(Fr.; Eng. chacony, It. ciaccona, Sp. chacona; from Basque chocuna pretty).
A musical form almost indistinguishable from passacaglia. Both were orig. dances of 3‐in‐a‐measure rhythm, and the mus. of both was erected on a ground bass. In some specimens this bass theme passes into an upper part. In others while there is no actual ground bass the mus. falls into a number of quite short sections similar to those written over a ground bass. Lully, Rameau, and other composers of their period and a little later, often ended an opera with a movt. of this type (e.g. Gluck's Orfeo). A universally known Chaconne is that by Bach which closes the 2nd Partita (D minor) for solo vn.—often played without its companion movts. Purcell's aria When I am laid in earth (Dido and Aeneas) is a chaconne, so are Béethoven's 32 Variations in C minor for piano, the finale of Brahms's Sym. No.4 (usually called a passacaglia), and the last movt. of Britten's str. qt. No.2 (Chacony).