Canon Sheet Music,
by Pachelbel

Canon sheet music for your beginning piano student.  You won't find easier versions, I think, than the multiple arrangements on this page! 

This is one of four different pages on my site featuring some version of Pachelbel's Canon in D piano sheet music.

The most successful version for beginners

Pachelbel Canon for beginners

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

No contest, the above piece of music is the MOST SUCCESSFUL approach to the Pachelbel Canon I have used for early beginners.

As soon as they can play broken chords and can begin to navigate their way around the bass clef even just a little, this arrangement will bring joy to their hearts!

Same arrangement, fewer named notes

The Canon for piano

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

The music above is just like the first sheet, but only the root note of the chords are lettered with AlphaNotes.  I call these arrangements "AlphaNote helpers."

A Middle C version of the Canon melody

Sheet music for beginning piano, Pachelbel's famous Canon.  A very, very easy version!

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Here is the same arrangement, but with every note made easier with a letter inside!

Canon for beginner piano students, with letters inside the notes

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

This same arrangement is also available with only a FEW notes lettered.  Scroll down the page for the sheet music downloads.

Add chords to that melody - make a duet

Now here is the same arrangement, but with chord symbols above the melody:

Easy middle-C version of the Pachelbel Canon melody for beginner piano students.  Long whole notes, with chord symbols for a duet partner.

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

But in this arrangement, the melody creeps down into the bass clef and spends most of the time there!

Three versions here... two short ones with chord symbols (if someone should choose to play along), and a longer version with a Secondo part.

Don't confuse chord symbols with note names

Simple, eh?  Even beginners will do well with this melody, as it moves step by step - a lot like Wormies - as long as they don't mix chord symbols with notes!

Though the Canon in D piano music is easy to PLAY at this beginner level, it is still a bit baffling to READ... especially with chord symbols.  

Many of those chord symbols have the same names as the notes above which they are placed.  Potentially very confusing, so keep that in mind as your students approach this piece!

The same arrangement, with note names

Canon in D piano sheet for new beginners, written in the key of C, with note names inside the note heads.  Chord symbols above.

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

The Primo for a duet version, below, starts out just the same as the easy version above, but adds one more repetition or "verse", which is more challenging.  

If it proves TOO challenging and your student is trying to polish this up for a recital, it is very easy with the Canon to just STOP after 8 measures, when you reach the tonic chord again (the C chord, in this piece).  

That's why it used at weddings

That's one reason this piece works so well for bridesmaids walking up the aisle - you can end the piece so easily!

Fortunately, the first note of the "song" is Middle C, perhaps your student's favorite note!  

In the Primo part, things start to get tricky at the end of line 2, page 2, in repetition 3 of the "canon" (the chord pattern).  

Duet arrangement of the Pachelbel's Canon.  The Primo is extremely easy whole notes, and the Secondo is broken chords shared between the two hands.

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Double thirds appear... 

"OH NO! what do I do with those?" your students may be thinking.  

No fingering

I left fingering out on purpose, having had so much experience with scribbling out one finger choice after another with certain stubborn students...

If they have the finger coordination, you can TRY to get them to do a double fingering such as 1&3, 2&4, 3&5... 

But  once they understand where the notes are going and how the notes should sound, your student is most likely to execute a "1&3,  1&3,  1&3"  fingering for the whole passage.  

You can CHOOSE to fight this tendency, but it may be wasted time at this level of playing!

How to read the secondo part

As for the Secondo, it is pretty easy to determine which hand plays what notes, by looking at the direction of the stems.  Stems down, left hand.  Stems up, right hand!

Duet arrangement of the Pachelbel's Canon.  The Primo is extremely easy whole notes, and the Secondo is broken chords shared between the two hands. Page 2

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

It is all chord work for the Secondo player.

If you take lesson time to help them figure out the chords being played, they should have good luck even if their bass-clef note-reading is still shaky.  

One hand at a time, to start

I suggest splitting the hands for a week or two, with you and your student switching parts.

In other words, focus on just the Secondo, and treat it like a duet all on its own (a Right hand/left hand duet).

Your students will love playing the Pachelbel Canon like this!  Duets are fun.

Learn the chord progression first

One way I love to treat the Canon is to insist kids memorize the chord pattern right away.  

My favorite method is to describe how many steps the bass line moves, and which direction.  

That description goes like this:  "Tonic (home key), down 4, up 1, down 4, up 1, down 4, turn around 4, up 1, START OVER..."  I love the pattern in this chord progression. (More accurately, you could describe the pattern as "Down a 4th, up a 2nd," etc.)

The links to the piano music sheets with easy broken chords:

Download easy broken chord arrangement with lettered notes

Download the same arrangement, with fewer lettered notes

Download the same arrangement with NO lettered notes

The links to the simple melody versions:

Download Canon Middle C arrangement, plain

Download Canon easy arrangement with AlphaNotes

Download Canon beginner arrangement with just a few "helper" notes

Download Canon sheet music for Middle C piano reader, with chord symbols to make a secondo part

Canon in D piano sheet for beginning note-readers, with chords and letters inside the note-heads

The links for the duet with written secondo part:

Download duet version of Middle C Pachelbel Canon arrangement

Are you looking for a harder arrangement?

Check out the links and graphics of all four web pages, below:

Here are the 4 different "Canon" pages on this website:


Pachelbel Canon for beginners

This page, Canon Sheet Music, features the very easiest arrangements of all, including a student-teacher duet.

Many versions, some with lettered notes.


The melody of the Pachelbel Canon is paired with chords in the left hand, either solid triads, or broken triads.

On the web page called simply  "Canon,"  the basic melody of the Canon is paired with left hand triads, solid (as shown) and also broken.  

The chord symbols are helpful for some students.  But  confusing for others!  It is important for pianists to learn to interpret chord symbols.


Here on this page called "Pachelbel Canon," you will find the Canon as you are accustomed to hearing it played at weddings!

Several arrangements including the original key of D.


Here is the last Canon web page, called "Canon in D sheet music."

Page 2 of this arrangement is shown...

On this page of the Canon in D sheet music, you'll find ALPHANOTES (letters inside the music note-heads) in some or all of the note-heads of the music.

This arrangement was written to help an early reader conquer this piece.  

It worked.

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I am BRAND NEW to music so I have some questions on the very basics. On your beginner sheet of Canon in D, there are letters above the ledger. What …

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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of, and a newer site,

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.