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Pavan \Pav"an\, n. [F. pavane; cf. It. & Sp. pavana, and Sp. pavon, pavo, a peacock, L. pavo.] A stately and formal Spanish dance for which full state costume is worn; -- so called from the resemblance of its movements to those of the peacock. [Written also pavane, paven, pavian, and pavin.]


n. 1 (context music English) A musical style characteristic of the 16th and 17th centuries. 2 (context music dance English) A moderately slow, courtly processional dance in duple time/meter.

  1. n. music composed for dancing the pavane [syn: pavan]

  2. a stately court dance of the 16th and 17th centuries [syn: pavan]


The pavane, pavan, paven, pavin, pavian, pavine, or pavyn (It. pavana, padovana; Ger. Paduana) is a slow processional dance common in Europe during the 16th century ( Renaissance).

The pavane, the earliest-known example of which was published in Venice by Ottaviano Petrucci, in Joan Ambrosio Dalza's Intabolatura de lauto libro quarto in 1508, is a sedate and dignified couple dance, similar to the 15th-century basse danse. The music which accompanied it appears originally to have been fast or moderately fast but, like many other dances, became slower over time .

Pavane (disambiguation)

Pavane may refer to:

  • Pavane, a Renaissance dance
  • musical compositions related to the dance such as:
    • Pavane, a composition for orchestra and optional chorus by the French composer Gabriel Fauré
    • Pavane pour une infante défunte, a composition by the French composer Maurice Ravel
    • The Battle Pavane, a composition by Tielman Susato
  • Pavane (novel), an alternate history science fiction novel by Keith Roberts
Pavane (novel)

Pavane is an alternative history science fiction fix-up novel by British writer Keith Roberts, first published by Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd in 1968. Most of the original stories were published in Science Fantasy. An additional story, "The White Boat", was added in later editions.

Comprising a cycle of linked stories set in Dorset, England, it depicts a 1968 in which the Roman Catholic Church still has supremacy; in its timeline, Protestantism was destroyed during wars that resulted from the aftermath of the assassination of Queen Elizabeth in 1588.

Pavane (Fauré)

The Pavane in F-sharp minor, Op. 50, is a pavane by the French composer Gabriel Fauré written in 1887. It was originally a piano piece, but is better known in Fauré's version for orchestra and optional chorus. Obtaining its rhythm from the slow processional Spanish court dance of the same name, the Pavane ebbs and flows from a series of harmonic and melodic climaxes, conjuring a haunting Belle Époque elegance. The piece is scored for only modest orchestral forces consisting of string instruments and one pair each of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and horns. A typical performance lasts about six minutes.

Usage examples of "pavane".

He began to play a Narvaez pavane that he was vastly proud of having transcribed for the lute.

Ben came in while he was playing, and they nodded at each other, but Farrell went on with the pavane until it ended abruptly in a gentle broken arpeggio.

The consort began to play another Gervaise piece, a pavane, giving it the slow, gracious lilt that makes a pavane something more than procession.

The steps were those of a pavane, but a pavane created and performed by rabbits in moonlight instead of peacocks stalking, blue as salt on fire, along white walks under a Spanish noon.

Her eyes were on the pavane again, and her fingers had never left their blind work in the cold grass.

Two huge Afghan hounds, one black, one golden, lolloped among the dancers, their grinning loutishness and primrose eyes somehow turning the pavane altogether into a tapestry fragment glowing far away.

Nicholas Bonner followed at the pace of the pavane, still dancing serenely by himself.

Basilisk followed with a pavane for the entrance of the Nine Dukes and their households.

In that blue place the test of bone and muscle becomes a pavane where everyone but me is locked into preordained steps while I dance lightly, mind clean as a razor: faster, denser, more alive.

The driver was either old or drunk because the car was weaving a pavane up and down, crossing through the dead zones and nearly entering the lanes above and below, as well as from side to side.

The careful pavane of jugs, orchestrated by a terrified Rushad, served by stone-faced women.

Stately pavanes gave way to the galliard and the antic hey, and the musicians played in a frenzy, faces shining with sweat.

They dance pavanes, galliards, corantos, branles, contredans, and so forth.

It was a bit more of that Horatian Ode:          And something something something can          Take partners for a plonk pavane,          The bunded giant's staff          Tracing a seismograph.

Even now, the royal musicians were tuning shaum and sackbutt and tambour, trilling snatches of jaunty airs and stately pavanes in the music gallery.