Canon Chords in LH-over Style

The Canon Diaries are ongoing explorations of Johann Pachelbel's famous chord sequence, as taught in the Musicarta Canon Project, available as a digital download from this site (see below) and as a hard copy print-on-demand title from Createspace and Amazon books.

Canon Diaries are principally for keyboard players who have worked through the download study programme. These players will 'get the point' of Diary entries pretty much immediately. It is hoped that the Canon Diaries will inspire others to follow them, graduate from the Canon Project programme and be in a position to understand (and use) the additional harmonic assets the Diary entries contain.

The CANON PROJECT

Pachelbel’s Canon in D is perhaps the most famous chord sequence of all time, and the basis of dozens of popular hits. If you can play and understand the Canon chord sequence, there isn’t much in popular music harmony you won’t be able to figure out! Its regular structure also makes it a great springboard for improvising and composition.

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Now available from Amazon Books
Click through to the Canon Project YouTube playlist here

Canon Chords in LH-over Style

Musicarta's signature 'left-hand-over style' is a great way to play any chord sequence. You can see other examples on the Musicarta 'Mariaan' and 'Chords for Carl' web pages and on the Mister Musicarta YouTube 'LH-over Style playlist.

It's great to have an off-the shelf what-to-play solution when presented with a chord sequence. ('Mariaan' and 'Chords for Carl' are full-blown teach-yourself home-study packages.)

Here is the YouTube video of the Canon chord sequence in LH-over style. It's been extended to four-strain AABA form, as discussed in Module Sixteen of the Musicarta Canon Project digital home-study download.

The Canon Diaries learning module in the new edition of the Musicarta Canon Project shows the chord tones on keyboards as well as giving the music. Even if you are a proficient reader, the keyboards offer an opportunity to develop your ‘seeing the music in the keyboard’ skills.

The chord sequence

Here is the chord sequence of the music you've just heard.

Here is the ‘skeleton’ music – just the basics, and before any keyboard texture is applied (excludes LH-over notes).

To become a creative, ‘in charge’ keyboard musician, it is essential that you cultivate a habit of figuring (and thoroughly mastering!) out the basic elements beneath the music you hear. You need to ‘own’ this material in order to compose and improvise successfully.

This Canon Project learning module shows the chord tones on keyboards as well as giving the music (as you see in the video overlay). Even if you are a proficient reader, the keyboards offer an opportunity to develop your ‘seeing the music in the keyboard’ skills.

Note the voice movement diagram (VMD) between the right hand chords. These help you keep track of how the chord tones change to form the next chord. Voice movement diagrams are explained in the Canon Project home study work-book.

 Understanding the written music

Keyboard players with high expectations - like adult (re-)starters and continuers and pro/semi-pro pop styles musicians - often find their progress frustrated by the complexity of written music. (Syncopated popular-styles keyboard music is particularly hard to read.)

Musicarta’s many ways of ‘seeing the music in the keyboard’ present an ideal opportunity to learn to read music better by presenting the written-out music (MS – manuscript) for music you have learnt to play by rote.

Here is a sample of the Canon LH-over MS:

The Canon Project dwonload contains audio and MIDI files for all the musical examples as well as the keyboard diagrams, so you're sure to starting understanding how the written music represents the performance, and become  more and more comfortable with written music.

Here's an example of the keyboard diagrams in the Canon Project.

The four keyboard diagrams show the hand positions for the first chords/bars.

To keep your printing costs to a minimum, the Canon Project download pdf is in black and white. To get the greatest benefit, you would colour in the keyboards using fluorescent markers matching the green = left, orange = right colour scheme of the Mister Musicarta YouTube channel videos. This in itself forms part of the learning process.

You see that the written music for the first four bars/hand positions has as series of 'B-M-T' indications under the typical keyboard pattern. Thisbottom-middle-top (BMT) analysis shows you how to break up the notes of the right hand chord to fill a bar with pleasing, rhythmic music.

Replay the first bars of the opening video a few times - or use the following repeating audio file - to see how you will be able to make swift progress getting this way of playing the Canon's ever-popular chords into your keyboard repertoire.

The full two-handed keyboard texture (pattern of notes you actually play) can be written out like this:

Reading this table notation alongside the written music - and with the MIDI file performance playing on the MidiPiano (Windows OS) virtual keyboard included in your study download), you'll soon learn the pattern.

All the four-chord sections of the main performance are offered in separate practice-speed audio and MIDI files. You can 'loop' the audio files in the free Audacity (R) sound editor (or you regular computer media player), and even slow down the the MIDI performance in MidiPiano as play-along examples to copy, and to support your effective, methodical practicing.

Different versions

The Canon Project and the ongoing 'Canon Diaries' at Mister Musicarta YouTube offer the opportunity to work on a familiar and attractive chord sequence until your fingers themselves start 'doing the walking' - and you're suddenly composing spontaneously at the keyboard.

Here's a version of 'Canon, LH-over style' with an alternative set piece ending variation.

Keyboard diagrams and audio/MIDI practice support files for this generic ballad-style final phrase are included in the study material.Once you've learned to play it, you'll hear it (or slight variations on it) in lots of popular music.

The Canon Diaries supplement in the new edition of the Musicarta Canon Project also covers the following version, which has an alternative 'B strain' as well as the alternative ending.

The new B section modulates temporarily into F major. Pop songs often have a section in a different key which makes them sound more interesting, although the listener might have no idea why!

The chords in this alternative B strin are from new Canon Diaries 12-05-12 (web page and video). (That Canon Diary entry goes on to a drill for transposing the Canon chord sequence and practising it in multuiple keys.)

The chords, however, are treated to yet anothersimple but powerful composing technique called 'mediant substitution', which creates new chord sequences by shifting whole chords either up or down a third - often under the exact same melody. Mediant substitution is introduced in Module Sixteen of the Canon Project.

The CANON PROJECT

Pachelbel’s Canon in D is perhaps the most famous chord sequence of all time, and the basis of dozens of popular hits. If you can play and understand the Canon chord sequence, there isn’t much in popular music harmony you won’t be able to figure out! Its regular structure also makes it a great springboard for improvising and composition.

Canon Project cover
Get the download
for only $14.95
Buy Now

LEARN MORE!
Now available from Amazon Books
Click through to the Canon Project YouTube playlist here

As well as getting more chords sitting comfortably under your fingers and encouraging experimentation, these two substitutions put the focus on structure and help cultivate a powerful 'aerial view' orientation - essential for would be song-writers and composers.

Other Musicarta digital home-study material

Do you enjoy learning to play piano like this?

Musicarta has a series of download home study programmes to boost your keyboard creativity.

The PYRAMIDS VARIATIONS

The Musicarta Pyramids Variations aims to exceed expectations by coaching beginners and re-starters to an impressive ‘Concert Performance’ in just eight lessons. After that, you learn a set of variations which model all the contemporary keyboard player’s knowledge and skills.

Pyramids Variations cover
Get the download
for only $14.95
Buy Now

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Video-rich course (100+ videos). Also from Udemy and Skillshare.
Click through to the
Pyramids Variations YouTube playlist here.

KEY CHORDS Vol. 1

Musicarta Key Chords builds your chord vocabulary by introducing the chords you are most likely to come across in any song. You practice the chord changes in contemporary riffs (drum backing tracks are included), with easy step-by-step rhythmic build-up of impressive keyboard syncopation.

Key Chords Vol.1
Get the download
for only $14.95
Buy Now

LEARN MORE!
Now available from Amazon Books
Click through to the Key Chords Vol.1 YouTube playlist here

In addition, there are two teach-yourself home-study solos which will put a beautiful keyboard piece in your repertoire and teach you some 'really useful' music theory along the way.

‘MARIAAN’ Piano Solo

Playing a melody plus its own full, satisfying chord accompaniment is THE benchmark achievement for the modern-styles keyboard player. ‘Mariaan’ builds just such a performance, step by step – and with no-one left behind. Guaranteed to expand your creative horizons every time you sit down to work at it!

Mariaan
Get the download
for only $9.95
Buy Now

LEARN MORE!
Click through to the ‘Mariaan’ YouTube playlist

Now available! 'MARIAAN Lite' Just the music -
no teaching notes, audio or MIDI. Chord Study, Mariaan, Mariaan 2.0, four lead sheets, 28 pages A4.

Only Buy Now $4.95!

'Chords for Carl'
teach-yourself solo

A visuals-based approach to keyboard chords and building a full modern solo performance, this unique teach-yourself opportunity comes with access to NINE exclusive online teaching videos. Only what you need to know and exactly how to learn it.
(Also available in ’lite’ - see below)

Chords for Carl
Get the download
for only $9.95
Buy Now

LEARN MORE!
Click through to the ‘Chords for Carl’ YouTube playlist here

Chords For Carl Lite

For good readers, the 'lite' version of the full teach-yourself digital download. A showcase chords-with-melody solo versatile broken-chord texture with left-hand-over note for show!

Music (3pp. PDF), audio, MIDI and player, bonus extras, no teaching video access.
only $3.95
Buy Now

Watch it on YouTube.

 Keyboard solos

Musicarta also has a collection of modern-styles keyboard solos - written music plus audio samples, MIDI files and the MidiPiano app (Windows) to make sure you make it through to the full performance.

Check them out on the Solos page,. or look-and-listen with the Mister Musicarta YouTube Solos playlist.


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Try two Musicarta Pyramids Variations video lessons on Skillshare absolutely free. Use these links to Lesson One and Lesson Two and watch your keyboards skills grow – and get three months' Skillshare Premium membership for less than a dollar!

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