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The Passamezzo (Italian, also Pass'e mezzo, Passo e mezzo ) is a duple Italian border dance of the 16th and the first third of the 17th century, similar to the Pavane . Sometimes the term was used synonymously with an accelerated pavane, sometimes the passamezzo was a separate dance, a little faster than the pavane. Like the Pavane with the Gaillarde , the Passamezzo was also regularly combined with a fast night dance, the saltarello .

Characteristic of the Passamezzo is the variation of the melody over a given bass line ( Basso ostinato ). Two harmonious models were predominant: the Passamezzo Antico in minor and the Passamezzo Moderno in major . Both models were probably made around 1540. In the printed collections of the 16th century, about 121 pieces are titled as Passamezzo, some of which also come from anonymous composers, such as those published by Pierre Phalèse ( e.g. in Hortulus Cytharae from 1570). Of these, 40 use the Antico and 35 the Moderno scheme. In the 17th century, these two models were used almost exclusively as a basis for composition.

Important masters in the continuous development of Passamezzo were, for example, Andrea Gabrieli , John Bull , William Byrd , Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and Samuel Scheidt in his Tabulatura Nova (1624). It was not until forty years later that the organist Bernardo Storace brought it back to life in his Selva di varie compositione . In 1682 Giovanni Battista Vitali dedicated his collection of trio sonatas Op. 7th

Passamezzo Antico

The Passamezzo Antico (English Passing Measures Pavan ) was characterized by the following harmony:

i - VII - i - V - III (or i) - VII - i V - i

The Folia and the Romanesca are closely related variants of this harmonious model.

Passamezzo Moderno

The Passamezzo Moderno (also Passamezzo Commune, Novo ; English Quadro or Quadran Pavan , derived from the b quadratum , i.e. the Passamezzo in major) was the most common harmonic model of the Renaissance :

I - IV - I - V - I - IV - IV - I

Passamezzo Antico with b molle and Passamezzo Moderno with b durum


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Adalbert Quadt : Lute music from the Renaissance. According to tablature ed. by Adalbert Quadt. Volume 1 ff. Deutscher Verlag für Musik, Leipzig 1967 ff .; 4th edition, ibid. 1968, Volume 2, Introduction.
  2. Adalbert Quadt (ed.): Guitar music from the 16th to 18th centuries Century. 4 volumes. Edited from tablature. Deutscher Verlag für Musik, Leipzig 1970–1984, Volume 1, p. 5.
  3. ^ Willi Apel : The Italian Violin Music in the 17th Century, p. 163, Franz Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden, 1983 ISBN 3-515-03786-1