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Writing A Modern Canon

A canon (or “round”) is a melody which is played by two or more instruments at staggered intervals. Because each part starts the melody at a slightly different time, harmonies are created by the combination of sounds.

Writing a canon which works is very easy – you just need to plan in advance what chords you want to build the canon around.

Well-known canons are “Frere Jacques” and “Three Blind Mice”. They are built on very simple chord patterns. You can easily choose a slightly more complicated harmonic structure for your canon, making some really nice harmonies.

This video shows you how to compose a modern (i.e. not necessarily in agreement with the Classical rules of harmony) canon using Musescore, which is an easy-to-use music publishing software freely available to download. However, you can use any music software you like, or none at all if you prefer!