This Canon makes Music, not War

December 19, 2015 at 10:30 am

Thanks to elementary-school music classes and “Row, row, row your boat”, canon is a musical term that is pretty well known. Even if you didn’t pay attention in music class, you probably recognize the term from going to, basically, any and every wedding ever.

You can find canons throughout all of music history. To this day, student composers write canons as part of their training. Canons range from being super simple to outrageously complex.



Cesar Franck wrote canon into many of his works – this was a bit odd for the romantic era, which tended to favor emotion and drama over form and structure. Franck’s canons, however, perfectly fit the aesthetic of the romantic era, and never sound forced or out of place. His Sonata for Violin and Piano is a stunning work and favorite of violinists & pianists (and flutists, who also lay claim to this work.)

Interestingly, Franck’s most famous composition, also with a canon, can be heard alongside Pachelbel’s, at “any and every wedding ever.”