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"Pachelbel's Canon" Progression

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Eight notes. 27 repetitions. And that's just in the canon.

"Pachelbel's following me. It sounds paranoid but he's following you too, you hear him every day."
Rob Paravonian

A Chord Progression made famous by the well-known Pachelbel's Canon in D major, which is the Trope Namer.

The progression is usually in a major key, and usually runs as follows: I-V-vi-iii-IV-I-IV-V (repeat). If in a minor key, it is usually: i-v-VI-III-iv-i-iv-V (repeat). Occasionally, II, ii or ii° may be substituted for the last IV/iv, and I or Ib (or i or ib)note  may be substituted for the iii or III. An example can be heard here.

Comedian Rob Paravonian famously ranted about the ubiquity of this progression, although most of his medley would be better placed in The Four Chords of Pop. He has a point, though... (Interestingly, substituting Ib for iii as stated above allows the two tropes to overlap.)


Often used to create the bittersweet, nostalgic kind of feeling the piece is so famous for.

See also Falling Bass, an alternate bass melody which nevertheless meshes well with the chords of the Pachelbel's Canon Progression, and may also have been its origin.


When I find myself in times of trouble,
Pachelbel's always following me!
I'll see you in hell, Pachelbel!

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