The History Of Flamenco Music

2039 Words 9 Pages
Flamenco is an art of great persistence. Its traditional form is truly battle-born and has surpassed centuries of being shunned, social-hierarchical marginalization, and political retribution. Despite originating in Andalusia amongst socially marginalized groups of people, today flamenco is recognized as a national symbol of Spain. Initially it seems difficult to understand how the music of social and political catharsis could transform to a larger national symbol and tradition. But, looking at the history of flamenco, there are a number of significant events that led to not only the development of the new style in Andalusia, but also fusion of flamenco styles across Europe, which allowed the art form to become representative of a larger nation. …show more content…
Melodies of flamenco music utilize this mode and are mournful and bitter in nature. The meter and time signatures of flamenco music, called compás, follow a rhythmic cycle that varies accented beats depending on the type of flamenco song. Thematic content of flamenco music generally surrounds love, death, pain, and hunger. While it is possible and common for classical artists to portray these themes without firsthand experience, the Andalusian Gypsies who created this music were no stranger to the reality of these …show more content…
Composers from across the continent were writing music and operas attempting to emulate and use (what they thought to be) flamenco themes. The cafés cantantes were replaced with theaters and larger venues suitable to stage these new operas and works. Music in the flamenco style and aesthetic were mixed with other popular styles of music in Europe and presented for middle-class audiences. Strictly speaking, in this time flamenco was at a peak popularity, just appearing in different forms. The beginnings of flamenco ballet appeared in theaters in Moscow and London in the early 20th centiry. Opera flamenca was being staged in Spain; the shows included flamenco singing, dancing, and guitar playing, yet not in the most orthodox style. After some time, guitars were replaced by orchestral arrangements. Some traditionalists and flamencologists argue that this was a period of decline for flamenco, while others argue that flamenco would not have survived into the next century had it not been for the adaptation. Indubitably, a divide was instilled in the flamenco style; forms derived from flamenco aesthetics went on to serve as the flamenco for the middle class to aristocrats, and the traditional “non-commercial” forms, often more challenging for both performer and listener, were once again

Related Documents