ground bass

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Related to ground bass: ritornello

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 ?
Much of the music is dance-like, often rooted in ground bass, where the repeated bass line supplies the foundation for elaborations above.
Book 2 includes "Primavera" (Spring) by Sandro Botticelli, which uses a ground bass pattern typical of the Renaissance period, and "Cirque" (Circus) by Georges Seurat, a French pointillist painter, using the chromatic figure from the theme to "Entrance of the Gladiators.
I've never been much of a fan of Pachalbel's overplayed variations over a ground bass, but by placing the melody of "The First Noel'' atop its recurring harmonic progressions and slightly tweaking the tune of the carol, Clawson created a piece that jars just enough to keep the ears on their toes.