One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A stately dance in slow duple time, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries and performed in elaborate clothing.
- ‘We danced a pavan, but it never worked with three either.’
- ‘Similar comments apply to the pavane, the galliarde and the volta from the Elizabethan period.’
- ‘Children also took part in period dances including the lively farandole from Provence and the slower pavan, both dating back to the time of Tudor kings and queens.’
- ‘He described the pavan as a processional dance in duple time, with two single steps and one double step forwards, followed by the same sequence in reverse.’
- ‘We led the company in a pavane and I smiled at the King only when he looked over at me.’
- 1.1 A piece of music for a pavane.
- ‘He produced many fine sets of variations on popular melodies and ground basses as well as stylized dance music (especially pavans and galliards).’
- ‘He too composed a pavan and galliard for the Earl.’
- ‘The range of Orlando Gibbons can be savoured first in another expressive and touching pavan.’
Mid 16th century: from French pavane, from Italian pavana, feminine adjective from Pavo, dialect name of Padua.
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