Pachelbel’s Canon… honked out by hundreds of train horns in a hilarious medley

22 March 2023, 12:18

Pachelbel’s Canon on trains
Pachelbel’s Canon on trains. Picture: Pavel Jirásek / YouTube

By Kyle Macdonald

Train enthusiasts and Baroque specialists unite, this is the video for you. Canon alla Hornpipe.

An enduring Baroque masterpiece has been given an adventurous new outing, and there’s no chance of this performance falling off the rails.

YouTuber Pavel Jirásek has reworked Pachelbel’s Canon for 3 violins and basso continuo with a grand selection of blaring train horns, apparently collected from footage taken around the UK and Europe.

The horns, pitch-perfectly assembled, are synced to a backing track. Pavel made the video back in 2017, but it’s just been rediscovered and people are appreciating its magnificence.

Maybe there was a mix-up in the type of conductor booked? In any case, it’s clearly a masterpiece...

Read more: A string quartet played Pachelbel’s Canon in a massive traffic jam and calmed everyone’s rage

Hlavní nadraží Praha - znělka 02 (Dlouhá verze)

The famous Canon is based on a ground bass: an eight-bar phrase of music that’s repeated 28 times with increasingly complex figurations above the bass line. Here’s a fantastic explainer video from the channel gerubach.

How Pachelbel's Canon works

Pachelbel’s Canon was much admired by J.S. Bach and other contemporaries, and continues to be one of the most popular pieces of music, voted to number 41 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2022. If you’re a fan, make sure you vote for it in this year’s poll.