The Majestic Folkloric Art of Spain, Flamenco

The Majestic Folkloric Art of Spain, Flamenco

 Flamenco is a southern Spanish form of music and dance usually most known from having its roots in Andalusia. Andalusia is the region in southern Spain, and this form of art originated in this area. This style of music is usually performed with the guitar, clapping, the cajón, castanets, and most iconically, the dances. The peak of this musical movement movement was in the 18th to 19th centuries. Though this art did originate in Spain, it was really correlated to the Gypsies of southern Spain who originate mostly from northern India. Flamenco is not just some unknown art either, it has achieved popularity in places like the United States, and most surprisingly, Japan. In Spain, there are less flamenco academies than in Japan. Japan essentially became the second breeding ground of Flamenco.


The singing in flamenco is what expresses the emotions in flamenco, it is what hooks everyone on to the music to get everyone to sing along. Flamenco is a culturally important art that is passed down by neighbors, family, and friends. The singing aspect of flamenco is usually separated into three types. There is “cante chico”, “cante intermedio”, and “cante jondo.” The singing is really packed in emotional feeling which is usually bonded with feelings like sorrow, suffering, doubt, or death, or even happy feelings like humor and such.


Cante chico, which has a simpler rhythm than the other two genres, necessitates significant technical talent but far less emotional attachment, dealing as it does with comedy and issues like romance, the freedom, and liveliness. The cante intermedio is a combination style that combines aspects of many Spanish musical traditions, particularly the fandango. Fandango is usually a high energy singing and dancing art which is a couples dance. Just like flamenco, Fandango usually consists of castanets, guitars, and hand clapping. Cante jondo on the other hand is usually flamenco singing in its most basic form, marked by profound interpretations in which the flamenco singer must portray the song's melancholy emotion... The verses portray a wide range of emotions and suffering. Siguiriyas, tonás, and soleás are examples of this style.


The dancing in flamenco is a very important part of the art which stages the dancer as the main center of the scene. The dance commands attention which is usually conducted by iconic and stylish movement of the upper torso, arms, and fingers, this is usually done by the women participating. Men, on the other hand, do the footwork of the dancing. The guitarist in the music usually plays to sync the musical rhythm with the body movements by the dancers. This is a very creative way of placing the dance into the musical melody which allows the viewers to feel the emotion and the passion into the art.

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