The recent revival of Formenlehre devoted substantial efforts to the discussion of sonata form(s), often from opposed – and sometimes conflicting – angles. Different theories have been developed concerning what we might call the “sonata principle”.

This special issue of Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale is intended to address a similar topic in respect of the passacaglia.

We invite the submission of abstracts which will address this issue from any perspective and with respect to any repertory. You may wish to respond to one of the following possibilities:

  • Is it worthwhile distinguishing between passacaglia and chaconne (cf. Couperin’s ‘Chaconne ou Passacaille’)? Does a common “principle” (what we have provisionally called “passacaglia principle”) exist in both genres? Which elements can be considered distinctive features?
  • What is the relationship between the passacaglia principle and variation form?
  • How pervasive is the combination of passacaglia and lament (cf. Purcell’s ‘When I am laid in earth’, Ligeti’s Horn trio)? Is this connection essential to the principle?
  • Is a teleological/narrative process intrinsic to the principle, or is it a later development (cf. Brahms IV, last movement)?
  • What is to be gained from viewing popular song’s harmonic loops as passacaglia-derived (cf. My Chemical Romance’s ‘Famous last words’)?
  • Does a relationship exist between the passacaglia principle and the practices of oral tradition? Is it worthwhile connecting this relationship to the question of the origin of the passacaglia principle?

Deadline for submission of abstracts is May 2013. If selected, you will be asked to submit your paper by January 2014. Submitted papers will then be subject to the normal refereeing process.

Abstracts (in English or Italian, 800-1000 words, bibliography excluded) should be sent by attachement (in PDF format) to: