Definition and background:
A type of aria or instrumental movement in the late 17th and 18th centuries. The siciliana (also siciliano) was normally written as a dance in a slow 6/8 or 12/8 time with short phrases. Use of the siciliana after the 18th century was commonly linked to peasant dances of Sicily in pastoral scenes with melancholy emotions often in a minor key. This is often seen as alla siciliano or in the style of a siciliana. A style of accompanied recitation of poetry or singing of poetry ( strambotto siciliano) that was employed in the 14th century through the early 17th century. A dance, similar to a slow gigue, that was popular from the late 16th to the 18th century. Although included in dance suites, little is known of the siciliana as a real dance Also [Fr.] Sicilienne; [Ger.] siciliana; [It.] siciliana; [It.] siciliano; [It.] ciciliano (old); [Sp.] siciliana. had it's probable origin in a Sicilian shepherd dance or song. It came to be associated in the later 17th century with the pastoral, particularly in the Christmas concerto of the period. The Sicilian is normally in compound dotted rhythm and is slow and sometimes melancholy in mood.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary