A dance form in moderately fast tempo originated in the French Baroque period

The Passepied is a dance form commonly found in Baroque dance suites, originating in France. It holds a distinct place within Baroque music.

Key characteristics of the Passepied include:

  • Tempo and Style: The Passepied typically boasts a brisk tempo and lively style. Its vibrant rhythm and sprightly movements reflect its vivacity and cheerfulness.
  • Meter and Rhythm: Passepieds are often in triple meter (3/8 or 6/8), emphasizing a lively and light rhythmic pattern. This rhythm imbues it with a sense of motion and rhythmicality.
  • Structure: Passepieds usually follow a binary or ternary structure, marked by clear rhythmic changes. Its structure accentuates rhythmic variations and liveliness.
  • Melody and Musical Traits: Passepied melodies tend to be light and lively. Its musical traits lie in its brisk melodies and energetic musicality.
  • Expression: Passepieds convey a sense of carefree and joyful expression. They often carry a sense of merriment and vibrancy, reflecting the dancer's sprightliness and vitality.

The presence of the Passepied within Baroque dance suites underscores its role in portraying dance forms and musical artistry of the time. Renowned composers, such as François Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau, frequently incorporated Passepieds into their suites, highlighting their significance in reflecting the cultural and musical spirit of the Baroque era. This dance form epitomizes the sprightly and lively qualities of Baroque music.

Example of Passepied

François Couperin - Forlane - Rondeau