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(1653 - 1706)

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Isn’t it amazing that a piece of music named Canon in D, composed over 300 years ago is still the most popular wedding song. It was composed by a man named Johann Pachelbel, not one of the most famous composers, but he certanly had a impact on European music.

Johann Pachelbel was born in July, 1653 in Nuremberg, Germany and was interested in music ever since he was young. He was enrolled at St. Lorenz High School were he received music training from Henrich Schwemmer, who taught him rudiments and G.C. Wecker, who taught him instruments and composition.

Due to his high academic potential, he attended the Auditorium Aegindianum where he could listen to lectures and learn about the arts. His father then enrolled him in the University at Altorf on June 29, 1669. There he was an organist of the Lorenztirk, but after less than a year, he was forced to leave because his father could not support him.

His father then enrolled him in the Gymnasium Poticum at Rendenberg, where he received a scholarship due to his academic qualifications, and he was permitted to study music outside the Gymnasium under Kaspar Prentz. Prentz directed Pachelbel’s attention to the music of leading European composers.

In 1672 Prentz left Rendenberg so Pachelbel went to Vienna. There he became deputy organist of St. Steven’s Cathederal. There he met a musician named Kerll. There is no solid evedence that Pachelbel was a student of Kerll, but his music style shows that of a pupul of Kerll’s.

Three years later, after moving to Erfurt, on the 25th of October, 1681, he maried his first wife, Barbra Gabler, but two years later she and their baby son died of a deadly plague.

On August 24, the year unknown, he wed Judith Brommer, his second wife and she gave birth to five sons and 2 daughters. Later on in his life he encountered the Bach family and was asked to be Godfather of Johanna Juditha Bach. He was also asked if he would teach music to young Johann Christoph Bach. He lived there for awhile but on August 15, 1690, upon request, he was formally released from the Bach’s.

He later moved to St. Sebald where he lived until his death in March, 1706. Although he died his music will live in forever.

By Jonathan Elliott


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