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passacaglia:see chaconne and passacagliachaconne and passacaglia
, two closely related musical forms popular during the baroque period. Both are in triple meter time and employ a characteristic recurring harmonic pattern or actual bass line of four or eight
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(1) An old Spanish dance that became popular in Western European countries in the 17th-18th centuries. The tempo is slow, and the meter triple. The passacaglia was in vogue at the court of Louis XIV in France.
(2) An instrumental piece (usually for organ or harpsichord), the foundation of which is the basso ostinato (ground bass). As a rule, the passacaglia is majestic; sometimes it is sorrowful or tragic. It is in 3/4 or 3/2 meter. Among the composers who wrote passacaglias are D. Buxtehude, F. Couperin, J. S. Bach, and G. F. Handel. Since the end of the 19th century, the form has been used by C. Franck and M. Ravel (France), P. Hindemith (Germany), and D. D. Shostakovich (USSR; the Eighth Symphony, the Piano Trio, and the Violin Concerto No. 1).