Music AS - Sarabande and Gigue from Partitia in D (Bach)

Revision notes for the Sarabande and Gigue by Bach

HideShow resource information

Context and Background


  • Two movements from a Suite (or Partitia) - A series of dances in the same key
  • Composed 1728 (late BAROQUE)
  • Inteneded for domestic perfomace (at home), to be played on the Harpsichord
  • The dances were stylised, and the original dance elements were weaked, allowing composers to invent freely.
1 of 9

The Score

  • Perfomrance directions are rare in Baroque - There are no dynamic markings or marks of articulation. No speeds are stated either, as musicians would know from experience of the dances.
  • Ornaments were commonoly used - appogiatura (C# resolves to B) at bar 20
2 of 9


  • Binary with repeats
  • In both dances, the first sections finish in the dominant key (A major). Section section returns to the tonic through a variety of keys
  • Unusually, the second section of the gigue is longer than the first (usually in Binary form ,the second section longer)
3 of 9

Rhythm and Metre

  • The Sarabande is a slow, triple-time dance - the second beat is emphasised either by length or accentuation (only obvious in bars 1-2, 14 and 29-30)
  •  Elsewhere, bach uses a less dance-like semiquaver and demi-semiquaver movement


  • The Gigue was traditionally in compund time, though the number of beats per bar was not firmly fixed - in this case the piece is in triple time
  • There is an almost coninuous semiquaver movement, with longer dotted quaver chords
4 of 9


  • Sarabande - the melody line is contiually evolved from a basic motif (Fortspinnung):
  • Repition
  • Sequence
  • Variation of intervals
  • Rhythmic variation
  • The Gigue opens with a broken-chord pattern
  • This then gives way to a more conjunct movement
  • Occaisional chromaticism features in both dances
5 of 9



  • Cadences - Perfect and Imperfect
  • Dominant 7ths (some inverted)
  • Secondary 7ths
  • Diminished 7th
  • Neapolitan 6th
  • Suspension
6 of 9


  • Both Dances are in D major. This is cleary defined with:

- Cadences

- Modulations to related keys - A major at bar 12 and E minor at bar 24 of the Sarabande

7 of 9


  • The Sarabande features a variety of textures:

- Homophony (bar 1)

- Monophony (bar 2)

- Two-part, with steady moving quaver bass supporting the more rhythmically involved upper part

- Free-voiced textures - a passage with varying numbers of parts (bars 11-12)

  • The Giuge opens fugally - each part enters imitatively
  • The second section opens with a new melody line, which becomes a countersubject to the original subject when it returens in bar 55
8 of 9


  • Written for Harpsichord - smaller dynamic range and less sustaining power than the modern piano
9 of 9


No comments have yet been made

Similar Music resources:

See all Music resources »