani, or kettledrums, are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum, they consist of a skin called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. They are played by striking the head with a specialized drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet...

, 2 violins, 3 viola
Viola
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

s, violone
Violone
The term violone can refer to several distinct large, bowed musical instruments which belong to either the viol or violin family. The violone is sometimes a fretted instrument, and may have six, five, four, or even only three strings. The violone is also not always a contrabass instrument...

 and basso continuo; Lobet den Herrn in seinem Heiligtum is scored for a five-part chorus, two flute
Flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

s, bassoon
Bassoon
The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and tenor registers, and occasionally higher. Appearing in its modern form in the 19th century, the bassoon figures prominently in orchestral, concert band and chamber music literature...

, five trumpets, trombone
Trombone
The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. Like all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player’s vibrating lips cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate...

, drums, cymbal
Cymbal
Cymbals are a common percussion instrument. Cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys; see cymbal making for a discussion of their manufacture. The greater majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a...

s, harp
Harp
The harp is a multi-stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicularly to the soundboard. Organologically, it is in the general category of chordophones and has its own sub category . All harps have a neck, resonator and strings...

, two violins, basso continuo and organ
Organ (music)
The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

). Pachelbel explores a very wide range of styles: psalm settings (Gott ist unser Zuversicht), chorale concertos (Christ lag in Todesbanden), sets of chorale variations (Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan), concerted motet
Motet
In classical music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions.-Etymology:The name comes either from the Latin movere, or a Latinized version of Old French mot, "word" or "verbal utterance." The Medieval Latin for "motet" is motectum, and the Italian...

s, etc. The ensembles for which these works are scored are equally diverse: from the famous D major Magnificat setting written for a 4-part choir, 4 violas and basso continuo, to the Magnificat in C major scored for a five-part chorus, 4 trumpets, timpani, 2 violins, a single viola and two violas da gamba, bassoon, basso continuo and organ.

Pachelbel's large-scale vocal works are mostly written in modern style influenced by Italian Catholic music, with only a few non-concerted pieces and old plainchant cantus firmus
Cantus firmus
In music, a cantus firmus is a pre-existing melody forming the basis of a polyphonic composition.The plural of this Latin term is , though the corrupt form canti firmi is also attested...

 techniques employed very infrequently. The string ensemble is typical for the time, three viols and two violins. The former are either used to provide harmonic content in instrumental sections or to double the vocal lines in tutti sections; the violins either engage in contrapuntal textures of varying density or are employed for ornamentation. Distinct features of Pachelbel's vocal writing in these pieces, aside from the fact that it is almost always very strongly tonal, include frequent use of permutation fugues and writing for paired voices. The Magnificat settings, most composed during Pachelbel's late Nuremberg years, are influenced by the Italian-Viennese
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 style and distinguish themselves from their antecedents by treating the canticle in a variety of ways and stepping away from text-dependent composition.

Other vocal music includes motet
Motet
In classical music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions.-Etymology:The name comes either from the Latin movere, or a Latinized version of Old French mot, "word" or "verbal utterance." The Medieval Latin for "motet" is motectum, and the Italian...

s, arias and two masses
Mass (music)
The Mass, a form of sacred musical composition, is a choral composition that sets the invariable portions of the Eucharistic liturgy to music...

. Of the eleven extant motets, ten are scored for two four-part choruses
Choir
A choir, chorale or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform.A body of singers who perform together as a group is called a choir or chorus...

. Most of this music is harmonically simple and make little use of complex polyphony
Polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 (indeed, the polyphonic passages frequently feature reduction of parts). The texts are taken from the psalms, except in Nun danket alle Gott which uses a short passage from the Ecclesiastes
Ecclesiastes
The Book of Ecclesiastes, called , is a book of the Hebrew Bible. The English name derives from the Greek translation of the Hebrew title.The main speaker in the book, identified by the name or title Qoheleth , introduces himself as "son of David, king in Jerusalem." The work consists of personal...

. The motets are structured according to the text they use. One important feature found in Gott ist unser Zuversicht and Nun danket alle Gott is that their endings are four-part chorale settings reminiscent of Pachelbel's organ chorale model: the chorale, presented in long note value
Note value
In music notation, a note value indicates the relative duration of a note, using the color or shape of the note head, the presence or absence of a stem, and the presence or absence of flags/beams/hooks/tails....

s, is sung by the sopranos, while the six lower parts accompany with passages in shorter note values:

The arias, aside from the two 1679 works discussed above, are usually scored for solo voice accompanied by several instruments; most were written for occasions such as weddings, birthdays, funerals and baptisms. They include both simple strophic and complex sectional pieces of varying degrees of complexity, some include sections for chorus. The concerted Mass in C major is probably an early work; the D major Missa brevis is a small mass for a SATB choir in three movements (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo). It is simple, unadorned and reminiscent of his motets.

Further reading

  • Gauger, Ronald R. 1974. Ostinato Techniques in Chaconnes and Passacaglias of Pachelbel, Buxtehude, and J.S. Bach. Diss., University of Wisconsin.
  • Nolte, Ewald V. 1954. The Instrumental Works of Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706): an Essay to Establish his Stylistic Position in the Development of the Baroque Musical Art. Diss., Northwestern University.
  • Nolte, Ewald V. 1956. The Magnificat Fugues of Johann Pachelbel: Alternation or Intonation?, JAMS, ix (1956), 19–24.
  • Nolte, Ewald V. 1957. Classic Contract between Pachelbel and Erfurt Church, The Diapason, xlviii (1956–7), 32.
  • Nyquist, Roger T. 1968. The Influence of South German and Italian Composers on the Free Organ Forms of Johann Pachelbel. Diss., Indiana University.
  • Sarber, Gayle V. 1983. The Organ Works of Pachelbel as Related to Selected Works by Frescobaldi and the South and Central German Composers. Diss., Indiana University.
  • Woodward, Henry L. 1952. A Study of the Tenbury Manuscripts of Johann Pachelbel. Diss., Harvard University.

General reference


Scores


Recordings

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