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1. a musical form consisting of a set of continuous variations upon a ground bass
2. Archaic a dance in slow triple time probably originating in Spain
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an old dance. The chaconne originated in the late 16th century and acquired its characteristic stately, majestic quality in the 17th century. It is danced in a slow tempo, in ¾ time. J. B. Lully used chaconnes as concluding pieces in his ballets.

In the 17th and 18th centuries the chaconne developed as an instrumental piece with a theme repeated in the bass, in a manner similar to the passacaglia. A chaconne for violin with bass attributed to T. Vitali and the chaconne from J. S. Bach’s Partita in D Minor for Unaccompanied Violin became especially popular. Many pieces have been composed in the chaconne form, including Beethoven’s 32 Variations on an Original Theme in C Minor for Piano. Composers of the 17th and 18th centuries used the chaconne form in opera finales.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The solo Cadenza provides a bridge between the Ciaccona and the Giga.
The Italian Girolamo Montesardo (Girolamo Melcarne) claims to have invented this tablature; for a discussion of his method, see Richard Hudson, Passacaglio and Ciaccona: from Guitar Music to Italian Keyboard Variations in the 17th Century, Ann Arbor, 1981, pp.
(3.) The seven parts are: Superscriptio (solo piccolo) - Carceri d'invenzione I (sixteen players) - Intermedio alla ciaccona (solo violin) - Carceri d'invenzione II (solo flute and twenty players) - Etudes transcendantales (Intermedio II) (mezzo-soprano, flute, oboe, 'cello, harpsichord) - Carceri d'invenzione III (fifteen winds and three percussion) - Mnemosyne (bass flute and tape).
Here, the sonatas, eight of which begin with a slow prelude, are made up of two or, more often, three dance movements; at the end of the volume stands a ciaccona (Largo-Allegro), and in addition there are three sections identified only by tempo designations.
111-12, see Alexander Silbiger, "Passacaglia and Ciaccona: Genre Pairing and Ambiguity from Frescobaldi to Couperin" (Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music 2, no.
Her most dramatic claim is that the Ciaccona from the Partita in D minor, BWV 1004, can be "read" as a musical epitaph for Maria Barbara Bach, who died shortly before the piece was written (Herbert Glossner, brochure notes); that argument is illustrated by the penultimate track on the disc, a simultaneous performance of that Ciaccona (played beautifully on baroque violin by Christoph Poppen) with selections from the chorale "Christ lag in Todesbanden." Thoene's argument is too complex to be treated fully here, but for the purposes of this review it is enough to say that while it is certainly interesting, it does not necessarily offer great musical insight.
To conclude, a brief look at one of the pieces in my special-affection category, the Ciaccona in C Minor (BuxWV 159).
Appropriately, it is followed by a thrilling ciaccona (played with great impulse and wit) which is based on the ground bass known to all Monteverdi lovers as that which underpins the favourite vocal duet, Zefiro torna.
The edition consists of eight toccatas, six canzonas, four suites, eight Magnificat versets, the Capriccio sopra'il cucu, a battaglia, a ciaccona, and a passacaglia.