Room 16

Here we introduce you to the passacaille or passacaglia as it was sometimes called. It was normally a slow stately dance, usually written in a triple meter. The piece is practically identical to the chaconne. You encountered that form in Room 9. So expect to hear repeated harmonies and maybe even a ground bass. We'll hear a portion of one that occurs in a suite by Louis Couperin, who was the uncle of the more famous composer, François Couperin. Listen!

This piece of music was written in the Baroque period (1600-1750), which is the reason for all of the ornaments like trills which you heard in the piece. They give the music a rather frilly and formal sound. To learn more about the music of Louis Couperin, go to the next page.

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