The Keyboard suite in D minor (HWV 437) was composed by George Frideric Handel, for solo keyboard (harpsichord), between 1703 and 1706. It is also referred to as Suite de pièce Vol. 2 No. 4. It was first published in 1733.
The sarabande is first mentioned in Central America: in 1539, a dance called zarabanda is mentioned in the poem Vida y tiempo de Maricastaña written in Panama by Fernando de Guzmán Mejía. The dance seems to have been especially popular in the 16th and 17th centuries, initially in the Spanish colonies, before moving back across the Atlantic to Spain. In its time, it was controversial since it was thought too indecent—Miguel de Cervantes once said it was “invented in Hell”. It was banned several times, but it was still performed by many people and even by clerics during the mass. While it was banned in Spain in 1583 for its obscenity, it was frequently cited in literature of the period (for instance, in works by Cervantes and Lope de Vega). It spread to Italy in the 17th century, and to France, where it became a slow court dance.
One of the best known constant harmony variation types is the anonymous La Folia whose harmonic sequence appears in pieces of various types (mainly dances) by dozens of composers from the time of Mudarra (1546) and Corelli through the present day. The theme of the fourth-movement Sarabande of Handel’s Keyboard suite in D minor (HWV 437) for harpsichord is a variation of this piece.