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Alboreá: The Light of Dawn

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Music Singing Palos

The Alboreá is one of the least known palos outside of flamenco circles, and for this reason, it is a small treasure that flamenco newcomers discover with avid ears.

The alboreá is generally sung in couplets of four verses with six syllables and a chorus with a timing similar to that of a light solea or solea por bulerías, and its particularity is its intimacy and the part that it plays in gypsy weddings. Its externalization is sometimes considered a profanation of this palo reserved for nuptials, making its popularization harshly criticized.

The lyrics of the alboreá normally reference the virginity of the bride and the calé tradition. Its performance outside of the family was thought to bring bad luck, so very few recordings exist. Some of the singers that have performed the alboreá are Rafael Romero, Agujetas el Viejo and Joselero. Their performance of this palo is pure, racial and gruff.

It is also important to discover the alboreá sung by India Martínez, a 25 year old singer from Cordoba, whose interpretation is sweet and melodious in ‘Amanece el día.’

Flamenco historians chronologically situate the birth of the alboreá during the mid-19th Century, when the gypsy people began customizing the songs performed at their weddings, performing them with the aforementioned flamenco rhythm of the light soleá and soleá por bulerías. Currently, two styles of alboreá have been identified, one that is considered the authentic alboreá, which comes from Sevilla and Cádiz (lower Andalusia), and another that is typical of Córdoba, Granada, Jaén and Extremadura.

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