Between the 14th and 17th centuries C.E.
, this musical term referred to a strambotto siciliano
that had been set to music, either as an a cappella
piece or with accompaniment. Since then, this term has shifted in meaning. Currently, it refers to a certain type of aria
and instrumental movement, both in vogue
from the late 17th to the 18th centuries. As a style, it can chiefly be found in the vocal and instrumental music of the late Baroque period
The siciliana sicilano is played in either a slow 6/8 time, or 12/8 time. It is characterized by the use of clear 1- or 2-bar phrases, lilting rhythmns, simple melodies, and direct harmonies. The content usually connected to this form was the pastoral scene and/or some form of melancholia.
Famous composers who used the siciliana siciliano for operas or cantatas include A. Scarlatti and G.F. Handel.
Chief source for this writeup: The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music.