Flamenco Dictionary Flamenco

  • "Alboreá" belongs to the "solea" group and the metrical style of 12 tempos. This is a singing for the gipsy weddings. For the gipsy "cantaores" it is a singing that we have to keep back for weddings and we should not sing it out of this occasion. The rhythm and the guitar accompaniement are identical to the "soleá". The lyrics usually consist of hexasyllables. Belongs to the group of the singings influenced by the "soleá".

  • The "alegrias" are festive singings belonging to the Cadiz singings group (called Cantiñas). Its "copla" or verse usually contain four verses octosyllables. Its melody incites to the dance.
    Its rhythm is determined by the "compas" metre of the "soleá", but its is different from the "soleá" regarding its tempo, much faster. It is a light style, happy and sensual, with a clear dancing rhythm.

  • Thumb technique of the right hand for the flamenco guitar. This technique consists in reproduce three sounds with only two "ataques", making "tresillos" more or less fast, characteristic of the flamenco music.

  • Guitar arpeggios are broken chords where the notes are played one at a time rather than simultaneously.
    A group of notes which are played one after the other, either going up or going down. Executing an arpeggio requires the player to play the sounds of a chord individually to differentiate the notes.

  • Flamenco guitar technique, consiting of dragging a finger of the rigth hand, generally the index finger, from the first string to the sixth, from down to up and quite quick. Pluck a string without lifting the finger if the neck and dragit to another string.

  • The time signature (also known as "meter signature") is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each measure and what note value constitutes one beat. In the beat 2/4. Each meter with two beats. The first one is the string beat and the second one is the weak beat.

  • Choreographic performances of the wedding if a gypsy. Almost all group is made up by woman. The musicians and the boss of the dance flap the "sonajas".

  • Typical flamenco palo from Jerez de la Frontera, generally with three or four octosyllable lines. Generally used as a refrain for other flamenco palos, as the solea for example.
    At the begining teh buleria was slow and rhythmic, only to dance. Then, the singers extended its importance with their voices. Now it is also an individual folk song.

  • This song, known as the "cabales" is a changed "seguiriya". El Fillo named it like that. An anecdote tells that El Fillo sung for the great bullfighter "Paquiro" a lot of seguiriyas and Paquiro, enthusiastic and generous, gave him a gold coin.
    When El Fillo went shopping the singer realized that the coin wasn't perfect.
    Then El Fillo decided to find Paquiro and he asked him: "Please, tell me, Master, was something missing to my singing...?" The bullfighter answered negatively and was very surprised with the question. The singer added: "Were my seguiriyas "cabales" - complete?"
    Since then we called cabales the changed seguiriyas.
  • Choreographic pantomime, representing the begging of perdon of a gypsy because he stole his girlfriend. That means that the woman is now forming part of a new group, she belongs to a new family.
  • After the primitive period, when the flamenco song and flamenco dance were interpreted in friends meetings, in patios we know a new period called "Café Cantantes".
    We consider this period of "Café Cantante" the most importamt, because its classicism, definition of the styles and spreading outside the usual limits of Andalusia.
    Places where they sell drinks and offering singing recitals, but also toque shows and flamenco dance performances. We can set the splendor period between 1847 and 1920 and its decadence from the 20s.
    Generally it was a spacious living room, decorated with mirrors and bullfighters posters, with chairs and tables and a scene (a wooden scene) where they performed.
    On the sides they were boxes for the moneyed audience and private rooms for the parties and family dinners.
    We can divide the "Café Cantantes" into "general" where we sung all kind of folk songs and "Experts" where one kind of song dominated.

  • A Campanillero is a flamenco cante or song form. It is in couplets of six verses. It has its origin in sacred songs of Andalusia which were chanted during the early morning procession known as Rosario de la Aurora.

  • The Caña can be considerated like a fundamental song of the flamenco. Its melodic influence is unquestionable, nt only in minor songs but also in some of the oldest styles, the original ones.
    Some prestigious opinions locate the soleas and the siguiriyas before the caña. But we are not sure about that.
    The Caña uses and covers all voice's styles, very difficult to sing, requires technique and vocal abilities.

  • The lyrics of the Andalusian singing are more literary, pretentious and express common feelings. Popular versions of poems, sometimes originated in the theater and zarzuela (some typical Spanish opera).
    It exists a duality between the gypsy singing and the Andalusian singing, diminishing with the time. Today we call both of them Flamenco Singing.

  • When the job of reaping is finished, at the end of the day, begins the singing, the old one, simple and clear song of trilla.
    The Song of Trilla, melodically very similar to the lullaby, is not an exclusive Andalusian song. In Castilla you will find genuine Songs of Trilla. This kind if song doesn't need the guitar to find its compas, but only the sound of little bells and the voices of the man encouraging the work of the animals.

  • The gypsy singing is characterized by its sober accompaniment. Somtimes sung "a palo seco", without accompaniment. Until the 20th century there was no guitar. They sing their experiences. The lyrics are not melodramatic, but expressed very naturally.
  • When a syllable of the line is sung on 3 or more notes.
    The singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession. Music sung in this style is referred to as melismatic, as opposed to syllabic, where each syllable of text is matched to a single note.
  • The cantaor must now face folk songs with higher melodic production. It is the "tercio" of the high tessitura and connected verses, done without breathing between one and another, a complete melodic phrase. In this "tercio" a good cantaor shows his power and tries to transmit it.

  • Used like shortening of "Flamenco Song", designates the group of musical compositions with different styles, emerged between the last third of XVIII. Century and the first part of XIX. Century thanks to the juxtaposition of musical and folkloric forms existing in Andalusia.

  • The Cantiñas is a group of flamenco palos (musical forms), originated in the area of Cádiz in Andalusia (although some styles of cantiña have developed in the province of Seville). They share the same compás or rhythmic pattern with the soleá and are usually sung in a lively rhythm (between 120 and 160 beats per minute). They are normally sung in a major mode and have a festive mood.
    The usual chord positions for the tonic chord in the guitar are those of E major, C major and, occasionally, A major, the latter usually reserved for solo guitar pieces. The chord progression is normally of the simple tonic-dominant type, although modern guitar players introduce other transitional chords.

  • It seems that the current Caracoles are coming from an old Cantiña, entitles "La Caracolera", Cantiña from Cadiz, you can dance on it and the cantaores have extended itm adding "tercios" or mixing it with other Canitñas.

  • A flamenco palo, musical dance and song style, very Spanish. Generally a song with couplet of four octosyllable verses.
    Like the Martinete it is considerated like a kind if Toná, its lyrics are dedicated to themes in relation with the prison and the prisoners. Interpreted without guitar (palo seco).

  • Born in Taranta, with some infletcions of the Malagueña. The Cartagenera is located between the Taranta and the Malagueña, under an emotive point of view. Eastern song, free performance.

  • Used to change tones in the flamenco guitar. 
    Device used for shortening the strings, and hence raising the pitch, of a stringed instrument such as a guitar, mandolin or banjo.

  • The left hand positions in the guitar playing. They make up the harmony that accompanies the singing, the "toque" and the dancing.

  • Festive song, including "jaleo", with knocks and a lot of compas, with nuances of the Buleria, coming from Jerez de la Frontera.

  • A tuning peg is used to hold a string in the pegbox of a stringed instrument. It may be made of ebony, rosewood, boxwood or other material. Some tuning pegs are ornamented with shell, metal, or plastic inlays, beads (pips) or rings.
    Turning the peg tightens or loosens the string, changing the pitch produced when the string is played and thereby tuning it

  • Alboreá, Alegrías, Bamberas, Cantiñas, Caña, Caracoles, Fandangos, Verdiales, Mirabrá, Caracoles, Romeras, Rondeñas, Sevillanas, Soleá and Soleá por bulerías.

  • Song or dance interpreted respecting faithfully the rhythm or cadence of the corresponding style, generally marked by the guitar.

    The compas is the time signature (also known as "meter signature") is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each measure and what note value constitutes one beat.
    In a musical score, the time signature appears at the beginning of the piece, immediately following the key signature (or immediately following the clef if the piece is in C major, A minor, or a modal subset). A mid-score time signature, usually immediately following a barline, indicates a change of meter.

  • The compas is the time signature (also known as "meter signature") is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each measure and what note value constitutes one beat.
    In a musical score, the time signature appears at the beginning of the piece, immediately following the key signature (or immediately following the clef if the piece is in C major, A minor, or a modal subset). A mid-score time signature, usually immediately following a barline, indicates a change of meter.

  • The flamenco is a living dance and constantly in progress, but its basic characteristics have been crystallized between 1869 and 1929, the golden period of flamenco.
    The foundation of the flamenco dance is its indissoluble relation with the guitar, indispensable instrument of the flamenco.

  • ld rural holiday coming from Andalusia and Extremadura; mainly celebrated by the youth, and the nother of these young persons.
    When they celebrated big processions the most important person of the village or of the neighborhood assumed the responsability of managing difficult situations.
    At the begining of the XVIII. Century, these kind of parties are called popular parties as its music and dances, the fandangos.

  • Debla, it belongs to the songs without guitar, to the group of free styles, Debla, in the "calé" dialect, means "goddess". Like that the gypsies, when they gave that name to this old form to sing, wanted to proclaim it like the goddess of all the flamenco styles. In relation with the martinete and the carcelera. The debla is full of "melismas", more devastated and hurt that the martinete.

  • Moment of the dance when we close a section, or the end of different steps, very typical for the flamenco dance esthetic. Corresponding to the simple rasgueos of the guitar at the end of a tune. Executed with a strong foot knock on the floor.

  • The Andalusian "duende" (spirit) is like a mysterious and ineffable spell. Mysterious power that everybody feels but nobody can explain. In the flamenco imaginary the "duende" is more than technique or inspiration. To find the "duende" there is no exercises neither map. When a flamenco artists has this mysterious charm we say that he has "duende" or he sings, dances with "duende".

  • A Falseta is part of a Flamenco song, much as a sentence is part of a paragraph. The artists improvise their own falsetas which are then put together to form the whole song. Most Flamenco forms have strongly defined rhythmic patterns.

  • Fandango is a lively folk and flamenco couple-dance usually in triple metre, traditionally accompanied by guitars and castanets or hand-clapping (palmas in Spanish). Fandango can both be sung and danced. The sung fandango is usually bipartite: it has an instrumental introduction followed by "variaciones". Sung fandango usually follows the structure of "cante" that consist of four or five octosyllabic verses (coplas) or musical phrases (tercios). Occasionally the first copla is repeated...
    The metre of fandango is similar to that of the bolero and seguidilla. It was originally notated in 6/8 time, but later in 3/8 or 3/4.

  • An eastern folk song, belonging to the fandango style, well known all over Andalusia. Folk songs more alongated in its pronunciation, more folkloric, with more style. Danced in the region of Andalusia, sometimes accompied by orchestra like the pasodobles.

  • Farruca is a form of Flamenco music, probably originating in the Galicia region of north-western Spain. It is a light form typical of cante chico, and is traditionally danced only by men. It is seldom sung.
    The farruca is commonly played in the key of A minor, with each compás equivalent to 2 measures of 4/4 time with emphasis on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th beats: [1] 2 [3] 4 [5] 6 [7] 8
    Nobody has ever proven in any way that the Farruca came from Galicia. The earliest Farruca recordings are actually villancicos (Christmas songs) lyrics. There is only a very brief mention of Galicia by La Niña de los Peines. The name Farruca is etimological more connected to the Arabic language, in which the first name Faruk and the last name al-Farruqui are very common. Also the Farruca is very close to the Zambra in rhythm and flavor.

  • Flamenco is a Spanish musical genre with origins in Andalusia and a term that refers both to a musical genre, known for its intricate rapid passages, and a dance genre characterized by its audible footwork. The origins of the term are unclear. The word Flamenco, which applies to the song, the dance and the guitar, did not come into use until the 19th century.
    Flamenco embodies a complex musical and cultural tradition. Although considered part of the culture of Spain, flamenco actually originates from one of Spain's regions: Andalusia. However, other areas, mainly Extremadura and Murcia, have contributed to the development of several flamenco musical forms, and a great number of renowned flamenco artists have been born in other territories of the country. It is generally acknowledged that flamenco grew out of the unique interplay of native Arabic, Andalusian, Sephardic, and Gypsy cultures that existed in Andalusia prior to and after the Reconquest. Latin American and especially Cuban influences have also been important in shaping the rumba flamenco form. Flamenco is the music of the gypsies and played in their social community. Andalusian people who grew up around gypsies and the life were also accepted as "flamencos" (Paco de Lucía).

  • Flamenco show: singing, dancing and guitar. Very common between 1920 and 1936 around Spain. Generally performed in bullfighting squares and huge theaters.

  • Flamencology, from the Spanish word Flamencología, is an academic discipline pertaining to the Flamenco arts. It combines research, documentation, and other techniques to achieve the diffusion and preservation of the art. First use in 1955.

  • It is a flamenco palo, musical style of singing and Spanish dancing. Created by Juan Peña "El Lebrijano" with its fundation in the buleria. It is not a very extended folk song among other singers.

  • The garrotin is a kind of flamenco song, coming from Asturias and its folklore.
    Porbably originated by the Catlonian gipsies, with its fundations in the tango compas. This song is accompanied by a dance and its peak period is at the begining of XX. Century.

  • A very primitive flamenco style. The gypsies sung this kind of songs during their private meetings. With a light solea compas or solea por bulerias, created on the "Romances Gitanos" (Gypsy Romance) during the Middle Age.

  • Flamenco guitar technique, when you bang/beat the top of the guitar, in the upper part of the baseboard or on the "golpeador".

  • Granadinas/Granainas, they belong to the Andalusian songs group, styles from Malaga, and to the group of "libres" or free styles. The medium "granaina", should be from Granada if we trust its name, but they come from the old fandango (verdial) originated in Ronda and Malaga and then they arrived to Granada. Therefore we include the medium "granaina" among the styles from Malaga. Song with a clear melodic line. The flourish of the voice is the bridge to the tone changes.

  • Known like this in the verse metre, contains six metric sillables. With an accenton th fifth and on one of the first syllables. If we have an accent on the second one we say that its rhythm is "anfibraquito" and if it is on a odd syllable we say that its is Troca.

  • Flamenco song from the group of the Cantes Abandolaos. The Jabera is one of the oldest songs among the syle from Malaga, with a deep expression, but not a lot of cantaores sing it.
    La Jabera, long and difficult, is a deep song with an Andalusian accent and a direct emotion.

  • Miner songs, one of the less known, coming from the Taranta, like the Murciana, the Taranto and the Minera, and like the Cartagenera coming from a folkloric fandango typical of Cartagena. The miner used to sing it when the went to work. Also known as the Madrugá song, coming from the primitive Taranta, sung in Almeria, Linares and La Union.

  • Portato in music denotes slurred staccato and is notated by adding a slur to staccato notes.
    Portato (from Latin: portare, = to carry) is actually articulated legato, where the notes are played almost legato. Each portato note is 'carried' to the next note.

  • It is a flameno song coming from the seguiriyas group. Typical from the South, clear and simple, the livianas haven'tany Arabic or Hebraic influence. They talk about the Andalusian country with a genuine emotion. Born without guitar, no accompaniment, in the throat of the countryman. The ones who created this kind of song sung it like a prelude or preparation to an other country style song: the Serrana.
    The Serrana and Livianas merged into one song, with a guitaristic rhythm of the seguiriya, it needs to be sung experts with fabulous abilities.
    After that, the Liviana disappeared, we only practise the Serrana; but some of the old cantaores til sing it. Today we receive that song as an individual song, with a popular and rural flavor.

  • With the rhythm and compas of the Buleria, on poems by Federico Garcia Lorca who converted Pastora Pavón into a creative and festive style with touches of Buleria.

  • Malagueñas is one of the traditional styles of flamenco, derived from earlier types of fandango from the area of Málaga, classified among the Cantes de Levante. Originally a folk-song type, it became a flamenco style in the 19th century. It is not normally used for dance, as it is generally interpreted with no regular rhythmic pattern, as a "cante libre". It has a very rich melody with virtuous flourishes and use of microtones. Its guitar accompaniment is normally played in open position first inversion giving E for the tonic, which can be transposed by using a capo.

    Malagueñas derive from local variety of the Fandangos, a type of dance that, with different regional variations and even different names, became very popular in great part of Spain in the 18th century. Although nowadays malagueñas are a typical instance of "cante libre", performed at libitum and normally not used for the dance, folkloric fandangos were originally sung and played at a fast speed, with a rhythmic pattern in 6/8, to accompany dance. Some of these primitive fandangos from Málaga, called Verdiales are still performed nowadays at folkloric gatherings by large non-professional groups called "Pandas", which use a high number of guitars, "bandurrias" (a sort of mandoline), violins, and tambourines.

  • Coming from the "aflamencamiento" of an Andalusian song. A flamenco palo, music style: singing and Spanish dancing. Binary palo, from de tangos group. The popular acceptance if this song begun on the XX. Century.

  • Coming from the Tonás group (a palo seco), possible accompaniment of the anvil and the hammer. A flamenco palo, musical style: singing and Spanish dancing. Generally a song with copla of four octosyllable verses.
    Generally with sad content, with long whines.

  • A flamenco palo, singing and Spanish dancing musical style. Copla with five octosyllable lines, consonant rhyme. We usually repeat one of them (the first or second one) during the singing. It belongs to the "Levante" songs style. We think that its creator is Antonio Chacón.

  • The medium "granaina", should be from Granada if we trust its name, but they come from the old fandango (verdial) originated in Ronda and Malaga and then they arrived to Granada. Therefore we include the medium "granaina" among the styles from Malaga. Song with a clear melodic line. The flourish of the voice is the bridge to the tone changes.

  • Melisma, in music, is the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession. Music sung in this style is referred to as melismatic, as opposed to syllabic, where each syllable of text is matched to a single note.

  • Milonga can refer to an Argentine, Uruguayan, and Southern Brazilian form of music which preceded the tango and the dance form which accompanies it, or to the term for places or events where the tango or Milonga are danced (see Milonga (place)). The term milonga comes from a similar expression that means "lyrics".
    The Milonga originated in the Río de la Plata area of Argentina and Uruguay and has its roots from various European music. It was very popular in the 1870s. The Milonga was derived from an earlier style of singing known as the payada de contrapunto.
    The song was set to a lively 2/4 tempo, and often included musical improvisation. Over time, dance steps and other musical influences were added, eventually giving rise to the tango. Despite 2/4 formula, rhythm is irregular. It is syncopated, consisting of 8 beats with accents on the 1st, (sometimes also 2nd) 4th, 5th, and 7th beats.

  • Flamenco song from the Cantiñas group, Cadiz. With a copla of four or five octosyllable lines, born around the middle of XIX. Century.
    It belongs to the group of "Levante" songs, to the miner songs. Well known as the songs from the mine of La Union, in Murcia, Cartagena.

  • The Mirabras contains a sweet and graceful accent of the low Andalusia, but also the strenght and nerve of the rural Andalusia.
    Generally sung during the rest, after work. A dance for the flamenco choir in an Andalusian patio; a song insinuating love feeling.
    The Mirabras is one of the most important dance of the flamenco folklore.

  • A "scale" is an ordered series of intervals, which, along with the key or tonic, defines that scale's pitches. However, "mode" is usually used in the sense of "scale" applied only to the specific diatonic scales.
    In the flamenco "mode": Mi.

  • Nuevo Flamenco ("New Flamenco") is synonymous with contemporary flamenco and is a modern derivative of traditional flamenco (see the cafés cantantes period, and Ramón Montoya (1880-1949)).
    It is widely accepted that Nuevo Flamenco started in 1975 with the Lole y Manuel first album Nuevo Día. Although the most important early pioneers of modern flamenco are widely accepted to be the guitarist Paco de Lucía, and singer Camarón de la Isla, other musical genres have also played a key role in influencing nuevo flamenco. The central focal points of this genre are compás (rhythm), baile (dance), and cante (song). Although the guitar is arguably the most common instrument in flamenco, it is said that the person playing the instrument is flamenco, not the instrument itself.

  • '¡Olé!', is a Spanish word used to cheer and applaud the cantaores and Andalusian dancers. It could come from the Hebrew verb Joleh, that means "throw to the air".
    In the same sense, we can also connect it to the voices "arza" and "ole".

  • A clap is the sound made by striking together two flat surfaces, as in the body parts of humans or animals. Humans clap with the palms of their hands, often in a constant drone to express appreciation or approval (see applause), but also in rhythm to match sounds in music and dance. Seals are among the animals that clap.
    Some people slap the back of one hand into the palm of the other hand to signify urgency or enthusiasm; others consider it uncouth
    Perhaps the best-known koan involves (at least superficially) consideration of the act of clapping: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
    Clapping is used as a percussion element in many forms of music, for example in Flamenco and Gospel music.

  • Flamenco music styles are called palos in Spanish. There are over 50 different palos flamenco, although some of them are rarely performed. A palo can be defined as musical form of flamenco. Flamenco songs are classified into palos based on several musical and non-musical criteria such as its basic rhythmic pattern, mode, chord progression, form of the stanza, or geographic origin. The rhythmic patterns of the palos are also often called compás. A compás (the Spanish normal word for either time signature or bar) is characterised by a recurring pattern of beats and accents.

  • Organizations formed like associations by amateurs of the flamenco art, to excite and spread the singing, the dancing and the flamenco toque. Born in the sixties in Andalusia, extendiing all over Spain and foreign countries. The main theme discussed in the Peñas Flamencas is the flamenco art.

  • The Petenera is a flamenco palo in a 12-beat metre, with strong beats distributed as follows: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]. It is therefore identical with the 16th century Spanish dances zarabanda and the jácara.
    The lyrics are in 4-line stanzas.
    It is believed to be a very old style of song, as it was already mentioned by writer Serafín Estébanez Calderón in the mid 19th century, and the adherence to the rhythm of the old zarabanda seems to confirm its age.

  • Guitare technique of the right hand to realize a melody with the following fingers: index finger and finger ring (someones realize this technique with three fingers).
  • Polo is the name of a flamenco palo or musical form. There is only one known song in this palo, which is extremely similar to another palo called caña, and its guitar accompaniment, like the caña, shares its rhythm and motifs with soleá. Both the caña and polo share the same musical mode. In fact, the polo has usually been considered as a derivation of the caña. To complete the singing of the polo, singers usually sing a stanza in the palo of soleá, generally a the style called soleá apolá.
    Although nowadays, only one song is known for the polo, known as polo natural, past writers also mention another polo, called polo de Tobalo, which has probably been lost.
    As to the metre and musical mode, they are the same as for the soleá, that is 12-beat metre (or alternating 3/4 and 6/8).
    The guitar accompaniment and falsetas are also inspired by the soleá, although some special arpeggios are included after the second line of each section ("con catorce" and "y viva el polo") and during the singing of the melismas. It is always accompanied in the guitar chord position of E for the tonic. Musicologist Hipólito Rossy stated that the song was in [major mode] and 3-beat metre (Rossy [1966] 1998), but it is obvious that he was not very familiar with this palo, as all recordings show the typical soleá rhythm and Phrygian mode. He might have been influenced by the recording of singer Jacinto Almadén, in which guitarist Perico el del Lunar certainly uses some chords insinuating the major mode.
    Both the caña and the polo seem to have enjoyed great success and were considered the finest type of flamenco song at the beginning of the 19th century. Serafín Estébanez Calderón, in his book from 1847 Escenas andaluzas (Andalusian Scenes), mentioned famous singer El Planeta (the protagonist in one of the scenes), as "King of both polos". He also assured that the polo was difficult to sing and that it was derived from the caña and mentions the polo de Tobalo. The polo is widely mentioned in the literature of the 19th century. Most important singers at the time included it in their repertoire, up to the times of Antonio Chacón, who is reported to be one of the latest great performers of this song.

    Although historic sources mention two or more polos, only one variety is known for sure to have survived to our days: the polo natural. Singer Pepe de la Matrona recorded a version of the polo Tobalo at the end of the 1969s, but the authenticity of this recorded version has been put in doubt by several critics on the grounds that he could never explain who he had heard it from (Álvarez Caballero 1998).

    The only old recording with the title of polo, prior to its rediscovery in the 1950s, was made by La Rubia and it resembles the caña even more than the usual version of the polo natural. In 1960, at the time of reappraisal of traditional cante, the polo natural was recorded by Jacinto Almadén (also known as "El Niño de Almadén"), in the Antología del cante flamenco compiled by guitarist Perico el del Lunar and flamencologist Tomás Andrade de Silva.

  • To understand this concept we have to imagine a watch with the numbers 1 to 12.
    We keep the 1, the2, the 3, the 4, the 5, the 6, the 7, the 8, the 9, the 10, and we show the 11 as the 1 and the 12 as the 2.
    Now we visualize the imaginary watch and we trace a line from the 12 (like the 2) and to the 6. The right side is called 6/8 and the left side the 3/4, and the imaginary line is called the accent.
    The right side of the circle corresponds to the six times of a 6x8 compas, with accents on 12 (2) and on the 3, dividing the six times in two groups of three, 2-1-2 and 3-4-5.
    The left side shows the six times of a 3x4 compas,  with accents on the 6, 8 and 10, divided in three groups of two: 6-7; 8-9; 10-11 (1).
    To count the twelve times of a flamenco compas we use the flamenco watch, it will help us to understand the rhthmical structure, it is like a rhythmical regulator.


  • Rhthmycal, melodic or harmonical cadence in the flamenco music. Last tercio/part, we usually accelerated the time and we changed the modal tone for the Major. We also know this culmination like macho or cambio, with a clear musical structure.

  • This is a widespread experience: at the end of each "coplas" session (three or four, the ones sung in a row, after that they experienced small breaks) each dancer or "bailaoe" had the right to give a "ritual hug" to his "bailaora". It usually was a simple gesture: to lay arms on the "bailaora" shoulders, or a similar gesture.
    When the hug was more demonstrative than the conventions allow, some of the observers reprimanded the dancer. The ending varied, from laughs in the best cases to fights with knife wounds and even deaths.

  • Song, also known as "corrido" or "corrida", with a very special intonation, based in the popular Andalusian Romances. Interpreted without accompaniment, possibly the most primitive flamenco style.

  • Flamenco song from the group of the Cantiñas, Cadiz. Romero el "Tito", popular Andalusian cantaor from XIX. century created from an old Cantiña a danceable style and he called it Romera.
  • A flamenco palo coming from the city of Ronda, in Malaga. As the rest of flamenco palos coming from Malaga, the Rondeña is prior to the current flamenco.
    It's a copla with four octosyllable lines, generally with a consonant rhyme. With or without repetition of the second line.
    It's a composition without compas, the lyrics talk about the rural life. Now it's slower than before.

  • Rumbas, they belong to the Latin American branch, to the tangos group and the measure is binary. "Aflamencado" songs belonging to the songs of "Ida y Vuelta". A musical rhythm like a dance style coming from Africa, through the slave trade to Cuba. The rumba arrived in Spain with the flamenca rumba and the Catalonian rumba. Connected to the "guaracha" more than with the Cuban rumba.
    Three different "tumbadoras":
    El Guaguancó, (La Habana)
    La Columbia, (Matanzas)
    El Yambú. (Matanzas)

  • The Saeta is a type of Spanish religious song dating back many centuries. The Saeta antigua [old Saeta] probably arose from the recitation of psalms under the influence of liturgical music."Saetas vary greatly in form and style, ranging from simple syllabic melodies to highly ornamented ones."Since the nineteenth century, however, the most favored Saetas have incorporated distinct elements associated with Flamenco music, particularly the siguiriyas.

    The Saeta is best known for its mournful power during Holy Week,when by Catholic tradition the song is performed during the processions by religious confraternities that move through the streets of cities and towns in southern Spain.

  • Introduction to the singing and the dancing. The cantaor tunes his voice, he consolidates the tone and the tempo is marked by the guitar, and he sings the first "ayeos" typical of each style. or the "tarabillas" like "tirititran", "lerele", "ay, ay".
    This is the primitive element: the "quejio", the groan. Also called "escobilla" or "desplante".
  • Siguiriyas (also seguiriyas, seguidilla gitana or playera) is a form of flamenco music belonging to the cante jondo category. Its deep, expressive style is among the most important in flamenco. The siguiriyas are normally played in the key of A Phrygian with each measure (or compás) consisting of 12 counts with emphasis on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 8th and 11th beats as shown here: [1] 2 [3] 4 [5] 6 7 [8] 9 10 [11] 12
    This rhythm can be contrasted to the rhythmic pattern of the soleares, which also has 12 beats, but the accents fall differently. Taking the unusual accenting into account, it can technically be seen as a measure of 3/4 (counted in eight notes) starting on "2", then a measure of 6/8 followed by the "1 and" of the 3/4. Every note is evenly spaced apart. For example: [2] and [3] and [1] 2 3 [4] 5 6 [1] and
    However, this presents difficulties in counting and is counted more simply in 5 beats, with three "short" and two "long" beats: [1] and [2] and [3] and uh [4] and uh [5] and
    In this case, the 1, 2, and 5 are the short beats and the 3 and 4 are long beats.

  • From the group of the seguiriyas, the Serrana is a rural song all over Andalusia. Also very present in the vineyards of Jerez.
    Then the serrana jumped to the cities and found support in the guitar.

  • Sevillanas is a type of folk music, sung and written in Seville (Andalusia) in Spain. Historically, they are a derivative of Castilian folk music (seguirilla). Technically, they are an evolution from Castilian seguidillas, they have a relatively limited musical pattern, but rich lyrics, based on country side life, virgins, towns, neighborhoods, pilgrimage and, of course, love themes. They are sung by a plethora of local groups, like Los Romeros de la Puebla, Los Amigos de Gines, Las Corraleras de Lebrija, Cantores de Hispalis, and Los del Río. Every year, dozens of new sevillanas discs are published.
    Sevillanas can be heard in southern Spain, mainly, in fairs and festivals, including the famous Seville Fair, La Feria de Sevilla. There is an associated dance for the music: "Baile por sevillanas", consisting of four different parts. One can find schools teaching "baile por sevillanas" in nearly every town in Spain.
    Generally speaking, sevillanas are very light and happy music.

    Sevillana is a popular flamenco-style dance from Seville. Its rhythm is 3/4 or better 6/8.
    The Sevillana did not originate in Seville. It is an old folk dance, danced by couples of all ages and sexes during celebrations (fiestas or ferias), often by whole families and 'pueblos'. Sevillanas choreography is very stable, and knowing it is very useful, since it is a fiesta dance. This is why learning flamenco usually starts with this particular dance: it is easier to reach a particular level and there are more occasions for practice and training (even for men).
    Each sevillana is composed of 4 parts, with each part divided into 3 'coplas', and with each copla made up of 6 movements. It is a very vivid dance, often excluded from flamenco by "purists". Paradoxically, during spectacles and shows it is usually Sevillana dancing that ordinary people (not born in Andalusia) take for 'the real, true flamenco', as it is full of turns.

  • Sevillanas is a type of folk music, sung and written in Seville (Andalusia) in Spain. Historically, they are a derivative of Castilian folk music (seguirilla). Among the ancient sevillanas the most popular are named the sevillanas corraleras. Born in neighborhoods like Triana, la Macarena, ,San Bernardo, La Feria and la Alameda. Technically, they are an evolution from Castilian seguidillas, they have a relatively limited musical pattern, but rich lyrics, based on country side life, virgins, towns, neighborhoods, pilgrimage and, of course, love themes.

  • "Soleares" (a simpler version of "soleá") is one of the most basic forms or "palos" of Flamenco music, probably originated around Cádiz or Seville in Andalusia, the most southern region of Spain. It is normally accompanied by one guitar only, in the key of E phrygian, although relatively often it is also heard in A phrygian.
    When singers sing soleá, as with most palos, they normally choose different stanzas, with different melody, and combine them according to the inspiration of the moment or to a previous plan. Even if the singer has a previous plan, he often alters it on the spur of the moment. These stanzas are independent in subject matter from one another.
    The content of the lyrics is generally serious in nature, as appropriate to the solemn air of the music. They often have a sententious tone and convey a feeling of intimate pain. Sometimes despair, more typical of seguiriya, can also appear. However, it is difficult to generalize: sometimes a less serious stanza can turn up in the middle of other serious ones, and irony is frequent.

    The stanza of the soleá has three or four lines. In four-line stanzas, the second and fourth line are in assonant rhyme, while the first and second are free. In three-line stanzas, the assonance is between the first and the third.
    Soleá is one of the flamenco palos with the highest number of traditional songs, and it is particularly appreciated by knowledgeable artists and audiences. It is very demanding for singers, as they have to strive to be creative and, at the same time, respectful of the tradition, and they have to succeed in finding a good balance between melodic and rhythmic sides, both extremely difficult. It demands great vocal faculties, and the singer should achieve a balance between passion and restraint.

    The melody of a soleá stanza usually stays within a limited range (usually not more than a 5th). Its difficulty lies in the use of melisma and microtones, which demand great agility in the voice. It is usual to start a series of soleares with a more restrained stanza in the low register, while continuing to more and more demanding styles. The series is quite often finished with a stanza in a much more vivid tempo in Major mode.

    The metre or "compás" of the soleá of the is one of the most widely used in Flamenco. Other palos have derived their compás from the soleá, including Bulerías por soleá, the palos in the Cantiñas group, like Alegrías, Romeras, Mirabrás, Caracoles or, to a certain extent, Bulerías. It consists of 12 beats. However, the distribution of strong and weak beats totally differs from the 12 beat metres used in classical music. Instead, it could be described as a combination of triple and duple beat bars, so it's a polymetre form. However, strong beats are at the end of each bar, instead of at the beginning (as it would be normal in Western music).

    Soléa develops in Phrygian mode. To symplify, we could say it is traditionally played in E Phrygian (often also in A Phrygian). To adapt to the pitch of the singer, guitarists can use a capo, so that they can play in other keys preserving the traditional chord positions. Modern guitarists, though, often play soleá using other chord positions or even changing the tuning of the guitar to experiment with new sounds, especially in solo instrumental pieces.

    The typical flamenco progression A minor, G, F, E (called Andalusian progression) is heard several times during the development of the song. 

    Soleá guitar style is easily identified by its metre and Phrygian mode, but also by a series of characteristic strummings and phrases which are heard several times, called "llamadas", with multiple variations, along a song or solo piece. A modern guitarist, when playing soleá, will combine longer musical fragments called "falsetas" with these characteristic strummings and phrases, which are used to mark the beginning and end of the falsetas and to show the singer (if there is one) that the falseta is over and he can start singing.

    When a guitarist plays in E key, he is said to play "por arriba" ("up"), while, if he plays in A phrygian, he is said to play "por medio" ("in the middle"). The reason for this is that most flamenco singers and guitarists do not usually have any formal musical training: they cannot identify the key, but only the position of the fingers.

    Soleá guitar playing is extremely rich in techniques and rhythmic play. This has made it a favourite among solo concert guitarists. Among the guitarists that have excelled in this "palo" for solo concert are Ramón Montoya, Sabicas, Paco de Lucía, Gerardo Núñez and Rafael Riqueni.

    The origins of this "palo", as it happens in fact with most "palos", is very much in the dark, and has been subject to much unproved speculation. In spite of being one of the most prestigious "palos", the soleá is considered to be relatively new compared to Tonás and Seguiriyas. The earliest known mention of them, referred to as "soledades", is that of Spanish poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, in 1862. The existence of them prior to 1850 is often stated, but has never been proved. Folklorist Demófilo assured, as early as 1879, that they derived from the "coplas de jaleo", a kind festive song style in a very lively rhythm, apparently very popular in the mid 19th century. These facts contradict other views according to which the soleá would be the origin of the rest of flamenco "palos" and was from the beginning a serious and solemn style. In their primitive stages, soléa, as well as jaleo, seem to have been linked to Gypsy environments in several towns of the provinces of Cádiz and Seville.

    The golden age of the soleá is considered to be the last quarter of the 19th century, at the time when the "café cantante" (musical café) was the preferential venue for flamenco artists. Most of the soleá melodies we know have been attributed to singers who were active at that time. With the turn of the century, other "palos" like those belonging to the group "cantes libres" like malagueña, tarantas, or Cartageneras took the supremacy. At the times of the "Ópera Flamenca", it was further displace by Fandangos, popular songs fashioned to the Bulerías rhythm and "cantes de ida y vuelta" like the Guajiras.

    During the 50s-70s, at the time of the neo-traditionalism of Antonio Mairena and his school, the style went back into favour, becoming, together with Seguiriyas and Tonás one of the most valued by flamenco artists, critics and public. The soleá went again into disfavour after the birth of New Flamenco. Followers of Camarón de la Isla and his school tend to pay less attention to traditional, "hard" styles, and favour other more festive "palos" like Bulerías or tangos, which are easier to mix with pop and commercial music influences.

  • The soleariya is a derivative of the solea, its first line is hexasyllable and the others are endecasyllables. The soleariya can present the following structure: a first hexasyllable line, a second one with 10 or 12 syllables, and third one hexasyllable.
    In both cases the soleariya presents the same characteristics than the solea.

  • Singing or dancing accompaniment with palmas (hand clapping) or other procedures (palilleos, nudillos, golpes, etc.).

  • A flamenco palo with stanza (copla), with three or four octosyllable verses. One of the basic flamenco styles, with several modes; among others we emphasize on the ones from Cadiz, Triana, Jerez and Malaga. All the theories indicate that the origin of tango is between Cadiz and Sevilla. Nothing to do with the tango from Argentina. Possibly coming from some old songs (XIX. Century). First singers were El Mellizo and Aurelio Sellés in Cadiz, Pastora Pavón and el Titi in Sevilla, Frijones and el Mojama in Jerez, and La Pirula, la Repompa and el Piyayo in Málaga.

  • Tarantas is a style of flamenco from Almería, derived from the Andalusian fandango.
    Tarantas, they belong to the Andalusian songs branch, folk songs from the East coast, flamenco styles originated in the eastern provinces, Almeria and Murcia, songs from the mine, and free measure. They belong to the tangos group with a binary measure. The taranta is the major song of the eastern style. Long song, hard, rough and manly, only influenced by the fandango. The taranta is the mine song par excellence. Born in the miner basins the taranta is the reflect of the tortured landscapes and transmit the superhuman efforts and the tiredness of the first countrymen.
    Very romantic folk song and very expressive. The guitar is the tone support and keeps the rhythm.
  • Each one of the lyrics of some songs. Melodic verses. For example, for teh Solea, the first tercio is the first lyric and in a Malagueña the first tercio is the first melodic verse.

  • The time signature (also known as "meter signature") is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each measure and what note value constitutes one beat. In the beat 3/4. Each meter has three beats.
  • Tiento is a musical genre and flamenco palo originating in Spain in the mid-15th century. It is formally analogous to the fantasia (fantasy), found in England, Germany, and the Low Countries, and also the ricercare, first found in Italy. The word derives from the Spanish verb tentar (meaning either to touch, to tempt or to attempt), and was originally applied to music for various instruments. By the end of the 16th century the tiento was exclusively a keyboard form, especially of organ music. It continued to be the predominant form in the Spanish organ tradition through the time of Cabanilles, and developed many variants. Additionally, many 20th century composers have written works entitled "tiento."

  • Triana is a neighborhood in the city of Seville, Spain, across the river Guadalquivir from the center, and in fact the majority, of the city. Triana shares what is effectively an island (sitting between two arms of the Guadalquivir except for a narrow strip to the north where it is canalized under the ground) with Los Remedios to the south and La Cartuja to the north. The island is also named Isla de la Cartuja, and has been home to human settlement since before the Romans colonized Hispalis (Seville).

    Traditionally, residents of Triana consider the neighborhood to be an entity separate from the rest of Seville, as a result of its popular sense of identity. In reality, Triana forms an integral part of Seville, its culture, and its tradition.

    Triana has traditionally housed a large population of Gitanos (Roma), usually living in the old corral style communal homes. This image of Triana, however, is no longer accurate. Calle Betis, for example, is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the province, and indeed in the region as a whole, and much of the neighborhood is considerably well-to-do.

  • The conga or tumbadora is a tall, narrow, single-headed Cuban drum with African antecedents. It is thought to be derived from the Makuta drums or similar drums associated with Afro-Cubans of Central African descent. A person who plays conga is called a "conguero". Although ultimately derived from African drums made from hollowed logs, the Cuban conga is staved, like a barrel. These drums were probably made from salvaged barrels originally. They are used both in Afro-Caribbean religious music and as the principal instrument in Rumba. Congas are now very common in Latin music, including salsa music, merengue music, Reggaeton, as well as many other forms of American popular music.
    Most modern congas have a staved wooden or fiberglass shell, and a screw-tensioned drumhead. They are usually played in sets of two to four with the fingers and palms of the hand. Typical congas stand approximately 75 cm from the bottom of the shell to the head. The drums may be played while seated. Alternatively, the drums may be mounted on a rack or stand to permit the player to play while standing.

  • Verdiales are a Flamenco music style, and song form belonging to Canté Chico.

    Originating near the Spanish port of Málaga in Andalucia, it is based upon the fandango. For this reason, the Verdiales are sometimes known as Fandangos de Málaga..

    Normally played in the key of E major (rarely, A minor), the Verdiales have a 12-count rhythm similar to the Soleares, and Bulerias.

  • A musical style, not to dance, characteristic of the folklor from Argentina and Uruguay. The Vidalita is sometimes confused with the Vidala. Both from Collam in the north-east of Argentina, specially in the regions of Caramarca and Tucuman.

  • Morisco party with music and "algazara". Subsequently, the typical party of the Andalusian gypsies. Today we use the "zambra granadina".
    In the "cueva sdel Sacromonte" we will find three different dances: the "alboreá", the "cachucha" and the "mosca", symbols if the three moments of a gypsy wedding. This is an old dance.

  • The zapateado is a dance of Spanish origin characterized by a lively rhythm punctuated by the striking of the dancer's shoes, akin to tap dance. The name derives from the Spanish word zapato for "shoe": zapatear means to strike with a shoe.

    The dance is also popular in various countries of Latin America.

    The term is also used to refer to percussive footwork in some Spanish/Latin dances that involve elaborate shoe clicking and tapping and to the percussion music produced by shoe striking.

    Among the composers to write Spanish Zapateados is Paco de Lucía, whose Precussión Flamenca is a very popular piece for guitar and orchestra. Also Pablo de Sarasate, whose opus 23, no. 2 is a version of the dance scored for violin and piano. The piece is full of harmonics, double stops, left hand pizzicato and is often performed by young virtuosos.

  • Rhythmical percussion performed with the foot. Using the sole, the heel and the toe cap.
    The term is also used to refer to percussive footwork in some Spanish/Latin dances that involve elaborate shoe clicking and tapping and to the percussion music produced by shoe striking.
    Sole and heel.
    Redobles. Double knocks with the whole foot.
    Tembleque. We use only the heels.

  • Arabic stanza, specially suitable for singing. The origen of the carol. First we called it "Estribote", because of its origins: from a poem based in the "estribillo" (point of support).

  • Popular song and dance from the Andalusian music. Characteristic  for its ternary metric system. Famous performers: La Argentinita and Federico GArcia Lorca in 1931 (singing and piano). Not strictly a flamenco palo.

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