This piece is in triple-meter and has a clear cadential-formula. Is it fair to call it a passacaglia despite no bass-ostinato?

Or is it a Chaconne? I am not clear on the difference except one is from France and the other Spain.


1 Answer 1


It could reasonably be called either one, but I vote for passacaglia based on this:

From "The Oxford Companion to Music", 2003, ed. Alison Latham, p. 932:

In both French and German music the term [passacaglia] was often confounded with 'chaconne', in spite of attempts by several theorists ... to distinguish the two. In theory the passacaglia was in a minor key [fits here], was slightly less solemn [does not fit here], was never vocal [fits], and did not always maintain the ostinato in the bass [fits]; but, to judge from contemporaneous examples, this was not borne out in practice.

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