Tune of the Day: Sarabande
In the fixed structure of Bach's Cello Suites, the fourth movement of each suite is always a sarabande. This triple meter dance originated during the sixteenth century as a wildly exuberant dance song in Latin America, before becoming one of the most popular dances of the Baroque.
Initially a light, cheerful dance of moderately quick tempo, the sarabande went through many changes during the Baroque period. The late seventeenth-century form, used extensively in France and Germany, was much slower, more deliberate, and serious, with a heavy accent on the second pulse of the measure. Composers often provided heavy written-out embellishments for this slow sarabande.