Bergamesca ('The Buffens'), Straloch MS., c. 1600[1] About this soundPlay .
Bergamesca variant, MS. Lute Book, c. 1600[1] About this soundPlay .

Bergamask, bergomask, bergamesca,[1] or bergamasca (from the town of Bergamo in Northern Italy), is a dance and associated melody and chord progression.


It was considered a clumsy rustic dance (cf. Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act V Scene i Lines 341 and 349) copied from the natives of Bergamo, reputed, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, to be very awkward in their manners.[2]

The dance is associated with clowns or buffoonery, as is the area of Bergamo, it having lent its dialect to the Italian buffoons.[1]

Chord progressionEdit

The basic chord progression is I–IV–V–I:[3]

│⎸   I   IV   V   I   I   IV   V   I     :⎹⎸
       I   IV   V   I   I   IV   V   I     ⎹│

Bergomask is the title of the second of the Two Pieces for Piano (1925) by John Ireland (1879–1972).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d (1916). The Musical Times, Volume 57, p.491.
  2. ^   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bergamask". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 772.
  3. ^ Apel, Willi (1969). Harvard Dictionary of Music, p.91. ISBN 978-0-674-37501-7.