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What Is It?

Flamenco is a folklore music form from southern Spain's autonomous communities of Andalusia and Murcia. In a broader sense, the phrase refers to a wide range of Spanish musical styles.1)

First Recording

Flamenco music was first recorded in 1774. It is documented in José Cadalso's book Las Cartas Marruecas (Akombo 2016, 240–241).2)


Flamenco is connected with and influenced by the Romani people of Spain. Its origins and style, however, are distinctly Andalusian (Hayes 2009, 31-37).3)

Romani and non-Romani

Flamenco artists have always comprised both Romani and non-Romani Spaniards.4)


The evolution of flamenco is well documented, according to Manuel Ros Ruiz: “the theatre movement of sainetes (one-act plays) and tonadillas, popular song books and song sheets, customs, studies of dances and toques, perfection, newspapers, graphic documents in paintings and engravings….in continuous evolution together with rhythm, the poetic stanzas, and the ambiance”.5)


Flamenco's precise origins are obscure and the subject of several speculations. Flamenco was established around the sixteenth century, notably in East Andalusia, through cross-cultural exchange between moriscos and gitanos (Romani people of Spain).6)


Flamenco has grown in popularity all around the world. It is well-known in the United States and Japan. More particular, there are more flamenco academies in Japan than in Spain.7)

El Salvador

In El Salvador, the group Alma Flamenca is regarded as the best representation and forerunner of this musical trend.8)


Flamenco was named a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on November 16, 2010.9)

Origin Of The Name

There are several theories about the origins of the name flamenco as a musical term, but none of them have been proven.10)


According to Andalusian historian Blas Infante, the name is derived from the Hispano-Arabic phrase fellah mengu. Fellah mengu translates as “expelled peasant,” and refers to the last Moriscos and Andalusians of Islamic religion who left with the Roma arrivals. 11)

2nd Theory

Another hypothesis is that flamenco is a derivation of the Spanish word for “fire” or “flame”.12)


The term flamenco may have been ascribed to Gitano guitarists and performers because of their fiery behavior.13)

Fundamental Elements

Three key aspects may help identify whether anything is truly flameco: a flamenco mode or musical tonality, the beat, and the performer…who should be a Flamenco!14)

Flamenco Performance Compostition

A typical flamenco performance with vocal and guitar accompaniment is made up of a number of compositions in various palos. Each song consists of a series of lyrics (called copla, tercio, or letras) interspersed with guitar interludes (falsetas). The guitarist also gives a brief introduction, establishing the cante's tone, compás, and speed.15)

flamenco.txt · Last modified: 2022/09/30 02:37 by eziothekilla34