The passamezzo antico is a ground bass or chord progression that was popular during the Italian Renaissance and known throughout Europe in the 16th century. The progression is a variant of the double tonic: its major mode variant is known as the passamezzo moderno.
The passamezzo antico chord changes are found, knowingly or not, in modern popular music culture: Carrie Underwood's debut album Some Hearts has two examples, "Before He Cheats" (a big U.S. hit in 2006) and "Starts with Goodbye". "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin is essentially a variant of the progression.
- Apel, Willi (1997). The History of Keyboard Music to 1700, p.263. Trans. Tischler, Hans. ISBN 0-253-21141-7.
- van der Merwe, Peter. 1989. Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth-Century Popular Music, p.207. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-316121-4.