Passacaglia of Remembrance

Passacaglia of Remembrance


Composer: Fred Gramann

Octaves Handbell: 3 – 5

Octaves Handchimes: 2

Level: 3

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The musical term, passacaglia, is from Spanish pasar [to pass] and calle [street] and referred to street dancing in Spain in the 1600s. This form, whose structure typically features an ostinato bass line, developed into a more majestic dance in France, has been used across all classical musical eras from Bach to the present. This original work is written in 3/4 time, with the overall structure being symmetrical: simple beginning, progressive development reaching a musical peak, then returning to a simple ending. The opening ostinato bass line is the common thread throughout as additional musical lines are added and well-crafted variations are developed. Half note, quarter note, then eighth and sixteenth-note passages and triplets in the treble bells add a sense of movement while the bass line remains constant. Dynamics gradually increase to ff, which remains until the complexity and dynamics decrease to the lovely but simple ending.

Simply stated: this is beautifully written music that will be wonderful in concert, worship (even in Lent), and in any memorial or remembrance event. 

Octave Ranges
3-5 octaves
Original composition
School and Youth
Secular - general usage
Level of Difficulty
Level 3
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