Music in History

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Baroque forms

It was  a composition  very popular during the Baroque period. It consists of a theme and variations based  on a  short , repeated harmonic progression. This pattern was  usually  repeated   on bass line  (basso ostinato).
According to Willi Apel, Baroque composers  made no distinction  between  Chaconne  and  Passacaglia. French baroque composers  were an exception.  For  example, they used the term "chaconne" for a repeated refrain and several couplets.( Passacaille by F. Couperin, pieces de clavecen ii). (see also: rondeau). On the other hand 2 of the most famous works of J.S. Bach  have elements that distinguish  Passacaglia  from  Chaconne : the  Passacaglia  has an ostinato while  the  Chaconne  has  not.
"Zefiro torna" by Claudio Monteverdi and  "Es steh Gott auf" by Heinrich Schütz  are prominent  Chaconne examples  from  early Baroque.

According to the Royal Academy of Spain (Real Academia Española) the chaconne is a Spanish dance of the 16th and 17th century, widespread in Europe.. (Real Academia Española, chacona).
On the other hand,  Willi Apel (and others) argue that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the dance  derives from Latin America.  It is said that  Cervantes used a humble  term to  refer to  chaconne :"Indiana amulatada".
Chaconne declined after the Baroque, however,  during the 20th century, there were many composers who worked  on it again.

Willi Apel Harvard dictionary of music, eighth edition, eighth printing.

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