G8 U3 TASK – Ground Bass Composition

First let’s listen to a very famous piece ‘Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major‘,  that was composed by Pachelbel back in the Baroque era. It was composed using two composition techniques called ‘Ground Bass’ & ‘Variations’

Back in the Baroque Era there was a composer named Johann Pachelbel and he wrote a famous Canon.

Let’s listen to Pachelbel’s Canon

and hear what the 8 chord progression sounds like.  Listen for how the chords stay the same and are repeated over and over (A CANON) but the melody changes and gets more complicated as it goes on. 


Print out and complete this handout.

Ground Bass Composition using Ground Bass and Theme and Variations

Once you have completed the above handout and are happy with your melodies input it into Noteflight using your school account or, use GarageBand

Using GarageBand

You are going to input your composition by following these steps:

  1. on track 1, record the first part which will be Pachelbel’s whole note ground bass just as he used and then loop it about 5 times
  2. on track two record the whole note chords and loop to the end of track 1
  3. on track three your first melody using whole notes and loop it to the same length
  4. on track four record your second melody using the added rhythm from 5a on the handout and loop to end
  5. on track five record your second melody using the added chord tones from 5b on the handout and loop to end
  6. on track six record your second melody using the added passing tones from 5c on the handout