from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A slow, stately dance of the 18th century or the music for it.
  • n. A form consisting of variations based on a reiterated harmonic pattern.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A slow, stately Baroque dance
  • n. The music for such a dance, often containing variations on a theme

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An old Spanish dance in moderate three-four measure, like the Passacaglia, which is slower. Both are used by classical composers as themes for variations.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An old dance or saraband, probably of Moorish or Spanish origin.
  • n. A musical composition in the movement of such a dance, in slow tempo, usually in triple rhythm, and properly consisting of a series of variations upon a ground-bass of eight bars' length. It closely resembles the passacaglia.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, from Spanish chacona, a kind of dance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French, from Spanish chacona.


  • Vestris deeply regretted that the opera was not terminated by a piece they called a chaconne, in which he displayed all his power.

    Court Memoirs of France Series — Complete

  • There was something dangerous about what followed, something not unlike the edge of madness or at least of a nightmare; and although Jack recognized that the whole sonata and particularly the chaconne was a most impressive composition he felt that if he were to go on playing it with all his heart it might lead him to very strange regions indeed.

    Did You Know Bach Had a Father?

  • Another characteristic trait of a chaconne is a regularly repeating harmonic structure.

    NPR Topics: News

  • "chaconne," and worried the composer to induce him to introduce one.

    The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 1

  • We rename an eatery with a French name as we continue to deny that our national floral emblem its correct vernacular name, "chaconier '', derived from the French" chaconne "a medieval song/dance of France, Spain and Italy where the dancers festooned their costumes with little red flags which moved with their dance movements causing the flags to flutter.

    TrinidadExpress Today's News

  • "The Salonen suggests the Bach because it is in the form of a chaconne," explains Ms. Koh.

    A Violinist on a Solo Mission

  • The sound of the violin chaconne played on viola and transposed to a darker G minor, interwoven with Langeland improvising a keening, open-throated Ave Maria, proves strangely persuasive.

    Sinikka Langeland: Maria's Song

  • The familiar Welsh lullaby "All Through the Night" is the theme that underlies each movement: the first, a theme and variations, each one in a different key, the second a chaconne and then a passacaglia and, finally another set of variations.

    In performance: Emerson Quartet

  • Elsewhere, he uses an esclavas , a 17th-century dance developed by Mexican slaves, and a chaconne , a form in which the bass line obsessively repeats the same musical cell over and over.

    The Music of Modern Mania

  • Here, a majestic sarabande was worked out, there, a solemn chaconne, elsewhere a subtle musette or a stormy bourrée.

    Archive 2009-03-01


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Like Espinel's chaconne, the sarabande or zarabanda originated as a dance among the indigenous peoples of Latin America. Brought to Europe by Spanish sailors, it was played on the guitar."

    —Glenn Kurtz, Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music (New York: Vintage Books, 2007), 114

    November 3, 2008

  • Bach. D minor. Solo violin. 15 minutes of heaven.

    October 31, 2008

  • "The opening movements were full of technical difficulties and he doubted he would ever be able to do them anything like justice, but it was the great chaconne which followed that really disturbed him."

    —Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 154–155

    Now I'm stuck singing that stupid song again. See aga.

    February 13, 2008