Purcell's Three Parts Upon A Ground - What's A Ground Bass Anyway?
After playing Henry Purcell's Three Parts Upon a Ground, I began to wonder if there was a way to easily explain what a ground is? In short: it's a melodic pattern in the lowest voice that repeats throughout an entire composition and provides the harmonic foundation for the work. So, is it only early music aficionados who know what one is, or even need to? No!Â It shows up in a lot of modern music. TheÂ AmericanÂ punk rock bandÂ Green Day's American Idiot is a perfect example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkmEZs_Kcms As isÂ Avril Lavigne's Sk8er Boi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBj7a-p62i0 Now compare those two pop songs withÂ Henry Purcell's Three Affections Upon a Ground: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31mMDQ3sgfk So, next time someone accuses you of listening to outdated music that has no relevance today, you can toss out a couple of names that'll show just how cool you really are. I'm sure Purcell would approve!