A triple meter dance, usually in binary form, originating during the sixteenth century as a wildly exuberant dance song in Latin America, that became one of the most popular dances of the Baroque. One charactersitic feature of many early sarabandes is extensive use of hemiola and cadences on the third beat of the measure. The sarabande went through many changes during the Baroque, initally being a light, cheerful dance of moderately quick tempo. Gradually new forms were introduced; the late seventeenth-century form, used extensively in eithteenth-century France and Germany, generally was much slower, more deliberate, and serious, with a heavy accent on the second pulse of the measure. Composers often provided heavily embellished written-out doubles for this slow sarabande. The sarabande became one of the standard movements of the sonata da camera and the dance suite (along with the allemande, the courante, and the gigue). [DGS; GJC
(from the Ital. sarabanda) : Baroque dance form in triple meter, often the third movement of a suite. The common French and German varieites are slow and stately, with prominent short-long (quarter-half) rhythms.
A dance of Spanish origin, used by Bach in many of his French, English, and orchestral suites. The sarabande is a slow dance in triple meter, with accents on the second and/or third beat. It was quite dignified in character, and usually lacked upbeats.