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The Flamenco (Spanish flamenco , from Dutch Vlaming " Flame ") is the name for a popular art genre from Andalusia, whose repertoire of songs and dances characterized by a characteristic of lecture, the effect particularly in dance through a typical flamenco dress is completed.

John Singer Sargent : Spanish dancer
Flamenco dancer in the Museo del baile flamenco in Seville (2014)
Claudio Castelucho : Flamenco
Flamenco group, Seville (2006)

Use and origin of the name

The word flamenco (from Dutch vlaming "Flame") has several meanings in the Spanish-speaking area and can be identified as a generic term for a popular art genre and the associated milieu from the middle of the 19th century. First of all, the word as Pluraletantum flamencos seems to have been expanded as a synonym for the Spanish, especially Andalusian gitanos ; in the further course, an adjectival use in word combinations such as cante flamenco established itself before it became the internationally used genre designation in the singular "flamenco" in the course of the 20th century.

There are numerous hypotheses about the origin and use of the term, but most of them are speculative in nature:

  • Flamenco is originally the Spanish name for a resident of the Spanish Netherlands . The term was colloquially extended to all people who lived north of the Pyrenees , allegedly also to the first groups of Gitanos, such as those of Juan de Egipto who had reached Spain via the northern route in 1425.
  • Flamenco as a name for the flamingo . The transfer of the name to the performers of flamenco stems from their behavior and their similarity to the strutting movements of the flamingo. This interpretation is not without a certain substance, since the mouth of the Guadalquivir is populated by large flamingo colonies until the present.
  • Flamenco as a phonetically corrupted form of an originally Arabic expression for "expelled farm workers". This interpretation comes from Blas Infante , one of the founders of Andalusian nationalism, who decidedly rejects the word interpretations listed above and cites felah-mengu as the alleged word origin . The author bases his theory on a historically, musically and psychologically well-founded analysis of the structures of flamenco singing, the origins of which he found in the expulsion of the Andalusian-Moorish rural population from the regions of Granada and Valencia at the beginning of the 17th century as a result of Philip's repressive policies III suspected.

History of flamenco

The emergence of flamenco is closely linked to the historical, social and cultural development of the southern Spanish region of Andalusia.

Problems and positions of research on the history of flamenco

Since the Flamenco has long been predominantly mediated schriftlos, emerged in the early phase of Flamenco research, mostly by lovers of Writers and journalists circles supported Flamencología , numerous theories on the origins of flamenco. Although these were mostly of a speculative nature, they nevertheless played a decisive role in shaping the public perception of flamenco up to the present day.

It was only with the end of the Franco dictatorship in the 1980s that research activities based on modern scientific standards developed, initiated by a professionally competent new generation of flamenco researchers with an interdisciplinary network in terms of the breadth of the topic .

Although the more recent research on the genesis of flamenco has in most cases not been able to verify the assumptions of the “traditional” flamencología or has largely refuted them, their - in the words of the Graz sociologist and flamenco researcher Gerhard Steingress - “speculative considerations and mystifications” are still going on Uncritically rumored in popular scientific literature.

The result is a mixed picture of the history of flamenco, determined by numerous scientific, but also ideological controversies , the different theoretical approaches of which are summarized in the following section.

Theories on the origins of Andalusian music and the emergence of flamenco

Pre-Romanesque origins

Some Latin authors mention that at the Roman festivals dancers from Gades, today's Cádiz , performed ( puellae Gaditanae ) who performed sensual dances. They accompanied this with a kind of rattle that was the forerunner of today's castanets . These striking similarities, and the fact that the remoteness of Andalusia on its soil allowed the preservation of cultural expressions that had become extinct in other parts of Europe, has led some flamencologists to believe that this is how Tartessian dances survived in traditional flamenco dance could.

Mozarabic influences

In the Baetica of the 2nd to 8th centuries, Christianity spread and consolidated itself on the cultural Latin underground. Later, as a result of the Muslim conquest, Andalusia remained cut off from the musical reforms of the West that took place around Gregory the Great (around 600). Therefore, the Mozarabic rite with its specific characteristics survived in Spain .

Al-Andalus and Moorish influences
Cantigas de Santa Maria : Muslim and Christian musicians at the court of Alfonso X "el Sabio" (13th century)

The Islamic conquest of the peninsula (from 711 AD) gave rise to its own culture on Spanish soil, which differed from that of the rest of Dār al-Islam .

The Andalusian origin of flamenco is suspected by some flamencologists on different levels. On the one hand musical similarities found that of the eastern Mediterranean music, there are independent genres originated on Andalusian soil of poetry, which differ from the classical Arabic Qasidas distinguished: The zejel that moaxaja and especially the Chardschas are verse forms , which are the oldest Romanesque poetry and in which some Arabists have found similarities to some of the coplas .

With the Reconquista and its conclusion with the conquest of the Emirate of Granada in 1492, the region is repopulated while thousands of Moors still live there. They are considered to be the heirs of the Hispanic-Romanesque and Andalusian cultures of the south of the peninsula. After several uprisings, the Moors were initially driven to the outskirts of the large cities on the lower Guadalquivir. There they mingle for the first time with the Kalé population , which at that time was already concentrated in southern Spain. After the final eviction has been ordered, many can go into hiding among the Kalé to avoid deportation, thus creating an ethnic bond for a few decades that enables cultural exchange.

Some of the oldest mentioned palos are ascribed a geographical origin in the eastern mountains of upper Andalusia, an area of ​​strong Muslim character, such as the Verdiales , a variant of the fandangos that has been preserved in the region's customs to the present day.

The Castilian Romance and the Influence of the Gitanos

When the Gitanos immigrated to Spain in the 15th century , they soon adopted the popular Spanish romance into their musical repertoire and transformed it into their own form.

Some authors derive the influence of the romance on the later Palos solely from philological parallels. The octosyllabic meter and the assonante , only vowels resonate transmitting, rhyme can be found in Tona again, in a possible ancestor of the Martinetes which Carcelera which Seguiriya and Saeta is suspected. There should also be references to the Soleá and the Alboreá . In the middle of the 19th century, Serafín Estébanez Calderón wrote about the singer El Planeta , as he sang the Romance del Conde Sol at a festival in Triana , accompanied by a vihuela and two mandolins . Also Ciego de la Peña and Tio Rivas are in the 19th century as interpreters of romance guitar called.

Jewish influences

Some flamencologists suspect musical similarities of some palos with the music of the Turkish and Balkan Sephardim , especially the peteneras and saetas .

African influence

The possible influence that black African music culture could have had directly on Andalusian music has increasingly come into the focus of modern, musicological and historically oriented flamenco research. The presence of African slaves in Seville and Cádiz, the two centers of overseas trade with the American colonies, is documented from the 15th century. In the polymetric structure typical of large parts of the African cultural area and in the etymology z. B. the Tanguillos de Cádiz some researchers see parallels.

Hispanic influence

Two of the most important places of origin of flamenco, Seville and Cádiz, had a monopoly on trade with America for over three centuries, creating a cultural exchange. It ranged from gastronomy to architecture and included flamenco and cantes , which are therefore called cantes de ida y vuelta ( songs of the way there and back ). They traveled to America with the first Spanish settlers, mixed with African elements and continued to develop independently. With the loss of the colonies, they returned and merged into new palos .

Northern Spanish influence

During the War of Independence , Cádiz became the capital of resistant Spain, so that the Andalusian song repertoire was also influenced by northern Spanish music, especially the jota from the regions of Aragón and Navarre . The subject matter, tonality and form of this influence can be demonstrated in the Andalusian Alegrías .

Flamenco in the 19th century

By evaluating the numerous primary sources of the 19th century that have survived in the form of literary evidence, newspaper articles and musical testimonies of relevance to the history of reception in the form of contemporary collections and records and compositions “in the flamenco style”, e.g. B. by Julián Arcas , according to the current state of research, the historical stages of flamenco can only be reconstructed reliably since the 19th century.

The shooting of the insurgents in Madrid on May 8, 1808 (painting by Francisco Goya , detail)

The Spanish War of Independence as a political and cultural-historical background

The occupation of parts of Spain by French troops first led to a popular uprising, then to a long military conflict, which lasted from 1808 to 1813 as the Spanish War of Independence . When the war is finally over, there remains a Spanish national pride, which contrasts the enlightened French with the down-to-earth figure of majo , the archetype of individualism, elegance and primevalness. In this environment, gypsy fashion begins its triumphant advance. After centuries of insignificance, difficult coexistence and persecutions that never stopped, the majismo sees the gypsy as the model for his individualism. Therefore, the first Gypsy interpreters who come to the court are not only well received, but at the same time they reinforce the fascination for Andalusian, which the first travelers from northern Europe already felt and who at that moment, at the same time as the bullfight Capital conquered.

The cantantes

Café cantante in Seville (Emilio Beauchy, ca.1885)

The singer Silverio Franconetti is considered one of the style- defining cantaores of the late 19th century. He opened one of the first cantantes cafés in Seville in 1871 together with Ramon Ojeda, known as El Burrero . It was a Spanish variant of the variety show , in which the audience could have drinks and enjoy the musical spectacle at the same time. In the flamenco cafés, the singing of the cantaor es, cantaoras and the dance of the bailaores and bailaoras developed into a professional art with which artists could earn a living. At the same time, they were the melting pot for the various forms of flamenco art.

Flamenco in the 20th century

After the Second World War, under the Franco dictatorship , Spain was highly isolated economically and in terms of foreign policy. Due to Spain's geopolitically significant location and the regal anti-communism of its government, the United States and the Franco regime came closer against the backdrop of the Cold War in the course of the 1950s. Associated with this was the opening of the country to foreign policy, which made Spain an attractive destination for foreign guests.

The tablaos

"Tablao Flamenco Cordobes" in Barcelona

Against the background of the liberalization of foreign policy in Spain, new opportunities for flamenco artists to perform appeared first with tablaos in the capital Madrid . The tablaos followed on from the tradition of the café cantante , but from the outset they were aimed at an international and financially strong audience due to the quality of their flamenco shows, the ambience and a more upscale gastronomic offer. Because of their commercial orientation and the modern morals of their foreign audiences, the tablaos were nonetheless controversial among orthodox flamenco purists and reactionary sections of the population, but nonetheless they became important centers of flamenco for almost two decades.

Flamenco in the time of democratic transition

In the years 1971–1973, just a few years before Franco's death, and at a time of increasing social tension, TVE broadcast the documentary series Ríto y geografía del cante ("The ritual and geography of flamenco singing "), which to this day with its almost 100 Episodes is one of the most ambitious film documentaries about flamenco. The concentration on the flamenco milieu away from the commercial venues was a revolution in the media dissemination of flamenco, which created a counter-image to the flamenco kitsch instrumentalized by Franquism in the tourist strongholds. Although those responsible were reluctant to include openly politically oppositional singers such as Manuel Gerena and thereby endanger the project through a ban by the censorship authority, individual episodes were also dedicated to more progressive artists such as Diego Clavel , Enrique Morente and José Menese , which made the series im historical review can also be viewed as a document of the increasing resistance to the political situation in the country.

During this time, the first groups of musicians were formed in the suburbs of major Spanish cities, following the example of Anglo-American bands, who also succeeded commercially in combining their parents' flamenco tradition with the new sounds from abroad. The song Quiero ser libre (“I want to be free”) by the Madrid-based Gitano group Los Chichos from 1973 became not only the secret anthem of the marginalized Gitanos, the rebellious youth and all politically oppressed population groups, but also one of the musical ones Initial ignition that was to change flamenco in the years to come.

After the end of the dictatorship in 1975, a difficult and conflict-laden democratization process began in Spain between 1976 and 1982, which is now known as the transición (phase of transition). In this phase, too, profound changes occurred in flamenco, which not only had a positive effect on its artistic substance, but also confronted large parts of its milieu with the negative sides of the newly won political freedom.

The rumba flamenca as an expression of social crises

The economic and social impoverishment of large parts of society, as well as a legacy of the Franco dictatorship, as well as the result of political failures of the young Spanish democracy, also influenced the new generation of representatives of the rumba flamenca , whose members mostly Gitanos from the subcultural milieu of the flamenco scene in the dilapidated high-rise estates , the chabolismo verticál ("vertical barracks") were dominated suburbs of the Spanish cities.

The increasing availability of intoxicating drugs led to a sharp increase in consumption and increased not only to deaths, especially among the Gitanos, but also to the increasing deterioration of traditional family structures. The dark sides of the new Spain were particularly thematized by the rumba groups in the Madrid suburbs, whose música quinqui (“fringe group music ”) not only took up drug addiction (Los Calis: Heroína , 1986; Los Chichos: En vano piden ayuda , 1988) but also its consequences in song lyrics such as loitering on the streets with no perspective, which often leads to crime (Los Chunguitos: Soy un perro callejero , 1979) or the long taboo prostitution of young gitanas (Los Chichos: Amor de compra y venta , 1980).

At the same time, this modern version of rumba flamenca (also known as flamenco rumba ) also expressed an increasing self-confidence of the marginalized population groups, from whose ranks artists were recruited who are still among the most successful representatives of Spanish music today. In addition to the undisputed stars of the scene, such as the groups Los Chichos and Los Chunguitos , the Gitana duo Las Grecas , who are today considered the founders and style-defining icons of rock gitano español, are representative.

The 1980s: new sounds and new voices

The singer Enrique Morente at the Palau de la Música, Barcelona 2009

In the course of the 1980s, the flamenco scene , which had been largely musically homogeneous despite the stylistic differences, began a process of the sometimes controversial splitting into a wide variety of stylistically different subgenres, which has continued to this day .

In flamenco, the inner conflict of the epoch was personified especially in the figure of the flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla , who, in addition to his own long-term heroin addiction, also took up the general disorientation of his generation in songs and thus hit the nerve of the audience. His album Soy gitano from 1989 went down as the best-selling album in the history of flamenco. With his album Leyanda del tiempo from 1979, Camarón became one of the models for the initiators of the genre of flamenco fusion, which became very popular in the last quarter of the 20th century.

Other representatives of this new generation, whose common feature seems to be that they can hardly be stylistically united under a common denominator, are groups such as Pata Negra and Ketama , the adventurous Enrique Morente , who has always remained connected to tradition, and the numerous musicians of flamenco jazz , from whose ranks the pianist David Peña Dorantes comes, who combines flamenco and jazz at the highest level and who, like the saxophonist and flutist Jorge Pardo, is at the same time an example of the increasing emancipation of various musical instruments from the long unquestioned predominance of flamenco Guitar is.

Paco de Lucía , Flamenco Festival in Málaga, September 2007

The frontier worker: Paco de Lucía

The artistic creation and the career of the guitarist Paco de Lucía are representative of the internationalization of flamenco as a global culture practiced in many countries. Due to his technical virtuosity and openness to a wide variety of genres and trends, he became a role model and idol for subsequent generations of guitarists. By combining the traditions of popular Andalusian music and flamenco with the innovative creativity of an exceptional artistic phenomenon, his music has made a significant contribution to the development of flamenco on its way into the 21st century.

Flamenco in the 21st century

Flamenco has been part of the intangible cultural heritage since 2010 .

On May 28, 2014, the Junta de Andalucía announced that flamenco would be officially included in the curriculum from the 2014/15 school year. This step was justified by the fact that flamenco is deeply anchored in Andalusian culture. Schools have a duty to teach this tradition.

Musical elements

The musical practice consists of singing ( cante ), playing an instrument ( toque ), especially playing the guitar ( guitarra flamenca ) and dancing ( baile ).

Metric, rhythm, tempo

Characteristic of flamenco music with its numerous genres and forms are characteristic metrical basic patterns ( compás ) and the frequent use of modal expressions in melody and harmony.

The meter of a palo is called a compás . They may be in the notation in the 12 / 8 -, in 3 / 4 - or 6 / 8 - or in the 4 / 4 or - 2 / 4 -stroke be represented. Many Palos appear in this view as alternating signatures (compás alterno) which has a 6 / 8 -, and a 3 / 4 alternate ¯ clock. This creates characteristic stress patterns, such as B. that of the Soleá :

1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 10 11 < 12
. . | . . | . | . | . |

The execution of the flamenco can be acompasado ( something like : "brought to the beat"), i. H. rhythmically determined, or libre (free). The speed of the Palos varies between 80 (e.g. Tientos ) and 230 (e.g. Bulerías ) reference pulses per minute.

Tonality, melody and harmony

Descending E-Phrygian in Flamenco, frequent alterations are in brackets

Many Palos are in the modo de mi , the church-tonally referred to as Phrygian mode.
Occasionally this mode is referred to in the flamenco literature as modo dórico , whereby the authors do not refer to the Doric mode ( modo de re ) of the church
modes , but to the ancient Greek key of the same name, which is based on the same keynote as the church tonal Phrygian . In this context, however, facts that are in any case inadequately justified in terms of music theory play a role, rather than the ideologically motivated demarcation of flamenco as an autochthonous Andalusian art with influences from ancient cultures to the Castilian , Christian-Occidental culture, which parts of the Andalusian autonomous movement continue to be usurped is perceived.
In addition to the modo de MI , which is often harmoniously represented by the so-called Andalusian cadence , the keys minor ( modo menor ) and major ( modo mayor ) are used with their chord progressions already established in classical harmony .

Forms and genera

In flamenco, more than 100 forms ( palos ) (of music, dance or the metric of the text) have established themselves. However, not all pieces played flamenco belong to flamenco (e.g. villancico flamenco ). A flamenco piece consists of different parts which, following certain rules, can be varied over time. These parts can e.g. B. Salida (introductory chant), Copla (verse), Macho (swan song), Falseta (solo passage of the flamenco guitar) or Remate .


Different authors have tried to classify the palos under different aspects. One of the best-known and frequently cited classifications, but largely discarded today because of their lack of selectivity and random content, was made in the 1950s by JM Bonald ( El cante andaluz ) on the basis of subjective aesthetic criteria. He differentiates between cante grande or cante jondo as the big, serious and technically demanding singing, and cante chico , the thematically "small" singing. For chants that do not fit into these two categories without contradiction, he defined the group des cante intermedio as an embarrassing solution . B. located the Granaínas .
Other classifications are based on the assumed geographical origin (e.g. Cantes de Málaga ) or on the metric structure. If a cante is presented without instrumental accompaniment, it is referred to as a palo seco (“without accessories”).

Musical practice

Singing ( cante )

The cante (song) is a central element of flamenco.


The singer Alba Molina (born Seville 1978)

Many texts have been passed down orally and have hardly changed since the first written records at the end of the 19th century. However, time and again new lyrics find their way into the cante . Topics are often the loss or the inaccessibility of love, suffering and injustice, but all other aspects of life are also reflected. The coplas (song stanzas) are often strung together without any direct thematic reference and performed in regional Andalusian dialects, which in their pronunciation and the vocabulary, which is often interspersed with gitanisms , can differ greatly from the standard of the standard Spanish language.

Technique of flamenco singing

Due to their virtuoso melismatics, some forms of singing make high technical demands on singing. The vocal stanzas are often prepared through a vocal preparation phase, the temple or its more dramatic variant, the gipío with vocalises , i.e. meaningless or onomatopoeic sound combinations.


Metrically bound palos are traditionally accompanied by clapping ( palmas , from Spanish palma , palm). There are two types of palmas : palmas claras , also palmas agudas , which sound loud and bright, and palmas sordas , which sound quieter and dull. Depending on the metric position of the beats, a distinction is made between 'palmas a tiempo' and 'palmas a contratiempo ' (on or between the metric pulse beats ). If several actors perform Palma, the sequences of strokes are often “interlocked” with one another to increase the intensity, so that complementary (mutually complementary) rhythms of high density arise. Some flamenco artists achieve a similar effect by creating a clicking sound similar to the sound of the palmas with their lips and combining this with their palmas.

Instrumental play ( toque )

The flamenco guitar ( guitarra flamenca )

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The flamenco guitar accompanies the singing and dancing. As an accompanying instrument, it is usually played with a cejilla to adapt to the singer's pitch. Since the end of the 19th century, in addition to the accompanying function, an independent repertoire of the flamenco guitar has developed as a solo instrument, which has contributed significantly to the internationalization of flamenco. The players use a variety of style-typical, often virtuoso playing techniques :

Table: Flamenco guitar techniques0
Designation (span.) Designation (German) hand finger category Remarks
abanico literally "fan" AH p + finger rasgueado (also: ventilador) ternary rasgueado (tresillo) introduced with thumbs with strong forearm rotation
acaballado - AH z. B. pqi rasgueado (also: caballito) rhythmic Tresillo-Rasgueado (long-short-short)
alzapúa - AH p - Plectrum-like thumb stop, alternating with nail and tip
apagado Steaming GH 4 or 4 + 3 apagar (also: parado, descanso) Chord dampening with free fingers
armónico Flageolet tone GH - punteado Playing the overtones
arpegio Chord breakdown AH p, p + i, p + im, p + ima arpegio Execution also with p alone or p + i
arrastre Chord glissando AH a arpegio Fast down arpegio with one finger
ayudado (split stop) AH p + finger punteado, arpegio (from ayudar , to support), complementary strokes of the thumb with other fingers. The name comes from the terminology of the Spanish bullfight and describes there the wielding of the red cloth ( muleta ) with both hands.
bordonazo - AH p percusión Hit the bass strings with your thumb
campanela - GH - - (translated "small bell", from campana , "bell"), sound effect in which open strings are combined with fingering combinations on lower strings, but in higher fingering positions, which was so named and used by the composer Gaspar Sanz in the 17th century . See also bariolage .
capirote - AH m, m + a, i percusión Accentuated rasgueado on low strings, in which the executing finger simultaneously executes a golpe above the sound hole
cuatrillo - AH imaq rasgueado Simultaneous rasgueado tee-off with all fingers
dedillo - AH - - Plectrum-like touch with only one finger (alternating with the tip and nail side), mentioned as a playing technique by the Spanish vihuelists of the 15th century, but stigmatized by them as inartistic.
glisando - GH - - Slide your finger along a string
golpe percussion AH a or a + m percusión Tapping with your finger on the guitar top, which is therefore provided with an impact protection ( Golpeador ) on flamenco guitars .
hoquilla (split stop) AH p + i punteado, arpegio Complementary thumb and index finger strokes
ligado binding GH - - Surcharge, deduction
martilleo - AH ima, imaq rasgueado Accentuated ("hammered") rasgueado, in which the fingers are pressed against the thumb before the attack
picado Alternate stroke AH mi punteado Flam .: basically apoyando
pulgar here: thumb stop AH p punteado Flam .: Execution of former passages or chord breakdowns with p, mostly apoyando
punteado - AH - punteado Strike with the dome side, in the terminology of the baroque guitar generic term for "plucking techniques" for the execution of contrapuntal movements
tremolo Tone repeater AH p + ima - Flam .: piami (quintolian)
sorda Steaming GH all Fg. apagar Gripping hand mutes all strings, while striking hand performs rhythmic striking patterns
rasgueado - AH - rasgueado (also: rasgueo) Chord attack, mainly with the nail side (finger: upwards, thumb: downwards), simple or compound. In the terminology of the baroque guitar generic term for striking techniques for the execution of homophonic chord passages.
redondo - AH p + finger rasgueado (also: tremolo rasgueado), continuous rasgueado, especially with the involvement of the thumb
tambora - AH p percusión Percussive chord attack on the bridge, performed with the edge of the extended thumb
tresillo Triplet rasgueado AH z. B. pqi rasgueado All uniform, ternary rasgueado shapes
Volátil AH - rasgueado "Flying rasgueado " from the unsupported hand with vertical up and down movement of the forearm

Abbreviation used:
AH - strike hand ; p = thumb i = index finger m = middle finger a = ring finger q = little finger
GH - gripping hand; 1 = index finger 2 = middle finger 3 = ring finger 4 = little finger

Percussion instruments

In addition to the percussive sound generation by clapping or the foot technique in flamenco dance, some percussion instruments were able to establish themselves in flamenco at an early stage, before the inclusion of Latin American percussion instruments and modern drums at the end of the 20th century contributed significantly to the sound of the currents united under the catchphrase nuevo flamenco .


The cajón , a wooden box with a sound hole on the back and a screw-adjustable pickguard on the front , is often used as a percussion instrument today . Originally from Peru, the instrument was first used in the late 1970s in the ensemble of guitarist Paco de Lucía .


Castanets, also called palillos in Spain , have always been common in flamenco in folkloric dances such as the fandango de Huelva and the sevillana. Their use in the classical, strict forms such as the Soleá and the Seguiriya is partly controversial because they visually impair the important hand movements, but also determined by historically changing fashions: Vicente Escudero , who was the first to venture into a dance interpretation of the Seguiriya, danced she without castanets, but Pilar López used castanets ten years later, and others did the same.

Caña rociera

The Caña rociera is a simple percussion instrument made from the trunk of the sugar cane plant, which can be provided with small bells ( cascabeles ) to amplify the sound . Due to its simple production and easy transportability during the Andalusian folk festivals, such as. B. the Romería de El Rocío is used to accompany the danced Sevillanas rocieras or the sung fandangos . In traditional flamenco the instrument is only used occasionally.

The flamenco dance ( baile flamenco )

La Singla in Munich (1974)

There is a complex interplay between singing and dancing, which the inexperienced viewer can hardly see through, but which follows strict rules. Men and women often dance alone, not in pairs.

Both rehearsed choreographies and improvisations are danced on stage. Traditional elements and steps are used, which advanced dancers put together spontaneously in interplay with the singer. If flamenco dancers have received a classical dance training, flamenco dances are also combined with contemporary dance (e.g. María Pagés , Belén Maya , Joaquin Cortés , Israel Galván and Rocío Molina ).

Technology and aesthetics

Theater Flamenco Work Sample

Flamenco dance is not entirely centered on rhythmic foot technique. As in ballet or oriental dances, every part of the body is involved in flamenco: upper body, arms, hands, fingers, and even the direction of view is important. The slow passages in particular require a dancer to be able to express themselves in order to maintain the tension. The varied alternation between fast zapateados and slow passages make up the charm and beauty of flamenco dance. The baile flamenco is a down-to-earth dance in which many impulses are directed downwards, in contrast to the typical ballet figure who is extroverted and strives upwards.

For their zapateados and other foot techniques, the dancers noisily use their heels and soles on the wooden floor of the stage. The heels and soles are usually reinforced, iron fittings are also common, but according to the purist view, frowned upon. The women often wear tight-fitting flamenco dresses, often with a train that can be gathered and swirled around the legs.

The difference between men's and women's dance is that the male dancers often use angular and jagged shapes while the female dancers show more rounded movements. In addition, the hand and arm movements in the expression are different, but can be traced back to the same basic shape. However, the different shapes have been adapting to one another more and more for some time. So there are dancers who z. B. also use more hip movements and have largely adapted the flamenco hand rotation (floreo) to the female form.

Elements of dance are for example:

  • Escobilla : section of dance with lively foot techniques .
  • Silencio : Silent pause in front of the Escobilla .
  • Castellana : Introductory figure for the Escobilla .
  • Desplante : A haughty movement and gesture, combined with a pause, with which the dancer concludes a section of their performance. Such a gesture occurs under the same name and with the same meaning in bullfighting .
  • Llamada : A movement used to request a change in the line sung or played by the guitar; often used to initiate a desplante.
  • Marquaje : restrained dance movements that support the rhythm of the singing in sections where the singing is supposed to dominate.

Festivals and competitions

Numerous flamenco festivals and competitions take place in Spain and many other countries. The important ones include:

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festival place month
Flamenco Festival New York City January
Jerez Festival Jerez de la Frontera March
Concurso de Arte Flamenco Cordoba May (every three years)
Málaga en Flamenco Málaga June, in the odd years
Potaje Gitano Utrera June
Festival de La Liviana Puerto Real June
Flamenco de Cataluña Festival Cornellà de Llobregat June
Caracolá Lebrijana Lebrija July
Concurso de Peteneras Paterna de Rivera July
Reunion de Cante Jondo La Puebla de Cazalla July
Arte Flamenco Festival Mont-de-Marsan July
Festival Cante Grande Álora July August
Andalusian gazpacho Morón de la Frontera August
Festival Cante Grande Fosforito Puente Genil August
Concurso Nacional de Alegrías Cadiz August
Concurso Nacional de Tarantas Linares August
Festival de Almería Almeria August
Festival de Cante de las Minas La Unión August
Seville Biennial Seville September, in the even years
Festival Cante Jondo Antonio Mairena Mairena del Alcor September
Fiesta de la Buleria Jerez de la Frontera September


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See also


  • Claus Schreiner (Ed.): Flamenco gitano-andaluz . Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1985, ISBN 3-596-22994-4 . ; 4th edition 1990
  • Christof Jung : Flamenco songs. Spanish German. Selected, translated and introduced by Christof Jung. Jakob Hegner, Cologne 1970.
  • Gerhard Steingress: Cante Flamenco: On the cultural sociology of Andalusian modernity . Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-631-30474-9 .
  • Kersten Knipp: Flamenco . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-518-45824-8 .
  • Bernard Leblon: Flamenco . Palmyra, 2006, ISBN 3-930378-70-1 .
  • Stefan Krüger: The music culture of flamenco. Presentation, analysis and discourse . Hamburg 2001 ( ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de [PDF; 1000 kB ] Dissertation University of Hamburg).
  • Anja Vollhardt (text), Elke Stolzenberg (photos): Flamenco: Art between yesterday and tomorrow . Weingarten Verlag, 1996, ISBN 3-8170-4006-7 (first edition: 1988).
  • Donn E. Pohren: The Art of Flamenco (first published in 1962) . Bold Strummer, 2005, ISBN 0-933224-02-8 .


Textbooks for flamenco guitar

  • Ivor Mairants: The Flamenco Guitar. A complete method for playing flamenco. Latin-American Music Publishing, London 1958.
  • Hansjoachim Kaps: Flamenco guitar school. Robert Lienau, Berlin.
  • Juan Martín: El arte flamenco de la guitarra (Juan Martín's Guitar-Method) . United Music Publishers Ltd, London 1978, ISBN 1-59806-057-0 .
  • Gerhard Graf-Martinez : Flamenco guitar school . tape 1 : Teaching and reference work . Schott, Mainz 1994, ISBN 3-7957-5083-0 .
  • Gerhard Graf-Martinez: Flamenco guitar school . tape 2 : Teaching and reference work . Schott, Mainz 1994, ISBN 3-7957-5084-9 .
  • Bernd Steinmann: The flamenco guitar . AMA, Brühl 2000, ISBN 3-932587-61-8 .

Textbooks for flamenco dance

  • Adela Rabien: School of Flamenco Dance: A Workbook . Florian Noetzel, Wilhelmshaven 1993, ISBN 3-7959-0630-X .

Textbooks for flamenco singing

  • Curro Cueto: Método de cante y ritmo flamenco (multilingual, book with CD) . RGB Arte Visual, Madrid 2003, OCLC 630665766 .

Web links

Commons : Flamenco  - collection of images, videos and audio files
  • RTVE : Ríto y geografía del cante. TV documentary series about flamenco from 1971-1973, 96 episodes online. Retrieved July 26, 2020 (Spanish).
  • Flamencopolis | Descubre el Flamenco. Comprehensive representation of most palos with many sound samples. Faustino Núñez, accessed April 26, 2019 (Spanish).
  • Flamenco viejo. Comprehensive collection of Palos, Cantes, biographies and supporting material. Miguel Ortiz, accessed April 8, 2019 (Spanish).
  • El arte de vivir el flamenco. Comprehensive collection of Palos, Cantes, biographies, articles and accompanying material. José María Ruiz Fuentes, accessed April 8, 2019 (Spanish).
  • De flamenco. Biographies, Palos, current information: reviews and venues. Commercial offers too. ADN Flamenco Web Services, accessed April 8, 2019 (Spanish).
  • Horizons flamenco. History, Palos, protagonists in detailed representations. Retrieved March 10, 2020 (Spanish).
  • Ángeles Cruzado Rodríguez: Flamencas por derecho. Lovingly and thoroughly researched biographies of flamenco artists. Retrieved April 8, 2019 (Spanish).

References and comments

  1. etymologiebank.nl collection of sources on the etymology vlaming (Dutch, accessed on August 21, 2020)
  2. DRAE Comp. the word meanings in the Diccionario of the Real Academía Española (Spanish), accessed on July 30, 2020
  3. Gerhard Steingress: Cante Flamenco: To the cultural sociology of Andalusian modernity . Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-631-30474-9 , pp. 10 .
  4. José Luis Ortiz Nuevo: Cante Flamenco: ¿Se sabe algo? Flamenco a través de prensa sevillana del s. XIX . Ediciones El Carro de la Nieve, Frankfurt am Main 1997, p. 62 .
  5. Biblioteca Nacional de España Prologue to Demófilo : Colección de cantes flamencos. Edition from 1881, p. VII (Spanish), link to the digitized version of the ESD, accessed on August 6, 2020
  6. ^ Hispanoteca Justo Fernández López: Origen del término “flamenco” (Spanish), accessed on August 6, 2020
  7. Región de Murcia digital José Martínez Hernández: Etimologías del término flamenco (Spanish), accessed on August 6, 2020
  8. Unión Romaní Primer documento sobre la llegada de los gitanos a España (Spanish), accessed on August 6, 2020
  9. Spiegel online Das Flamingo-Paradies, accessed on August 6, 2020
  10. Fallakh manğû is probably meant by the author . See the discussion on the Arabic etymology of “Flamenco” .
  11. ^ Blas Infante : Orígenes de lo flamenco y secreto del cante jondo . Consejería de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucía, Seville 1980, ISBN 84-500-3524-4 , p. 161 .
  12. Gerhard Steingress: Cante Flamenco: To the cultural sociology of Andalusian modernity . Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-631-30474-9 , pp. 10 .
  13. a b Ángel Álvarez Caballero: El cante flamenco . Alianza Editorial, Madrid 2004, ISBN 84-206-4325-4 , p. 29 .
  14. Ángel Álvarez Caballero: El cante flamenco . 2004, p. 30 .
  15. Biblioteca virtual Miguel de Cervantes Serafín Estébanez Calderón: Un baile en Triana (Escenas andaluzas, 1842) (online, accessed on July 31, 2020)
  16. The alleged use of a vihuela in a 19th century context is unusual, as this instrument was already out of use by the end of the 16th century.
  17. Ángel Álvarez Caballero: El cante flamenco . 2004, p. 31 .
  18. ^ Serafín Estébanez Calderón "El Solitario": Escenas Andaluzas. Edicion de lujo adornada con 125 dibujos por Lameyer . Baltazar González, Madrid 1847 ( bne.es ).
  19. José Luis Ortiz Nuevo: Cante Flamenco: ¿Se sabe algo? Flamenco a través de prensa sevillana del s. XIX . Ediciones El Carro de la Nieve, Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 978-84-86697-10-5 .
  20. Lázaro Núñez Robres ([* 1827]): La música del pueblo, colección de cantos españoles . Calcografía de Echevarría, Madrid 1867 (Biblioteca nacional de España, call number M / 2133).
  21. RTVE , documentary series on flamenco from 1971–1973, accessed on July 26, 2020
  22. ÁticoIzquierda.es Redvista Cultural Independiente Article about the non-consideration of Manuel Gerena in the TVE documentation Ríto y geografía del cante , accessed on July 26, 2020
  23. YT-Video: Los Chichos: Quiero ser libre (1973), accessed on July 26, 2020
  24. El País from 02/11/2019: 15 arrebatadas rumbas quinquis tan buenas como 'Me quedo contigo' (o mejores) , article about the rumba formations of Sonido Caño Roto , the music of the socially disadvantaged suburbs of Madrid.
  25. López, Carmen (1994c): Camarón de la Isla. Part 3. Days of love and fame. P. 20.
  26. See: Gerhard Klingenstein: Paco de Lucia: Grenzgänger im Flamenco . Musikblatt-Verlag, Göttingen 1988, ISBN 3-9801327-1-4 .
  27. ^ Intangible cultural heritage 2010. In: Unesco.de. Retrieved June 17, 2016 .
  28. Flamenco as a school subject in Andalusia from summer 2014 , accessed on June 5, 2014.
  29. Wolfgang Gerhard: Flamenco Technique 2. In: Guitar & Lute. Volume 2, 1980, pp. 46-48.
  30. See Manolo Sanlúcar: Sobre la guitarra flamenca: teoría y sistema para la guitarra flamenca . Ayuntamiento de Córdoba, 2005, ISBN 84-89409-80-3 .
  31. ^ Domingo Manfredi Cano: Geografía del cante jondo . Colleción El Grifón, Madrid 1955, ISBN 84-7786-958-8 , p. 87 ff .
  32. [1] DRAE, accessed July 24, 2020
  33. Wolfgang Gerhard: Technical aspects of Flamenco. In: Guitar & Lute. Volume 1, Issue 3, 1979, p. 39.
  34. James Tyler: A Guide to Playing the Baroque Guitar. Indiana University Press, Bloomington / Indianapolis 2011, ISBN 978-0-253-22289-3 , pp. 24 and 34-36.
  35. Anja Vollhardt: Flamenco. Art between yesterday and tomorrow . Weingarten , Weingarten 1996, ISBN 3-8170-4006-7 , p. 81 (photos by Elke Stolzenberg).
  36. Seguiriyas. In: flamencopolis.com. Retrieved October 6, 2015 (Spanish, section La Estructura Formal del Estilo ).
  37. Bernard Leblon: Flamenco . Palmyra, Heidelberg 2001, ISBN 3-930378-36-1 , p. 77–78 (With a foreword by Paco de Lucía ).
  38. Zapatos de Flamenco. In: Donquijote.org. Retrieved October 18, 2015 (Spanish).
  39. Decalogo de Vicente Escudero sobre el Baile Flamenco. In: Deflamenco.com. November 12, 2001, Retrieved October 5, 2015 (Spanish).
  40. a b c d e f Formas. In: Flamencopolis. Faustino Núñez, accessed June 4, 2019 (Spanish).
  41. Juan Vergillos: Conocer el Flamenco . Signatura Ediciones de Andalucía, Sevilla 2002, ISBN 978-84-95122-84-1 , p. 151-152 .
  42. List updated based on web research, as of 2019-06. See links at the individual festivals.
  43. ^ Flamenco Festival New York 2019. In: NY Latin Culture. Accessed June 5, 2019 .
  44. Festival de Jerez: With flamenco, music is in the air. In: Andalusien.com. Retrieved June 5, 2019 .
  45. ^ Concurso Nacional de Arte Flamenco. In: Nacional de Arte Flamenco. Accessed June 5, 2019 .
  46. ^ Bienal de Arte Flamenco - VI Bienal de Arte Flamenco. In: Festival website. Retrieved June 25, 2019 (Spanish).
  47. ^ LXIII Festival del Potaje Gitano de Utrera. In: Ayuntamiento de Utrera. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  48. Cristóbal Perdigones: La Peña Canalejas convoca el XXVI Concurso de cante por Livianas. In: Diario de Cádiz. April 3, 2019, Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  49. Festival de Arte Flamenco de Catalunya. In: Ayuntamiento de Cornellá. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  50. Flamenco Festival. In: lacaracolalebrijana.es. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  51. ^ Paterna de Rivera se prepara para su Concurso de Peteneras. In: Ser La Janda. June 3, 2019, Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  52. ^ Reunión de Cante Jondo. In: Ayuntamiento La Puebla de Cazalla. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  53. 31st Arte Flamenco Festival. In: Arteflamenco.landes.fr. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (French).
  54. Fiestas. In: Ayuntamiento de Álora. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  55. ^ Festival flamenco Gazpacho Andaluz. In: Ayuntamiento de Morón de la Frontera. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  56. ^ Festival de Cante Grande Fosforito - Puente Genil 2018. In: guiaflama.com. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  57. ^ XI Concurso Nacional de Baile por Alegrías. In: La Perla de Cádiz. April 23, 2019, accessed June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  58. ^ Concurso Nacional de Tarantas Ciudad de Linares. In: concursonacionaldetarantas.com/. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  59. El Festival Flamenco de Almería celebra sus Bodas de Oro. In: guiaflama.com. July 6, 2016, Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  60. Noticias. In: Festival de Cante de las Minas. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  61. la Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla - El acontecimiento más importante relacionado con el Flamencola Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla - The most important flamenco event worldwide. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  62. ^ Festival de Cante Jondo Antonio Mairena. In: festivalmairena.com. Retrieved June 5, 2019 (Spanish).
  63. ^ Fermín Lobatón: La fiesta flamenca más gitana . In: El País . August 25, 2017, ISSN  1134-6582 (Spanish, elpais.com [accessed June 5, 2019]).