Sheet Music: Canon in E minor

TitleCanon in E minor
Opus numberOp. 81, No. 1
ComposerPaul Merkus (1961—)
InstrumentationFlute trio
KeyE minor
Time signature4/4
Tempo56 BPM
Performance time2:25
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (113 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (2 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (2 MB)
Date added2021-03-03
Last updated2021-03-03
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 1.1 (average)
Canons, Contemporary, Written for Flute


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Sunday 21 March 2021

Tune of the Day: Canon in E minor by Paul Merkus

for three flutes and bass instrument

Today's piece was kindly contributed to our collection by its composer, Paul Merkus from the Netherlands.

For a long time I have been fascinated by the well-known Pachelbel canon and the chord progression that it is based on, a very strong scheme that many other pieces and songs are also based on. It was only after quite some time that I realized that Pachelbel's canon is indeed a canon, as it is not immediately recognizable as such. This is probably because it does not repeat quickly, unlike many well-known short canon songs. I was wondering whether such a canon could also be made based on a chord progression in a minor key... and so I wrote a canon for three equal voices and continuo based on a repeating chord structure in E-minor. Its structure imitates very closely that of Pachelbel's, starting from the basso ostinato pattern that repeats throughout the piece. After eight bars of prelude in the continuo, the first voice enters in a slowly descending sequence of quavers. After a number of bars with a mere movement in quavers, an additional movement in semiquavers starts in the first voice, and then expands to the other voices. More ornaments are then introduced, while the three voices pursue one another two bars apart until the end of the piece, where they meet to form a Picardy cadence.

Many thanks, Paul, for sharing your music with us!