The French Passacaglia and Chaconne in the Context of Grand Siècle Rhetorical Tradition


The article suggests a special way of analyzing the musical composition of baroque dance, which is based on detecting the ratios between musical and choreographic components coordinated by rhetoric. In scenic passacaglias and chaconnes by French composers of the 17thand the beginning of the 18th centuries, the dance reveals itself the most brightly as an equivalent of expressive declamatory speech. The author is making some analogies between the composition of the dances and the disposition of a speech, which can be used in the traditional context of “the epoch of rhetoric.”


Grand Siècle, rhetoric, disposition, belle danse, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Louis-Guillaume Pécourt, choreography, passacaglia, variations on basso ostinato.