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.