Flamenco (), in its strictest sense, is an art form based on the various folkloric music traditions of southern Spain
, originating in the region of Andalusia
, but also having a historical presence in Extremadura
. In a wider sense, the term is used to refer to a variety of Spanish musical styles. The oldest record of flamenco music dates to 1774 in the book ''Las Cartas Marruecas'' by José Cadalso
. Although Flamenco is often associated to the Gitano ethnicity
who have contributed significantly to its development, its origin and style are uniquely Andalusian and Flamenco artists have historically included Spaniards of both gitano and non-gitano heritage.
The development of flamenco over the past two centuries is well documented: "the theatre movement of sainete
s (one-act plays) and tonadilla
s, popular song books and song sheets, customs, studies of dances, and ''toques'', perfection, newspapers, graphic documents in paintings and engravings....in continuous evolution together with rhythm, the poetic stanzas, and the ambiance" .
There is no doubt that Flamenco is rooted in various Andalusian popular musical styles, although its origins is the subject of many hypotheses which may or may not have ideological implications and none of which are necessarily mutually exclusive. The most widespread is that flamenco was developed through the cross-cultural interchange between Andalusia's morisco
(formerly Muslim) peasantry and incoming gitanos during the sixteenth century specifically in South Western Andalusia .
Flamenco has become popular all over the world, especially the United States
. In Japan, there are more flamenco academies than there are in Spain.
On November 16, 2010, UNESCO
declared flamenco one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
The word ''flamenco'', referring to the artistic genre that is known under that name, it dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. There is no certainty of its etymology, so several hypotheses have been raised:
* Because Gitanos are also known as flamencos: in 1881 Demófilo
, in the first study on flamenco, argued that this genre owes its name to the fact that its main cultivators, the Gitanos, were frequently known under that denomination. In 1841 George Borrow
in his book '' Los Zíncali: Los gitanos de España '' had already collected this popular denomination, which reinforces Demofilo's argument.
There is no certainty as to why the Gitanos were called "flamencos", however, there are numerous reports that point to a slang origin, placing the term "flamenco" within the lexicon of the germanía
. This theory holds that "flamenco" derives from '' flamancia '', a word that comes from "flama" and which in German refers to the fiery temperament of the gypsies. In the same sense, the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy
says that "flamenco" colloquially means "cool or insolent", an example of which is the phrase "to become flamenco". In a similar meaning, the term "flamenco" is used as a synonym of "knife" and of "gresca" or "algazara" by Juan Ignacio González del Castillo
, in his sainete
"The boastful soldier" (ca.
1785). However, Serafín Estébanez Calderón
who in his "Andalusian scenes" (1847) provides the first descriptions of flamenco situations, did not use that name to describe them.
* '' 'By parallelism with the wading bird of the same name' '': some hypotheses relate the origin of the name of the flamenco genus with the wading birds of the same name
. One of them says that flamenco receives that name because the appearance and body language of its interpreters reminds them of these birds. Marius Schneider
, on the other hand, defends that the origin of the term may be in the name of these birds, but not in their resemblance to the style of the '' bailaores '' but in that the mode of my
, which is the predominant one in the Flemish repertoire, is related in medieval symbology, among other animals, with the flamenco
* '' 'Because its origin is in Flanders' '': another number of hypotheses link the origin of the term with Flanders
. According to Felipe Pedrell
flamenco came to Spain from those lands at the time of Carlos V
, hence its name. Some add that in the dances that were organized to welcome the said monarch, they cheered with the cry of '' Dance to flamenco! '' However, the term "flamenco" linked to music and dance emerged in the mid-19th century, several centuries after that event.
* '' 'Because it is the music of the "fellah min gueir ard", the landless Moorish peasants' '': according to the notary and politician Blas Infante
, the term "flamenco" comes from the expression Andalusian
'' fellah min gueir ard '' (فلاح من غير أرض), which means "landless peasant". According to him, many Moorish
s were integrated into the gypsy communities, with which they shared their character of ethnic minority outside the dominant culture. Infante supposes that flamenco singing must have arisen in that breeding ground, as a manifestation of the pain that these people felt for the annihilation of their culture. However, Blas Infante does not provide any historical documentary source that supports this hypothesis and, taking into account the strong defense that he made throughout his life of an agrarian reform
in Andalusia, To alleviate the miserable situation of the Andalusian day laborer
of his time, this interpretation seems more ideological and political than historical or musicological. However, Father García Barrioso also considers that the origin of the word flamenco could be in the Arabic expression used in Morocco
'' fellah-mangu '', which means "the songs of the peasants". Likewise, Luis Antonio de Vega contributes the expressions "felahikum" and "felah-enkum", which have the same meaning.
According to the RAE dictionary, "cante jondo" is "the most genuine Andalusian cante, with deep feeling." This dictionary includes the phrases "cante jondo" or "cante hondo" as equivalents, which guarantees that the term "jondo" is nothing more than the Andalusian dialect form
of the word "hondo", with its characteristic aspiration of h from initial f
. However, Máximo José Kahn
came to maintain that the term "jondo" comes from the locution Hebrew language
"jom-tob" or "yom-tob", an ending of some Synagogue songs
. According to García Matos and Hipólito Rossy, not all flamenco cante is cante jondo. Manuel de Falla
considered that cante jondo was ancient cante, while flamenco cante was modern.
Flamenco and Andalusian folklore
The flamenco style took shape during the 19th century, on the substrate of Andalusian traditional music and dance, whose origins are ancient and diverse. However, flamenco wasn't the folklore of Andalusia (made up of Seguidilla
, Trovos, Chacarrá, El vito ...) and not even from all Spain at first. Flamenco gone from being a music performed by minorities in the south of Spain, with greater or lesser diffusion to become so important that generated the identity emblem of Spain, inside and outside the country. This fact could be related to Franco
's dictatorial regime in Spain because at that moment the dictator imposed flamenco and the culture of mostly southern Spain as the only culture of Spain, trying to suppress the other regional cultures and create a united Spain around only few cultural elements. France also used it to promote tourism and create a more consolidated image of the country of Spain and it's "only" distinctive and unique culture (although there were more cultures in Spain).
Flamenco is considered a tourist attraction of the first order for Andalusia, both as a show and as an art for study, even as doctorate, university expert or subject of university diploma. Awards are also given for flamenco research.
It is believed that the flamenco genre emerged at the end of the 18th century in cities and agrarian towns of Baja Andalusia, highlighting Jerez de la Frontera
as the first written vestige of this art, although there is practically no data related to those dates and the manifestations of this time they are more typical of the bolero school than of flamenco. There are hypotheses that point to the influence on flamenco of types of dance from the Indian subcontinent - the place of origin of the Romani people - such as the kathak
dance. But also, the documentary Gurumbé, songs from your black memory, shows the African influence on the rhythms and choreographies of flamenco. The musician and anthropologist Raúl Rodríguez points out that in the Bantu language fanda means party, and the suffix -ngo (as in "Congo" or "Mandinga") indicates a possible African origin of the word "fandango".
In 1783 Carlos III
promulgated a pragmatics that regulated the social situation of the Gitanos. This was a momentous event in the history of Spanish Romani who, after centuries of marginalization and persecution, saw their legal situation improve substantially.
After the Spanish War of Independence
(1808-1812), a feeling of racial pride developed in the Spanish conscience, which contrasts with the French enlightenment the telluric force of the majo, archetype of individualism, grace and chasticism. In this environment, cañí fashion triumphs, because traditionalism sees in the Gitanos an ideal model of that individualism. The emergence of the bullfighting
schools of Ronda
, the rise of the Bandidos and Vaqueros and the fascination for Andalusia manifested by European romantic travelers, gradually shaped Andalusian manners, which triumphed in the Madrid court.
At this time there is evidence of disagreements due to the introduction of innovations in art.
Los cafés cantantes
In 1881 Silverio Franconetti
opened the first flamenco singer café in Seville. In Silverio's café the cantaores were in a very competitive environment, which allowed the emergence of the professional cantaor and served as a crucible where flamenco art was configured. In them Gitanos and non-Gitanos learned the cantes, while reinterpreted the Andalusian folk songs in their own style, expanding the repertoire. Likewise, the taste of the public contributed to configure the flamenco genre, unifying its technique and its theme.
The antiflamenquismo of "La generación del 98"
Flamenco, defined by the Royal Spanish Academy as a "fondness for flamenco art and customs", is a conceptual catch-all where flamenco singing and a fondness for bullfighting, among other traditional Spanish elements, fit. These customs were strongly attacked by the generation of 98, all of its members being "anti-flamenco", with the exception of the Machado brothers, since Manuel and Antonio, being Sevillians and sons of the folklorist Demófilo, had a more complex vision of the matter. The greatest standard bearer of anti-flamenquism was the Madrid
writer Eugenio Noel, who, in his youth, had been a militant casticista. Noel attributed to flamenco and bullfighting the origin of the ills of Spain which he saw as manifestations of the country's oriental character which hindered economic and social development. These considerations caused an insurmountable rift to be established for decades between flamenco and most "intellectuals" of the time.
The Flamenca opera
Between 1920 and 1955, flamenco shows began to be held in bullrings and theaters, under the name "Flamenco Opera". This denomination was an economic strategy of the promoters, since opera only paid 3% while variety shows paid 10%. At this time, flamenco shows spread throughout Spain and the main cities of the world. The great social and commercial success achieved by flamenco at this time eliminated some of the oldest and most sober styles from the stage, in favor of lighter airs, such as cantiñas
, los cantes de ida y vuelta
s, of which many personal versions were created. The purist critics attacked this lightness of the cantes, as well as the use of falsete and the gaitero
In the line of purism, the poet Federico García Lorca
and the composer Manuel de Falla
had the idea of concurso de cante jondo en Granada
. Both artists conceived of flamenco as folklore, not as a scenic artistic genre; for this reason, they were concerned, since they believed that the massive triumph of flamenco would end its purest and deepest roots. To remedy this, they organized a cante jondo contest in which only amateurs could participate and in which festive cantes (such as cantiñas) were excluded, which Falla and Lorca did not consider jondos, but flamencos. The jury was chaired by Antonio Chacón, who at that time was the leading figure in cante. The winners were "El Tenazas", a retired professional cantaor from Morón de la Frontera, and Manuel Ortega, an eight-year-old boy from Seville who would go down in flamenco history as Manolo Caracol. The contest turned out to be a failure due to the scant echo it had and because Lorca and Falla did not know how to understand the professional character that flamenco already had at that time, striving in vain to seek a purity that never existed in an art that was characterized by mixture and the personal innovation of its creators. Apart from this failure, with the generation of '27
, whose most eminent members were Andalusians and therefore knew the genre first-hand, the recognition of flamenco by intellectuals began.
At that time, there were already flamenco recordings related to Christmas, which can be divided into two groups: the traditional flamenco carol and flamenco songs that adapt their lyrics to the Christmas theme. These cantes have been maintained to this day, the Zambomba Jerezana being spatially representative, declared an Asset of Intangible Cultural Interest by the Junta de Andalucía in December 2015.
During the Spanish Civil War
, a large number of singers were exiled or died defending the Republic
and the humiliations to which they were being subjected by the National Party: Bando Nacional
: Corruco de Algeciras
, El Carbonerillo
, El Chato De Las Ventas
, Rita la Cantaora
are some of them. In the postwar period and the first years of the Franco regime
, the world of flamenco was viewed with suspicion, as the authorities were not clear that this genre contributed to the national conscience. However, the regime soon ended up adopting flamenco as one of the quintessential Spanish cultural manifestations. The singers who have survived the war go from stars to almost outcasts, singing for the young men in the private rooms of the brothels in the center of Seville where they have to adapt to the whims of aristocrats, soldiers and businessmen who have become rich.
In short, the period of the Flamenco Opera was a time open to creativity and that definitely made up most of the flamenco repertoire. It was the Golden Age of this genre, with figures such as Antonio Chacón
, Manuel Vallejo, Manuel Torre
, La Niña de los Peines
, Pepe Marchena
and Manolo Caracol
Starting in the 1950s, abundant anthropological and musicological studies on flamenco began to be published. In 1954 Hispavox published the first Antología del Cante Flamenco, a sound recording that was a great shock to its time, dominated by orchestrated cante and, consequently, mystified. In 1955, the Argentine intellectual Anselmo González Climent published an essay called Flamencología, whose title he baptized the "set of knowledge, techniques, etc., on flamenco singing and dancing." This book dignified the study of flamenco by applying the academic methodology of musicology to it and served as the basis for subsequent studies on this genre.
As a result, in 1956 the National Contest of Cante Jondo de Córdoba was organized and in 1958 the first Flamencology Chair was founded in Jerez de la Frontera, the oldest academic institution dedicated to the study, research, conservation, promotion and defense of the flamenco art. Likewise, in 1963 the Cordovan poet Ricardo Molina and the Sevillian cantaor Antonio Mairena
published Alalimón Mundo y Formas del Cante Flamenco
, which has become a must-have reference work.
For a long time the Mairenistas postulates were considered practically unquestionable, until they found an answer in other authors who elaborated the "Andalusian thesis", which defended that flamenco was a genuinely Andalusian product, since it had been developed entirely in this region and because its styles basic ones derived from the folklore of Andalusia. They also maintained that the Andalusian Gitanos had contributed decisively to their formation, highlighting the exceptional nature of flamenco among gypsy music and dances from other parts of Spain and Europe. The unification of the Gitanos and Andalusian thesis has ended up being the most accepted today. In short, between the 1950s and 1970s, flamenco went from being a mere show to also becoming an object of study.
Flamenco protest during the Franco regime
Flamenco became one of the symbols of Spanish national identity during the Franco regime
, since the regime knew how to appropriate a folklore traditionally associated with Andalusia to promote national unity and attract tourism, constituting what was called national-flamenquismo. Hence, flamenco had long been seen as a reactionary or retrograde element. In the mid-60s and until the transition, cantaores who opposed the regime began to appear with the use of protest lyrics. These include: José Menese and lyricist Francisco Moreno Galván, Enrique Morente
, Manuel Gerena, El Lebrijano
, El Cabrero
, Lole y Manuel
, el Piki or Luis Marín, among many others.
In contrast to this conservatism with which it was associated during the Franco regime, flamenco suffered the influence of the wave of activism that also shook the university against the repression of the regime when university students came into contact with this art in the recitals that were held, for example, at the Colegio Mayor de San Juan Evangelista: "flamenco amateurs and professionals got involved with performances of a manifestly political nature. It was a kind of flamenco protest charged with protest, which meant censorship and repression for the flamenco activists ".
As the political transition progressed, the demands were deflated as flamenco inserted itself within the flows of globalized art. At the same time, this art was institutionalized until it reached the point that the Junta de Andalucía
was attributed in 2007 "exclusive competence in matters of knowledge, conservation, research, training, promotion and dissemination".
In the 1970s, there were airs of social and political change in Spain, and Spanish society was already quite influenced by various musical styles from the rest of Europe and the United States. There were also numerous singers who had grown up listening to Antonio Mairena
, Pepe Marchena
and Manolo Caracol
. The combination of both factors led to a revolutionary period called Flamenco Fusion. | Seville Flamenco Dance Museum 2014.
The singer Rocío Jurado
internationalized flamenco at the beginning of the 70s, replacing the bata de cola with evening dresses. His facet in the "Fandangos de Huelva" and in the Alegrías was recognized internationally for his perfect voice tessitura in these genres. She used to be accompanied in her concerts by guitarists Enrique de Melchor and Tomatito
, not only at the national level but in countries like Colombia, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.
The musical representative José Antonio Pulpón was a decisive character in that fusion, as he urged the cantaor Agujetas to collaborate with the Sevillian Andalusian rock group "Pata Negra
", the most revolutionary couple since Antonio Chacón and Ramón Montoya
, initiating a new path for flamenco. It also fostered the artistic union between the virtuous guitarist from Algeciras Paco de Lucía
and the long-standing singer from the island Camarón de la Isla
, who gave a creative impulse to flamenco that would mean its definitive break with Mairena's conservatism. When both artists undertook their solo careers, Camarón became a mythical cantaor for his art and personality, with a legion of followers, while Paco de Lucía reconfigured the entire musical world of flamenco, opening up to new influences, such as Brazilian music, Arabic and jazz and introducing new musical instruments such as the Peruvian cajon, the transverse flute, etc.
Other leading performers in this process of formal flamenco renewal were Juan Peña El Lebrijano
, who married flamenco with Andalusian music, and Enrique Morente
, who throughout his long artistic career has oscillated between the purism of his first recordings and the crossbreeding with rock, or Remedios Amaya
, cultivator of a unique style of tangos
from Extremadura, and a wedge of purity in her cante make her part of this select group of established artists. Other singers with their own style include Cancanilla de Marbella
. In 2011 this style became known in India thanks to María del Mar Fernández
, who acts in the video clip of the film You Live Once, entitled Señorita. The film was seen by more than 73 million viewers.
In the 1980s a new generation of flamenco artists emerged who had been influenced by the mythical cantaor Camarón, Paco de Lucía, Morente, etc. These artists were interested in popular urban music, which in those years was renewing the Spanish music scene, it was the time of the Movida madrileña
. Among them are "Pata Negra
", who fused flamenco with blues and rock, Ketama
, of pop and Cuban inspiration and Ray Heredia, creator of his own musical universe where flamenco occupies a central place.
Also the recording company Nuevos Medios released many musicians under the label Nuevo Flamenco and this denomination has grouped musicians very different from each other like Rosario Flores
, daughter of Lola Flores
, or the renowned singer Malú
, niece of Paco de Lucía and daughter of Pepe de Lucía, who despite sympathizing with flamenco and keeping it in her discography has continued with her personal style. However, the fact that many of the interpreters of this new music are also renowned cantaores, in the case of José Mercé
, El Cigala
, and others, has led to labeling everything they perform as flamenco, although the genre of their songs differs quite a bit from the classic flamenco. This has generated very different feelings, both for and against.
Other contemporary artists of that moment were O'Funkillo and Ojos de Brujo
, Arcángel, Miguel Poveda
, Mayte Martín
, Marina Heredia, Estrella Morente
or Manuel Lombo , etc.
But the discussion between the difference of Flamenco and New Flamenco
in Spain has just gained strength during since 2019 due to the success of New Flamenco attracting the taste of the youngest Spanish fans but also in the international musical scene emphasizing the problem of how should we call this new musical genre mixed with flamenco.
One of these artist who has reinvented flamenco is Rosalía
, an indisputable name on the international music scene. "Pienso en tu mirá", "Di mi nombre" or the song that catapulted her to fame, "Malamente", are a combination of styles that includes a flamenco/south Spain traditional musical base. Rosalía has broken the limits of this musical genre by embracing other urban rhythms, but has also created a lot of controversy about which genre is she using. The Catalan
artist has been awarded several Latin Grammy
Awards and MTV Video Music Awards
, which also, at just 26 years old, garners more than 12 million monthly listeners on Spotify
But it's not the only successful case, the Granada-born Dellafuente
, C. Tangana
, Demarco Flamenco, Maria Àrnal
and Marcel Bagés, El Niño de Elche, Sílvia Pérez Cruz
; Califato 3/4, Juanito Makandé, Soledad Morente, María José Llergo o Fuel Fandango
are only a few of the new spanish musical scene that includes flamenco in their music.
It seems that the Spanish music scene is experiencing a change in its music and new rhythms are re-emerging together with new artists who are experimenting to cover a wider audience that wants to maintain the closeness that flamenco has transmitted for decades.
'' (formerly known as ''cantes'') are flamenco styles, classified by criteria such as rhythmic pattern, mode
, chord progression
ic form and geographic origin. There are over 50 different ''palos'', some are sung unaccompanied while others have guitar or other accompaniment. Some forms are danced while others are not. Some are reserved for men and others for women while some may be performed by either, though these traditional distinctions are breaking down: the ''Farruca'', for example, once a male dance, is now commonly performed by women too.
There are many ways to categorize ''Palos'' but they traditionally fall into three classes: the most serious is known as ''cante jondo
'' (or ''cante grande
''), while lighter, frivolous forms are called ''cante chico
''. Forms that do not fit either category are classed as ''cante intermedio
'' . These are the best known ''palos'' (; ):
* Bulerías por soleá (soleá por bulerías)
* Fandango de Huelva
* Fandango Malagueño
A typical flamenco recital with voice and guitar accompaniment comprises a series of pieces (not exactly "songs") in different palos. Each song is a set of verses (called ''copla'', ''tercio'', or ''letras''), punctuated by guitar interludes (''falseta
s''). The guitarist also provides a short introduction setting the tonality, ''compás'' (see below) and tempo of the cante . In some palos, these falsetas are played with a specific structure too; for example, the typical sevillanas
is played in an AAB pattern, where A and B are the same falseta with only a slight difference in the ending .
Flamenco uses the Flamenco mode
(which can also be described as the modern Phrygian mode
(''modo frigio''), or a harmonic version of that scale with a major 3rd degree
), in addition to the major
scales commonly used in modern Western music. The Phrygian mode occurs in ''palos'' such as soleá
, most bulerías
A typical chord sequence
, usually called the "Andalusian cadence
" may be viewed as in a modified Phrygian: in E the sequence is Am–G–F–E . According to Manolo Sanlúcar
E is here the tonic
, F has the harmonic function
while Am and G assume the functions of subdominant
Guitarists tend to use only two basic inversions or "chord shapes" for the tonic chord (music)
, the open 1st inversion E and the open 3rd inversion A, though they often transpose
these by using a capo
. Modern guitarists such as Ramón Montoya
, have introduced other positions: Montoya himself started to use other chords for the tonic in the modern Dorian
sections of several ''palos''; F for ''tarantas
'', B for ''granaína
s'' and A for the ''minera''. Montoya also created a new ''palo'' as a solo for guitar, the ''rondeña
'' in C with ''scordatura
''. Later guitarists have further extended the repertoire of tonalities
, chord positions and ''scordatura''.
There are also ''palos'' in major mode; most cantiñas
, some ''bulerías
'' and ''tonás
'', and the ''cabales'' (a major type of ''siguiriyas
''). The minor mode is restricted to the ''Farruca
'', the ''milongas'' (among ''cantes de ida y vuelta
''), and some styles of ''tangos, bulerías'', etc. In general traditional palos in major and minor mode are limited harmonically to two-chord (tonic–dominant) or three-chord (tonic–subdominant–dominant) progressions . However modern guitarists have introduced chord substitution
, transition chords, and even modulation
'' and derivative ''palos'' such as ''malagueñas
'', ''tarantas'' and ''cartageneras
are bimodal'': guitar introductions are in Phrygian mode while the singing develops in major mode, modulating to Phrygian at the end of the stanza .
Dionisio Preciado, quoted by Sabas de , established the following characteristics for the melodies of flamenco singing:
: presence of intervals
smaller than the semitone
: frequently, the change from one note to another is done in a smooth transition, rather than using discrete intervals.
: Most traditional flamenco songs are limited to a range of a sixth (four tones and a half). The impression of vocal effort is the result of using different timbre
s, and variety is accomplished by the use of microtones.
#Use of enharmonic scale
. While in equal temperament
s are notes with identical pitch but different spellings (e.g. A♭ and G♯); in flamenco, as in unequal temperament
scales, there is a microtonal intervalic difference between enharmonic notes.
#Insistence on a note and its contiguous chromatic notes (also frequent in the guitar), producing a sense of urgency.
, with an expressive, rather than merely aesthetic function.
#Apparent lack of regular rhythm, especially in the siguiriyas
: the melodic rhythm of the sung line is different from the metric rhythm of the accompaniment.
#Most styles express sad and bitter feelings.
: flamenco singing is not, strictly speaking, improvised, but based on a relatively small number of traditional songs, singers add variations on the spur of the moment.
Musicologist Hipólito Rossy adds the following characteristics :
*Flamenco melodies are characterized by a descending tendency, as opposed to, for example, a typical opera aria
, they usually go from the higher pitches to the lower ones, and from forte
, as was usual in ancient Greek scales.
*In many styles, such as soleá
, the melody tends to proceed in contiguous degrees
of the scale. Skips
of a third or a fourth are rarer. However, in fandangos
and fandango-derived styles, fourths and sixths can often be found, especially at the beginning of each line of verse. According to Rossy, this is proof of the more recent creation of this type of songs, influenced by Castilian jota
Compás or Time Signature
Compás is the Spanish word for metre
or time signature
(in classical music theory
). It also refers to the rhythmic cycle, or layout, of a ''palo''.
The compás is fundamental to flamenco. Compás is most often translated as rhythm
but it demands far more precise interpretation than any other Western style of music. If there is no guitarist available, the compás is rendered through hand clapping (''palmas'') or by hitting a table with the knuckles. The guitarist uses techniques like strumming (''rasgueado'') or tapping the soundboard
(''golpe''). Changes of chords emphasize the most important downbeats.
Flamenco uses three basic counts or measures: Binary, Ternary and a form of a twelve-beat cycle that is unique to flamenco. There are also free-form styles including, among others, the tonás
, tarantos, and some types of fandangos
*Rhythms in or . These metres are used in forms like tangos
, gypsy rumba
*Rhythms in . These are typical of fandangos
, suggesting their origin as non-Roma styles, since the and measures are not common in ethnic Roma music.
*12-beat rhythms usually rendered in amalgams of + and sometimes . The 12-beat cycle is the most common in flamenco, differentiated by the accentuation of the beats in different palos. The accents do not correspond to the classic concept of the downbeat. The alternating of groups of 2 and 3 beats is also common in Spanish folk dances of the 16th Century such as the ''zarabanda'', ''jácara'' and ''canarios''.
There are three types of 12-beat rhythms, which vary in their layouts, or use of accentuations: soleá, seguiriya and bulería.
: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12. Both palos start with the strong accent on 12. Hence the meter is 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11...
, liviana, serrana
, toná liviana, cabales: 121 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12.
, within the cantiñas
group of palos which includes the alegrías
, cantiñas, mirabras, romera, caracoles and soleá por bulería (also "bulería por soleá
"): 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12. For practical reasons, when transferring flamenco guitar music to sheet music, this rhythm is written as a regular .
is the emblematic palo of flamenco: today its 12-beat cycle is most often played with accents on the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th beats. The accompanying ''palmas'' are played in groups of 6 beats, giving rise to a multitude of counter-rhythms and percussive voices within the 12 beat compás. In certain regions like, Xerez, Spain, the rhythm stays in a simpler six-count rhythm, only including the twelve count in a musical resolve.
Forms of flamenco expression
The posture and technique of flamenco guitarists, called "tocaores", differs from that used by the players of classical guitar
. While the classical guitarist supports the guitar on his left leg in an inclined way, the flamenco guitarist usually crosses his legs and supports it on the one that is higher, placing the neck in an almost horizontal position with respect to the ground. Modern guitarists usually use classical guitars, although there is a specific instrument for this genre called flamenco guitar
. This is less heavy, and its body is narrower than that of the classical guitar, so its sound is lower and does not overshadow the cantaor. It is usually made of cypress
wood, with the handle of cedar
and the top of fir
. The cypress gives it a brilliant sound very suitable for the characteristics of flamenco. Formerly, the palo santo from Rio or India was also used, being the first of higher quality, but currently it is in disuse due to its scarcity. The palo santo gave guitars an amplitude of sound especially suitable for solo playing. At present, the most widely used headstock
is the metal one, since the wooden one poses tuning
The main guitar makers were Antonio de Torres Jurado
, 1817-1892) considered the father of the guitar, Manuel Ramírez de Galarreta
, the Great Ramírez (Madrid, 1864 -1920), and his disciples Santos Hernández (Madrid, 1873-1943), who built several guitars for the maestro Sabicas
, Domingo Esteso
and Modesto Borreguero
. Also noteworthy are the Conde Brothers, Faustino (1913-1988), Mariano (1916-1989) and Julio (1918-1996), nephews of Domingo Esteso, whose children and heirs continue the saga.
The guitarists use the technique of alzapúa
, the strum
and the tremolo
, among others. One of the first touches that is considered flamenco, such as the "rondeña", was the first composition recorded for solo guitar, by Julián Arcas
, 1832 - Antequera, Málaga
, 1882) in Barcelona in 1860. The strum can be performed with 5, 4 or 3 fingers, the latter invented by Sabicas
. The use of the thumb is also characteristic of flamenco playing. Guitarists rest their thumb on the guitar's soundboard and their index and middle fingers on the string above the one they are playing, thus achieving greater power and sound than the classical guitarist. The middle finger is also placed on the pickguard of the guitar for more precision and strength when plucking the string. Likewise, the use of the pickguard as an element of percussion gives great strength to flamenco guitar playing. The melodic or flourishing phrase that is inserted between the chord sequences intended to accompany the couplet is called "falseta".
The accompaniment and solo playing of flamenco guitarists is based on both the modal harmonic system and the tonal system, although the most frequent is a combination of both. Some flamenco songs are performed "a palo seco" (a cappella
), without guitar accompaniment.
According to the Royal Spanish Academy, "cante" is called the "action or effect of singing any Andalusian singing
", defining "flamenco singing" as "agitated Andalusian singing" and cante jondo as "the most genuine song. Andalusian, of deep feeling ". The interpreter of flamenco singing is called '' cantaor '' instead of singer, with the loss of the intervocalic characteristic of the Andalusian dialect
The most important award in flamenco singing is probably the Golden Key of Cante
, which has been awarded five times to: El Nitri
, Manuel Vallejo
, Antonio Mairena
, Island Shrimp
The origins, history and importance of the cante is covered in the main Wikipedia entry for the cante flamenco
''El baile flamenco'' is known for its emotional intensity, proud carriage, expressive use of the arms and rhythmic stamping of the feet, unlike tap dance
or Irish dance
which use different techniques. As with any dance form, many different styles of flamenco have developed.
In the twentieth century, flamenco danced informally at gitano (Roma) celebrations in Spain was considered the most "authentic" form of flamenco. There was less virtuoso technique in gitano flamenco, but the music and steps are fundamentally the same. The arms are noticeably different from classical flamenco, curving around the head and body rather than extending, often with a bent elbow.
"Flamenco puro" otherwise known as "flamenco por derecho" is considered the form of performance flamenco closest to its gitano influences. In this style, the dance is often performed solo, and is based on signals and calls of structural improvisation rather than choreographed. In the improvisational style, castanets are not often used.
"Classical flamenco" is the style most frequently performed by Spanish flamenco dance companies. It is danced largely in a proud and upright style. For women, the back is often held in a marked back bend. Unlike the more gitano influenced styles, there is little movement of the hips, the body is tightly held and the arms are long, like a ballet
dancer. In fact many of the dancers in these companies are trained in Ballet Clásico Español more than in the improvisational language of flamenco. Flamenco has both influenced and been influenced by Ballet Clásico Español, as evidenced by the fusion of the two ballets created by 'La Argentinita' in the early part of the twentieth century and later, by Joaquín Cortés
, eventually by the entire Ballet Nacional de España et al.
In the 1950s Jose Greco
was one of the most famous male Flamenco dancers, performing on stage worldwide and on television including the Ed Sullivan Show
, and reviving the art almost singlehandedly. Greco's company left a handful of prominent pioneers, most notably: Maria Benitez and Vicente Romero of New Mexico. Today, there are many centers of Flamenco art. Albuquerque, New Mexico is considered the "Center of the Nation" for Flamenco Art. Much of this is due to Maria Benitez's 37 years of sold-out summer seasons. Albuquerque boasts three distinct prominent centers: National Institute of Flamenco, Casa Flamenca and Flamenco Works. Each center dedicates time to daily training, cultural diffusion and world-class performance equaled only to world-class performances one would find in the heart of Southern Spain, Andalucía.
Modern flamenco is a highly technical dance style requiring years of study. The emphasis for both male and female performers is on lightning-fast footwork performed with absolute precision. In addition, the dancer may have to dance while using props such as castanets, canes, shawls and fans.
" is a recent marketing phenomenon in Flamenco. Marketed as a "newer version" of Flamenco, its roots came from world-music promoters trying to sell albums of artists who created music that "sounded like" or had Spanish-style influences. Though some of this music was played in similar pitches, scales and was well-received, it has little to nothing to do with the Art of Flamenco guitar, dance, cante Jondo or the improvisational language. "Nuevo Flamenco" consists largely of compositions and repertoire, while Traditional Flamenco music and dance is a language composed of stanzas, actuated by oral formulaic calls and signals.
The flamenco most foreigners are familiar with is a style that was developed as a spectacle for tourists. To add variety, group dances are included and even solos are more likely to be choreographed. The frilly, voluminous spotted dresses are derived from a style of dress worn for the Sevillanas
at the annual Feria
In traditional flamenco, only the very young or older dancers are considered to have the emotional innocence or maturity to adequately convey the ''duende
'' (soul) of the genre . Therefore, unlike other dance forms, where dancers turn professional through techniques early on to take advantage of youth and strength, many flamenco dancers do not hit their peak until their thirties and will continue to perform into their fifties and beyond. One artist that is considered a young master is Juan Manuel Fernandez Montoya, otherwise known as "Farruquito". At age 12, Farruquito was considered a pioneer and for "Flamenco Puro", or "Flamenco por Derecho", because of his emotional depth.
File:Castelucho.jpg|Claudio Castelucho, Flamenco
File:Theatre Flamenco Work Sample.webm|Theatre Flamenco Work Sample
File:Baile andaluz 1893 José Villegas Cordero.jpg|José Villegas Cordero, Baile Andaluz
File:Sargent John Singer Spanish Dancer.jpg|John Singer Sargent, Spanish Dancer
;Scenes of flamenco performance in Seville.
Flamenco en el Palacio Andaluz, Sevilla, España, 2015-12-06, DD 07.JPG
Flamenco en el Palacio Andaluz, Sevilla, España, 2015-12-06, DD 11.JPG
Flamenco en el Palacio Andaluz, Sevilla, España, 2015-12-06, DD 20.JPG
Flamenco en el Palacio Andaluz, Sevilla, España, 2015-12-06, DD 23.JPG
Regulated teaching of flamenco in educational centers
In Spain, regulated flamenco studies are officially taught in various music conservatories, dance conservatories and music schools in various autonomous communities.
Conservatories of music
Flamenco guitar studies in official educational centers began in Spain in 1988 at the hands of the great concert performer and teacher from Granada Manuel Cano Tamayo
, who obtained a position as emeritus professor at the Superior Conservatory de Música Rafael Orozco
There are specialized flamenco conservatories throughout the country, although mainly in the Andalusia region, such as the aforementioned Córdoba Conservatory, the Murcia Superior Music Conservatory
or the Superior Music School of Catalonia
, among others. Outside of Spain, a unique case is the Rotterdam Conservatory
, in the Netherlands
, which offers regulated flamenco guitar studies under the direction of maestro Paco Peña
since 1985, a few years before they existed in Spain.
In 2018 the first Interuniversity Master's Degree in Flamenco Research and Analysis begins, after the previous attempts of the "Doctorate Program of Approach to Flamenco", taught by several universities such as Huelva, Seville, Cádiz and Córdoba, among others.
, which in the 17th century
was the most widespread song and dance throughout Spain, eventually ended up generating local and regional variants, especially in the province of Huelva. In Alta Andalucía and bordering areas the fandangos
were accompanied with the bandola
, an instrument with which they accompanied themselves following a regular beat that allowed dancing and from whose name the style derives " abandoned ". Thus arose the fandangos of Lucena
, the drones of Puente Genil
, the primitive malagueñas
, the rondeñas
, the jaberas
, the jabegotes
, the verdiales
, the chacarrá
, the granaína
, the taranto
and the taranta
. Due to the expansion of the Sevillanas in Baja Andalusia, the fandango gradually lost its role as a support for the dance, which allowed the singer to shine and freedom, generating a multitude of fandangos of personal creation in the 20th century
. Likewise, thousands of Andalusian peasants, especially from the Eastern Andalusian provinces, emigrated to the mining sites Murcian
, where the tarantos
s evolved. The Tarante de Linares
, evolved into the mining
of the Union, the Cartagena
and the Levantica
. At the time of the cafés cantantes, some of these cantes were separated from the dance and acquired a free beat, which allowed the performers to show off. The great promoter of this process was Antonio Chacón
, who developed precious versions of malagueñas, granainas and cantes mineros.
The stylization of romance and cord sheets
gave rise to corrido
. The extraction of the romances from quatrains or three significant verses gave rise to the primitive tonás
, the caña
and the polo
, which share meter and melody, but differing in their execution. The guitar accompaniment gave them a beat that made them danceable. It is believed that their origin was in Ronda
, a city in Alta Andalucía
close to Baja Andalucía
and closely related to it, and that from there they reached the Sevillian suburb of Triana
, with a great tradition of corridos, where they became the soleá
. From the festive performance of corridos and soleares, the jaleos
arose in Triana, who traveled to Extremadura
and in Jerez and Utrera
led to the bulería
, from where they spread throughout Baja Andalucía, generating local variations.
states that the expressive voice '' ole '', with which Andalusian '' cantaores '' and '' bailaores '' are encouraged, can come from the Hebrew verb '' oleh '' which means "to throw upwards ", showing that the dervish
s gyrovagos of Tunisia
also dance around to the sound of repeated" ole "or" joleh ". The use of the word "arza", which is the Andalusian dialect form
, of pronouncing the voice imperative
"rise", with the characteristic Andalusian equalization of / l / and / r / implosives
. The indiscriminate use of the voices "arza" and "ole" is frequent when it comes to '' jalear ''
[, but the most evidence of the origin of this word can be from the caló: '' Olá '', which means '' Come ''. Likewise, in Andalusia it is known as jaleo al ojeo de hunt, that is, the act of glancing, which is "driving away the game with voices, shots, blows or noise, so that they '' get up ''".
According to the RAE dictionary (1956!) The "duende" in Andalusia is a "mysterious and ineffable charm", a charisma that the Gitanos call duende. Federico García Lorca, in his lecture ''Teoría y juego del duende'' confirms this ineffability of the duende by defining it with the following words from Goethe: "Mysterious power that everyone feels and that no philosopher explains". In the flamenco imaginary, the duende goes beyond technique and inspiration, in Lorca's words "To search for the duende there is no map or exercise". When a flamenco artist experiences the arrival of this mysterious charm, the expressions "have duende" or sing, play or dance "with duende" are used.
Along with those previously mentioned, there are many other words and expressions characteristic of the flamenco genre, such as "tablao flamenco", "tablao flamenco", "flamenco spree", "third", "aflamencar", "flamenco", "flamenco"...
* Álvarez Caballero, Ángel: ''El cante flamenco'', Alianza Editorial, Madrid, Second edition, 1998. (First edition: 1994)
* Álvarez Caballero, Ángel: ''La Discografía ideal del cante flamenco'', Planeta, Barcelona, 1995.
* Arredondo Pérez, Herminia, and Francisco J. García Gallardo, : "Música flamenca. Nuevos artistas, antiguas tradiciones" In ''Andalucía en la música. Expresión de comunidad, construcción de identidad'', edited by Francisco J. García y Herminia Arredondo. Sevilla: Centro de Estudios Andaluces, 2014, pp. 225–242.
* Banzi, Julia Lynn (Ph.D.): "Flamenco Guitar Innovation and the Circumscription of Tradition" 2007, 382 pages; AAT 328581, DAI-A 68/10, University of California, Santa Barbara.
* Caba Landa, Pedro, and Carlos Caba Landa. ''Andalucía, su comunismo y su cante jondo''. First edition, Editorial Atlántico 1933. Third edition, Editorial Renacimiento 2008.
* Coelho, Víctor Anand (Editor): "Flamenco Guitar: History, Style, and Context", in ''The Cambridge Companion to the Guitar'', Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 13–32.
* Mairena, Antonio, and Ricardo Molina. ''Mundo y formas del cante flamenco'', Librería Al-Ándalus, third edition, 1979 (First Edition: Revista de Occidente, 1963)
* Martín Salazar, Jorge: ''Los cantes flamencos'', Diputación Provincial de Granada, Granada, 1991
* Ortiz Nuevo, José Luis: ''Alegato contra la pureza'', Libros PM, Barcelona, 1996.
''Rito y geografía del cante''. Serie documental de los años 70 del siglo XX sobre los orígenes, estilos y pervivencia del cante flamenco
con José María Velázquez-Gaztelu.
': programa de Radio Clásica, con José María Velázquez-Gaztelu.
Agencia Andaluza para el Desarrollo del Flamenco
''Flamenco de la A a la Z''
breve enciclopedia del flamenco que incluye diccionario en e
* GRANDE, Félix: ''Memoria del flamenco'', con prólogo de José Manuel Caballero Bonald. Galaxia Gutenberg/Círculo de Lectores, Barcelona, 1991.
Flamenco en Sevilla
* LAFUENTE ALCÁNTARA, Emilio (1825 - 1868): ''Cancionero popular. Colección escogida de seguidillas y coplas'', 1865.
** Vol. II
texto en Google Books.
Sobre Emilio Lafuente Alcántara
hermano de Miguel Lafuente Alcántara, en e
Biblioteca Virtual de Arabistas y Africanistas Españoles.
* Universo Lorca
El Concurso del Cante Jondo de 1922. Web dedicada a la vida y obra de Federico García Lorca y su vinculación con Granada.
(Diputación de Granada)
Flamenco show in Seville
Category:Spanish folk music
Category:European folk dances
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Category:Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity