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Pavane d'Espagne, 1546-1650

The origin of the Pavane

The Pavane (Pavana-Pavanne-Pavin-Panicin) was a dance of courtly and solemn nature very much en vogue with the high society in Europe.
In the sixteenth century it was originally believed to be an animal dance from Padua (Italy) and was known as the Padovana or the "Peacock dance" (Pavo) Others believed the dance was invented in Spain. General opinion nowadays places the origin of the pavane in early 16th century Italy. More on the history of the pavane can be found at: Dance History Timeline

The Pavane disappears from the European dancing repertoire after 1650. However Purcell composed around 1680 a Pavane in G-minor

The Pavane and the Early Folia

Some sixteenth century composers also named their compositions existing of variations on an ostinatobass (folia) pavana. These pavanas are usually identical with the "cara cossa" or "La Gamba" form: mostly melancholic and slow in accordance with the solemn and stately nature of the pavane in general. Some examples of the use of the term Pavana for folias are given here
  • Cabezon: Pavana con su glossa
  • Valderabanno: 4 differencias sobre la Pavana
  • de Mudarra: Pavana
  • Pisador: Pavana muy llana para taner
  • Begona Olavide has recorded on the cd Mudejar a "Pavana Espagnolla" but this is an early folia by Ortiz using the "cara cossa"

The theme of the Early Folia is the subject of another chapter

Pavane d'Espagne, 1546-1650

The "Pavane d'Espagne" however is the object of this chapter at which end you can find a short list of Pavanes d'Espagnes or Spanish Pavans: which lists compostions with this title. The Pavane d’Espagne was one of many kinds of Pavanas composed in the 16th and 17th centuries, and some credit Ferdinand Cortez for the invention of this dance on the occassion of his return from Mexico.The earliest Pavane d'Espagne is the so called "Pavana Italiana" by Cabezon and one source claims the "Pavana Italiana" aka "Pavane d’Espagne" or "Spanish Pavan: descant on a variant of the Italian Folia ground bass, popular in England in the 1580s"
Imho it is very questionable if the "Pavane d'Espagne" can be considerd to be a folia. For this reason these pieces are not mentioned in the listing of early folias.
The "Pavane d’Espagne" was very populiar in England and the Low Countries. and can be found in the works of Sweelinck (Pavana Hispanica) and "Valerius Gedenkklank van 1626". Several songs by the Dutch poet Brederode are set to the melody of the "Pavane d’Espagne"
Like the Early Folia the "Pavana d’Espagne" has different melodies. At least 18 different variants have been found based on at least three chordal schemes. The several "Pavana d’Espagnes" researched for the DBNL differ from the Cabezon “Pavana Italiana”. The origin of both the ""Pavana Italiana" and the "Pavana d' Espagne" remains obscure.
Many songs and dances in the 16th and 17th century carried the adjective Spanish""f.e "La Spagna", "Espagnoletta", "Folie d’ Espagne".
Curious enough the Spanish Pavan bears a close resemblance to “A new ground in E-minor” by Purcell (ZT682), which is also the melody of here the deities approve in "Ode to St. Cecilia’s day in 1692”. Purcells melody was taken up in the thematic Fandango-cd of Paniagua.
After 1650 the Pavane d’Espagne disappears from the European dancing repertoire.

A short list of Pavanes d'Espagnes or Spanish Pavans:

  1. 1546 de Mudarra "Pavana Italiana" in III libros de musica (Gabler)
    I don’t think this is right. Mudarra composed 3 Pavanas :
    • 1 Pavana d’Alexandre
    • 2 Pavana
    • 3 Pavana

    • Number 2 and 3 are variationes on the caracossa
  2. 1557 Cabezón, Antonio de(1510-1566) Pavana Italiana in Luys Venegas de Henestros, Libro de Cifra Nueva para Tecla,Arpa y Vihuela
  3. 1588 Ferrabosca, Alfonso Spanish Pavinge= descant on a variant of the Italian Folia ground bass, popular in England in the 1580s, Cd:Charivari Agreable
  4. Ca 1600-1620(1577) Pilkinton, Spanish Pavan, a populair version to be found in many mss
  5. Thysius ms in Leiden
  6. Ca 1600-1620 Anonymus, Pavin Despaigne, Thysius ms in Leiden
  7. Ca. 1603 Robinson, Thomas, Spanish Pavan. Cd Charivari Agreable, This version to be found in many mss
  8. 1612 Praetorius, Pavane d’Espagne cd
  9. 1692 Henry Purcell, "Here the deities approve"(Ode for St. Cecilia’s day) and “a new ground in E-minor” published in Music’s Handmaid= the melody of the Spanish Pavane. Curious enough Paniagua used this melody in his thematic Fandango-cd, where he claims the Fandango originated from the Folia