The Pachelbel Canon

By DeusExMacintosh

There’s a lot of it, and it’s all the same tune. Pray that nobody owns the copyright or the modern music industry will collapse.

Comedian Rob Paravonian does the Pachelbel Rant.

He’s following you too…

8 Comments

  1. Posted February 9, 2010 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    What’s impressive about this isn’t just the first couple of minutes on the trials of a teenage cellist… but just how often that 8 note cello sequence has turned up in contemporary music. It’s also a reminder that in days gone by, people who wrote folk music/classical stuff etc couldn’t rely on transmission in any other form save sheet music, which not everyone could read.

    So they had to write kick-ass riffs to facilitate memory.

  2. Posted February 9, 2010 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    The thing that worries me out of this whole thing is “Am I liable for copyright infringement everytime I play Happy Birthday by ear in church because someone’s just notched up some more kilometres on their person clock?”

  3. Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Hee.

    I’d noticed that too. He describes it so well…

    The thing is the descending bass line – it’s extremely attractive, very simple, and allows for a lot of harmonic variation depending on the needs of the composer. So you get a lot of different musical versions of it.

  4. Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I play Happy Birthday by ear in church
    .
    Happy Birthday To You was originally Good Morning To You. Someone added a note and owned it again. I’m going to do the same thing with La Marseillaise: and the Star Spangled Banner
    .
    Then I’m going to Mexico to start me a UFO religion. Last time I heard the Canon as a pop song it was that High School Farewell Song which is so syrupy it needs pancakes with it. Irritated the shit outta me but still I liked it, and then I realized why.

  5. Posted February 9, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh but it’s so easy to riff against when playing to daughter (then) and grandson (now)… and turn into a minor key… among other things “puff the magic dragon”

    The other thing that is widely used is the opening of the Bach’s Goldberg Variations, designed to be riffable, which comes up (with one note in the second-last chord changed) as “Ode To Joy/EU Anthem”… and BlackAdder.

    And there was the big fight over royalties to Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale”, where both of the co-authors admit to ripping off JSB – not just one JSB piece, but two (see this scene from Tom Stoppard’s play The Real Thing for a giggle on this)

    Of course, Tom Stoppard himself doesn’t mind pilfering whole scenes from out-of-copyright sources… Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead for example… but that’s what makes it such a brilliant play.

  6. Posted February 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    The thing that worries me out of this whole thing is “Am I liable for copyright infringement everytime I play Happy Birthday by ear in church because someone’s just notched up some more kilometres on their person clock?”

    a) only if you add the “hip, hip Hooray!” I think and

    b) may depend on whether your church has a Public Performance Licence

  7. Posted February 11, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    A favourite bit of creative pilfering that comes to mind is in The Simpson’s parody ‘Mary Poppins’ episode.

    The Mary Poppins character sings ‘If you cut every corner, you’ll have more time for play’, etc – it’s a send up of the original ‘A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down’.

    Only, in this instance, the melody of the original song has been inverted. You recognise the parody straight away – because of the tone, the lyrics, the rhythm and the ubiquity of the original Mary Poppins film – but the melody has been changed in an original and clever way that helps to underpin the humour of the scene (and helps avoid copyright issues). Nice work, The Simpsons.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*