Partita [parte] (It.; Ger. Partie, Parthie, Partia, Parthia; Lat. pars)
- David Fuller
- , revised by Cliff Eisen
[parte] (It.; Ger. Partie, Parthie, Partia, Parthia; Lat. pars)
A term used at different times for a variation, a piece, a set of Variations and a Suite or other multi-movement genres. Perhaps the earliest use of the term was in Vincenzo Galilei’s manuscript Libro d’intavolatura di liuto, nel quale si contengono i passamezzi, le romanesche, i saltarelli, et le gagliarde, written in 1584 and probably composed over the preceding 20 years (Torrefranca), containing a Romanesca undecima con cento parti, a Passemezzo sesto con  parti, and Aria del Gazzella con XII parti. Shortly afterwards Prospero Luzi published a dance manual entitled Opera bellissima nella quale si contengono molte partite et passaggi di gagliarda (1589); to what extent ‘partite’ was consciously derived from ‘parti’ is unknown, but both seem to be equivalent in meaning to mutanze or modi, i.e. variations or elaborations on the bass of a traditional tune. ‘Partite’ or ‘partite diversi’ continued to be used by the Italians in this sense, though less and less frequently, throughout the 17th century; examples of pieces called ‘partite sopra’, ...