|1.||an old Spanish dance in slow triple time|
|2.||See also chaconne a slow instrumental piece characterized by a series of variations on a particular theme played over a repeated bass part|
|[C17: earlier passacalle, from Spanish pasacalle street dance, from paso step + calle street; the ending -alle was changed to -aglia to suggest an Italian origin]|
(Italian, from Spanish passacalle, or pasacalle: "street song"), musical form of continuous variation in 34 time; and a courtly dance. The dance, as it first appeared in 17th-century Spain, was of unsavoury reputation and possibly quite fiery. In the French theatre of the 17th and 18th centuries it was a dance of imposing majesty. Little is known of the actual dance movements and steps. Musically the passacaglia is nearly indistinguishable from the contemporary chaconne; contemporary writers called the passacaglia a graver dance, however, and noted that it was identified more frequently with male dancers.
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