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Ground Bass

A short melody, typically played in the bass, which is repeated over and over again while the upper notes played by other instruments may change or evolve. The term originated in England in the late 16th century and at the time referred variously to the melody itself, the harmonic framework constructed around it, or the entire composition. A ground bass part may vary greatly in length from a few notes to a full-length, extended melody. A modern example of the ground bass is heard in the opening of Pink Floyd’s “Money.”

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