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Old 30th August 2010, 04:57 PM   #2
Super Forero
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Hampshire UK & Asturias Spain
Posts: 113

Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
I read in a book that has small pieces about the culture of the Spanish-speaking world that the flamenco dancing and style of guitar playing that is used to accompany the singing doesn't go back very far in time. It's a thing begun only about at the end of the nineteenth century?

Only the singing style is old. Yes?
Stephen I play a bit of flamenco guitar and have always enjoyed el arte. I believe luckily that there is no easy answer to your question. The origins of Flamenco can be traced back to India (the migrations around 800 and 900 AD), Egypt, any gypsy (gitano) roots wherever they may be. And influences have come from again all over from moorish times, the Jews and through to more recently Cuban.

The word flamenco doesn't seem to appear till the 1700s but some of the palos (styles) have origins back much further.

At the core of flamenco is compas. Compas is the cyclic rhythm unique to flamenco. A common compas is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 910 11 12 the bold being emphasised beats. When the compas is perfect then you have real flamenco. You may not know the compas but the hypnotic rhythm just melds with the atmosphere and you know it is right.

Certainly the singing dominates and with true flamenco today it still does. And the early singing was accompanied with percussion often in the form of palmas. The guitar (and other similar but more ancient instruments) was introduced to support the singer. As early as the mid 1800s Torres was making flamenco guitars that relate strongly to current day instruments. I think many may credit him with the first mass introduction of specific flamenco guitars.

The history of dance seems much less known (certainly to me ). However there is evidence of early dance forms that have similarities to indian dance several centuries ago.

I could go on but perhaps not. HTH

Here's one of my favourites playing Bulerias which is one of the more complex palos. Enjoy
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