Definition and background:
A Renaissance dance that took its name from the pavano, or peacock. The pavan is a slow, stately court dance in duple meter, popular throughout Europe; frequently the pavan was used as the first dance in a set of dances. a stately duple metre dance of the 16th and early 17th centuries, appears in various English spellings, paven, pavin and other forms. Coupled with the quicker triple metre galliard, it was among the most popular dances of the time. the origin of the word is attributed either to the Italian town of Padua or to the peacock. Well known examples include the English composer John Dowland's lachrimae, or seaven teares figured in seaven passionate pavans or Ravel's nostalgic pavane pour une infante defunte, (pavan for a dead infanta).
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary