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The chaconne was particularly dear to French baroque composers, not least Boismortier. In one of his most original works, the Quinque sur l’octave, ou espece de dictionaire harmonique (‘Quintet based on the octave, or a type of harmonic dictionary’), Boismortier employs a chaconne to illustrate and elaborate upon the règle de l’octave (‘rule of the octave’), a formula common in the eighteenth century for the harmonisation of diatonic scales. Using the C major scale as his ground bass, he proposes increasingly varied diminutions over alternative harmonisations, and in so doing he ‘redefines’ the original règle. Scored for four violins and basso continuo, the Quinque is technically accessible, making it an ideal work for amateur violinists and school string ensembles.
Music example (pdf)