Escala's Clubbed to Death seems to be a passacaglia. It has a repetitive line throughout, over which counterpoint is added. In fact, it sounds similar to Biber's Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa: Partita No. 5 in G Minor: V. Passacaglia.

  • Maybe you should reword as "is C2D best categorized as a passacaglia or some other form" to get more thoughtful responses. Feb 2, 2017 at 12:55
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    You might want to give Rob Dougan a bit of credit for C2D, though as others have mentioned he did have some help from Elgar. The "original" 1995 version is on youtube Feb 3, 2017 at 1:16
  • @Bob Dougan's piece is very good. Re-use doesn't mean uncreative. Bach reused Vivaldi.
    – Geremia
    Feb 3, 2017 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


Wow, nice find!

"Clubbed to Death" actually begins with the opening to Elgar's Enigma Variations, at which point Escala takes a part of that opening bassline and uses it to construct the form.

The definitions for "passacaglia" and "chaconne" are really a little bit vague, but there are some typical aspects of each. The passacaglia, for instance, is often in 3 (like the Biber example you showed).

But both the passacaglia and chaconne are examples of what we call a "ground bass," so I think it would be safer to just call it that.

  • Yes, it begins with Elgar's Enigma Variations, but the "ground bass" line is very similar to Biber's passacaglia.
    – Geremia
    Feb 2, 2017 at 20:32

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