The pavane is a processional dance common in Europe during the 16th century, whether named from an origin in Padua (padovano) or from the stately sweep of a lady's train likened to a peacock's tail. The decorous sweep of the pavane suited the new more sober Spanish-influenced courtly manners of 16th century Italy, and the pavane may have originated in Spain. It appears in dance manuals in England, France, and Italy. The term also describes the special music accompanying the dance, often paired with a livelier galliard, and the musical pavane survived hundreds of years after the dance itself was abandoned. At Louis XIV's court the pavane was superseded by the courante.
As a dance, the pavane was often used by a single couple as a processional. In Thoinot Arbeau's French dance manual, it is generally an improvised dance, with the dancers throwing in ornamentation (divisions) of the steps. In the English Measure manuscripts, the pavane is one of several similar dances classed as measures, and is simple and choreographed. In Italian sources, the pavane is often a fairly complicated dance, with galliard and other sections.
The step used in the pavane survives to the modern day in the hesitation step sometimes used in weddings.
Modern musical compositions using the name: