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Chaconnes and passacaglias were a very popular style of composition in the Baroque era. They are essentially variations on a chord progression or bass line. They are fairly easy form to "hear" in that the bass lines are usually quite distintive and are repeated over and over.

For examples, go to the Anthology Questions, Chapter 12, #113 (the .mp3 file has the better tempo) or anthology #81, the Passacaglia by Buxtehude [listen]. The Bach Chaconne for Solo Violin is one of the more famous ones [listen - .mp3 or realaudio].

Can you think of other pieces of music that use this principle of the repeated chord progression or even simply a repeated bass line as the foundation for the composition?

PROJECT: Try writing a chord progression of 3-6 chords (usually ending with a V to keep the cycle going). Then expand this into a chaconne/passacaglia with at least 3 total repetitions of the chord progression.

Possible progressions:

minor: i   | V43   | i6   | iv   | V7  |

minor: i   | V   | V2  | i6  | V43  |

Or take a chaconne found in the anthology and use that progression.