ground bass


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Related to ground bass: ritornello

ground bass

A musical phrase played on the bass that repeats consistently throughout a piece of music (unlike the varied phrases that are played by the other instruments in the composition). While you play the ground bass, the piano will play the melody, and then the choir will come in.
See also: bass, ground
References in periodicals archive ?
The tutti interjections bring into bold relief two passages, period 5 and periods 13-14, in which distortion of the ground bass emphasizes the relative major key of B Flat; this coincides with periodic extension and disruption of the four-bar phrase rhythm.
Buxtehude's lilting Jesu, meines Lebens Leben, marked by a persistent but captivating ground bass, opens the program.
The composer's Seventh Symphony proved distasteful to some of the critics of his day, with its monotonous ground bass in the first movement and obsessive rhythms in the finale.
Appropriately, it is followed by a thrilling ciaccona (played with great impulse and wit) which is based on the ground bass known to all Monteverdi lovers as that which underpins the favourite vocal duet, Zefiro torna.
Transparent though her dancing is, she risked being outshone by a dazzling quartet Deborah Bull and Leanne Benjamin with Stuart Cassidy and William Trevitt) moving across the stage to a ground bass of funky corps dancers.
And since he dwells so much on Berkeley's relation to others, why not compare the twelve-tone ground bass in the Aria with Stravinsky's serial passacaglia from the Septet, written just two years before?