Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Hudson, Richard. "The Ripresa, the Ritornello, and the Passacaglia." Journal of the American Musicological Society 24 (Fall 1971): 364-94.

The ripresa, ritornello, and passacaglia are based on the sixteenth-century Italian dance form. The ripresa or ritornello (often appearing as V-I or IV-V-I) is a unit of music that precedes, follows, or alternates with a dance. The internal ripresa could be used as a portion within a dance or as a conclusion. While the number of internal riprese varies according to the time elapsing between sections of a piece, its harmonic design (i.e., the basic V-I pattern) is fixed. The concluding ripresa, on the other hand, occurs at the end of a piece and shows a greater harmonic variety through the insertion or substitution of alternate chords. In the concluding ripresa, the basic V-I pattern could be varied through the insertion, reshuffling, and mixing of chords, resulting in unpredictable chains of chord progressions such as IV-V-I-I, V-V-I-IV, V-V-I-II, or V-V-I-I. During the seventeenth century, these concluding riprese became independent sets and took the name of the passacaglia or ciaccona. The technique of the passacaglia or ciaccona then, is simply an ostinato of derived formulas of the ripresa. Thus, the ripresa, ritornello, and passacaglia evolved from the same harmonic pattern which originally functioned as a unit of the Italian dance form.

Works: Pass'emezzo semplice from MS 2804, Biblioteca Riccardiana, Florence (368); Passamezzo per B quadro from MS 586, Biblioteca Comunale, Perugia (368); Carlo Milanuzzi: Secondo scherzo delle ariose vaghezze (369); Pass'emezo nuovo from Intabolatura nova di varie sorte de balli (360); Mattäus Waissel: Salterello (376-78, 382); Pietro Paolo Borrono: Pavana chiamata la Milanesa (390).

Index Classifications: 1500s

Contributed by: Jir Shin Boey

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