The Musicarta Canon Project Module Eleven

Suspensions

Despite being written before 1700 AD, Pachelbel’s Canon is actually a very modern piece of music! Its chord sequence is a classic and has been used and re-used again and again, with the result that everything you learn from the Musicarta Canon Project is, with a simple change of ‘feel’, 100-percent contemporary.

Listen to this relaxing, modern groove:

Now listen carefully to one your Canon recordings. About two thirds of the way through you will hear the strings play something like this:

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The chords in the modern groove – D and A – are the same as the first two chords in the Canon chord sequence – and the ‘trick’ is the same. What is happening is that the middle note of the usual D and A major right hand triads is being pulled up a scale step temporarily and then being dropped back down to its original position.

In music theory, this is called ‘suspension and resolution’. It’s a great way of getting more out of any chord sequence, and a trick every modern keyboard player will want to know.

The Musicarta Canon Project is now available as an e-book digital download and on CD-ROM. These skeleton Canon Project web pages are being left on the internet as an expanded Table of Contents, so you can see how much you’ll benefit from purchasing the Canon Project.

To give you the best chance of evaluating the Musicarta Canon Project, you can download the MIDI files for these free-to-view Canon Project web pages. File reference numbers are shown, where applicable, in the right hand audio player table cells.

To play your MIDI files, download MidiPiano here. Learn more about MidiPiano on the Musicarta MidiPiano page. You can also play the MIDI files as basic audio in most media players.

Pachelbel’s Canon is in the key of D major scale. Click through here for a thorough D major refresher course.

As usual, the Canon Project walks you through the theory-in-practice so you can apply what you learn to other chord sequences. Here’s a sample drill.

CPM_ M11_03

You can practice the ‘suspension–resolution’ (‘sus-res’) trick over a backing track using two hands, or as a new feature in your Canon duet performance.

The module goal is this solo performance:

A duet performance would sound the same.

Here’s a spontaneous variation on the Canon chord sequence using suspensions in the right hand plus a broken chord ‘waggle’:

You can expect to find this kind of texture under your fingertips, too, if you work through the Musicarta Canon Project.

The module audio challenge offers another cross-over ‘realisation’ of the Canon chord sequence, with the new suspensions feature, but in the key of F:

Some arrangements just ‘sound right’ in a certain key, and vocalists can often only sing a song in one key, so transposing into different keys is a ‘fact of life’ for pro and semi-pro musicians.

Again, Musicarta walks you through the process of transposing the new ‘sus–res’ chord sequence. Whether you’re ready for transposing ‘theory’ or not, you’re transposing in practice – and transferring your Canon know-how into other keys.

How modern? This modern!

It’s been a Canon Project promise throughout that all you learn in the Musicarta Canon Project, with a few tweaks in the rhythm and feel, is bang up to date.

Here’s proof – from the always-inspiring Ronald Jenkees.

See the Canon Rock (mainly guitar) and Keyboard Canon improvisation playlists on YouTube for more outstanding rock treatments of this timeless chord sequence. Then go straight to the mother lode and . . .

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