Pachelbel’s Canon, but it’s played by hundreds of train horns

10 December 2019, 14:20 | Updated: 17 April 2020, 11:43

Pachelbel Trains
Pachelbel Trains. Picture: YouTube

By Kyle Macdonald

Train enthusiasts and Baroque specialists unite: this is the video for you.

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. Do watch and enjoy.

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.

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 36 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2019.