ground bass

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ground bass

n. Music
1. A bassline that is continually repeated throughout a composition.
2. A composition having such a bassline.

ground bass

(beɪs) or


(Music, other) music a short melodic bass line that is repeated over and over again

ground′ bass′

a short bass part repeated throughout a musical movement.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ground bass - a short melody in the bass that is constantly repeated
bass part, bass - the lowest part in polyphonic music
ostinato - a musical phrase repeated over and over during a composition
References in periodicals archive ?
Two things stick in the memory: Jackie Tyler's generous cakes made to a period recipe, and the irritating ground basses which refuse to leave the listener's ear.
In addition, the English division style casts a long shadow over this repertory; extended variations on ground basses and the use of the extreme high register of the bass viol suggest the influence of Christopher Simpson, Henry Butler, and the numerous lesser-known English emigre musicians on the continent.
1) Ortiz's well known treatise is a practical guide to three frequently used improvisational techniques: (1) extemporization on a previously composed vocal piece; (2) improvisation on a given cantus firmus (including such familiar ground basses as the romanesca, the passamezzo antico and the folia); and (3) free improvisation.