Ground Bass

A bassline that is continually repeated throughout a composition

"Ground Bass" is a compositional technique characterized by a repeated and fixed bassline melody or chord progression in a musical work. This bassline melody continually repeats, while the melodies above it can vary, providing a stable foundation for musical composition that allows for unique structural and emotional expression.

"Ground Bass" is a technique of creating a fixed and repetitive bassline melody in music. This bassline can consist of a sequence of notes or chords that is often repeated throughout the entire musical piece, while the melodies above it can undergo variations based on this fixed foundation.

This technique creates a distinctive structure in music and can be used to express a variety of emotions and themes. The repetitiveness of the fixed bassline provides a sense of stability to the music while offering a platform for variation in the upper melodies. Composers can introduce changes in the upper melodies to create emotional climaxes, variations, and contrasts.

Examples of ground bass can be found in Baroque-era musical compositions, particularly in genres like fugues, variations, and dances. This technique has also continued and evolved in works from other musical eras, showcasing different creative and expressive approaches.

Example of Ground Bass

Form: Ground Bass