Buxtehude's passacaglia only survives in a single source: the so-called Andreas Bach Buch, compiled by Johann Sebastian's eldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach (1671–1721). The same collection contains Buxtehude's other ostinato organ works: two chaconnes (BuxWV 159–160) and Praeludium in C (BuxWV 137), which incorporates a short chaconne. No information on the date of composition survives. Buxtehude scholar Michael Belotti suggested that all three ostinato works were composed after 1690. Kerala Snyder, on the basis of the passacaglia's complex form (see below), also argues that it is a late work.

First published 1888, unsure in Leipzig, Germany
Type Passacaglia
Tonality D Minor
Catalogue buxWV 161
Approx. duration 6 minutes
Instruments Organ
Autotranslations beta Dieterich Buxtehude: Passacaille en ré mineur, buxWV 161
Dieterich Buxtehude: Passacaglia in re minore, buxWV 161
Dieterich Buxtehude: Passacaglia d-moll, buxWV 161