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Digital Sheet Music

By Eric J Roth

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Guitar - Advanced Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Eric J Roth. 21st Century, 20th Century, Contemporary Classical, Modern, Post-Modern. Sheet Music Single. 7 pages. Published by Eric J Roth (S0.606439).

Item Number: S0.606439

(7 pages. 3 pages of music)

This Passacaglia is  the first of a four-movement sonata composed in 2018. Publication of the entire  sonata is forthcoming, but the Passacaglia is offered here as a single,  standalone work. I have performed the Passacaglia in my own concert programs  both on its own and as part of the larger sonata. I believe that it works  equally well both ways.

The Passacaglia form  originated in 17th-century Spain. It started as a series of strummed  chords that served as an interlude between dances. The term itself translates  as “street song.” Over time, it evolved to become a series of variations set  over an ostinato or ground bass, usually in triple meter. It is often  indistinguishable from a Chaconne. In character, the Passacaglia is often  serious, or even grave.

The Passacaglia  offered here adheres to this tradition in most ways, except that it is in 5/4instead of triple meter. The ostinato phrase is five measures long and set in  quarter notes. Variations usually occur in pairs and are distinguished by  texture. Beginning simply, the variations build in complexity throughout the  piece. The main theme, introduced in the second pair of variations, recurs  later in a fuller texture. One final statement of the ostinato in bare octaves  ends the piece. The tonality stems from an E harmonic minor scale, although an  added B flat serves to blur any sense of strict tonality.

Please note that there are some minor differences between the score and the YouTube video of a live performance from 2018. 

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