Wikis > Glossary > Canon

A canon is when a melody and/or rhythm is set apart from itself in a second voice and creates counterpoint with itself. Canons are a form of phasing, and as a compositional technique dates back to the 12th century. Also referred as rounds, Row, Row, Row your boat and Frere et Jacques, while the most common in the 12th century that we know of is Sumer is Icumen in, originally called a rota or “wheel”.