Pavan or Pavin, the name of a slow stately dance of the 16th and 17th centuries. The word has been variously derived: (1) from Lat. pavo, peacock; the dancers, as they wheel and turn, spread out their long cloaks, which they retained in this dance, like the tail of the bird; (2) from Padovana, i.e. of Padua, in Italy; the dance, however, is usually taken to have come from Spain. As an instrumental composition, common in the 16th and 17th centuries, the "pavane" was usually followed by the quick and lively "galliard," as the "gigue" followed the "saraband" in the later suite (see Dance).

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Pavane'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.