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Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
March 3
Can You Guess? On this date in 1931, a song written September 14, 1814 was honored by the United States Congress.  Can You Guess what the song was and what happened to it on this date?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
1793 - Premiere of Franz Haydn's Symphony No. 101 "The Clock," Haydn conducting at the Hanover-Square Concert Rooms in London.

1802 - Publication of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.

1842 - Premiere of Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3 in a.

1867 - Gustav Strube, German-American composer, was born.

1875 - Premiere of Bizet's opera Carmen, at the Opera Comique, in Paris.

1918 - Premiere of Bela Bartók's String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17 by the Waldbauer Quartet in Budapest.

1931 - Cab Calloway and his orchestra recorded Minnie the Moocher.

1970 - Metropolitan  Opera debut of soprano Marilyn Horne.

2002 - Premiere of Steven Honigsberg's A Lament for solo cello at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
Johann Pachelbel
You've heard the Canon
But Have You Heard it Arranged as
Earth Angel, and played by a
String Quartet?
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Canon in D & Gigue
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Canon in D & Gigue for violin & piano by J.Pachelbel sheet music download
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Johann Pachelbel died on March 3, 1706.

Pachelbel was born in  Nürnberg September 1, 1653, and grew up in one of the most culturally active regions of Europe.   His father enrolled Johann in the St. Lorenz high school, but soon recognized his son's music potential.  He arranged for Johann to receive musical training from Heinrich Schwemmer and organist Georg Caspar Wecker.
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Pachelbel's  first position was as organist of the Pfarrkirche. Moving to Vienna, he quickly went to work at the Stephanskirche (Church of St. Stevens) as a deputy organist.

In 1677, Pachelbel returned to Germany and settled in Eisenach, Thüringen. While there, he was court organist under Daniel Eberlin for Prince Johann Georg of Sachsen-Eisenach, and he became known as an organist and as an accomplished composer.

Also in Eisenach, one of the most important events of the Baroque period took place.  Pachelbel met the Bach family and soon began to tutor Johann Ambrosius' children, including the young Johann Sebastian Bach.

When the Prince of Sachsen-Eisenach died, Pachelbel began looking for other work. Receiving no immediate offers, he asked Daniel Eberlin for a reference addressed to any interested parties. Eberlin obliged, and noted in the letter that Pachelbel was "a perfect and rare virtuoso."

Later that year, he was invited to nearby Erfurt to be the organist at the Protestant Predigerkirche. He remained in this post for 12 years.

In August of 1690, Pachelbel traveled to Stuttgart where he became court organist for Duchess Magdalena Sibylla of Württemberg. He left Stuttgart in the Fall of 1692, and returned to the Thüringen.

He served as the town organist, but due to his growing fame throughout Europe, was asked a month later to serve as an organist in Oxford, England, but rejected the offer. He was asked to return to Stuttgart, but also refused that offer.

On April 20th, 1695, his mentor Georg Caspar Wecker died, leaving vacant the organist's post at Sebalduskirche (Church of St. Sebald) in his hometown of Nürnberg. The church authorities were so anxious to appoint him that they decided to forego the customary audition process and helped pay his moving expenses. In the spring of 1695, he officially asked to be released from his position in Gotha, and in July of that year returned home and held the Sebalduskirche position until his death on March 9, 1706.

We've talked about his work as an organist and an educator, but Pachelbel was an active composer.  In fact, in spite of the fact that Pachelbel died when he was only 52 years old, he produced 95 magnificat fugues, 60 organ chorales, 16 toccatas, 7 preludes, 3 ricercars, 6 fantasias, 26 non-liturgical fugues, 6 ciacconas, 17 keyboard suites, 8 keyboard variations, 3 keyboard arias with variations, 3 pieces for chamber orchestra, 19 arias, 11 motets, 11 sacred concertos, 25 magnificats and ingressi for Vespers, and 2 masses.  His most famous composition is probably his Canon in D.   Click the link to hear a midi version.

A side note: after his death, two of Pachelbel's sons, Carl Theodor and Johann Michael settled in America.
Johann Pachelbel
Did You Guess?
The Star Spangled Banner was adopted as the national anthem of the United States of America.
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Canon in D & Gigue
two violins
Canon in D & Gigue for two violins by J.Pachelbel sheet music download
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