Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Guitar Passacagli and Vocal Arie

We are all familiar with ground bass patterns that are commonly grouped as “bassi ostinati”, such as the folia, the romanesca, the Ruggiero and the ciaccona. Stemming from popular music, their earliest manifestations have not been easy to uncover.1 But whatever the individual origins of these basses, by the early Seicento those origins no longer seemed to matter, although the patterns with more than two component phrases, such as the Ruggiero and bergamasca, probably retained their associations with song. Consisting of regular phrases, such basses easily supported new songs with similarly equal-length (isometric) lines. Other basses like the ciaccona and folia have only one or two shorter repeating units and retain a characteristic strong sense of meter – a trait we often describe as...

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