Siciliana [siciliano] (It.; Old It. ciciliano; Fr. sicilienne)
- Meredith Ellis Little
A term commonly used to refer to an aria type and instrumental movement popular in the late 17th and 18th centuries. It was normally in a slow 6/8 or 12/8, characterized by clear one- or two-bar phrases, a quaver upbeat giving an iambic feeling to the rhythm, simple melodies and clear, direct harmonies. From the 18th century to the 20th the siciliana was associated with pastoral scenes and melancholy emotions, and it is thought to be the basis for the Christmas carol ...