The Art of Flamenco

Flamenco is not just a music of southern Spain, as is generally believed. More than that, it is a way of life that influ

309 10 65MB

English Pages 247 Year 1962

Report DMCA / Copyright


Table of contents :
Forward 9

Introduction 13
Donkey Back 15
Juerga 26
Flamenco and the Bullfight 30
Gypsies 33
Progress 36

Origin and Background 39
What is Flamenco? 42
The Song 48
The Dance 56
The Guitar 66
The Jaleo 76
Reciting 77
Flamenco and the Non-Spaniard 78

The Cante and the Non-Spaniard 79
The Baile and the Non-Spaniard 81
The Toque and the Non-Spaniard 83

Hard Times and Renewed Hope 87

Discussion of the Verses of the Cante 97
Genealogy of Cante Flamenco 99
Encyclopedia index 101
Encyclopedia proper 103

1.—Breakdown of the Cante, Baile, and Toque 155
2.—Outstanding Flamenco Artists 159

Singers 159
Dancers 161
Guitarists 163

3.—Flamenco Records of Special Interest 166
4.—Commercial Flamenco Establishments 173

Within Spain 174
Outside of Spain 179

5.—Private Juergas 181
6,—Flamenco Contests 185

Concurso Nacional de Cante Jondo 185
La Llave de Oro del Cante 188
I Concurso Internacional de Arte Flamenco 190

7.—Learning Flamenco 197
8.—Buying a Guitar 199
Glossary 205

Photographs follow pages 8, 32, 64, 88, and 152.
Recommend Papers

The Art of Flamenco

  • Commentary
  • 0 0 0
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up
File loading please wait...
Citation preview

D. E. POHREN, born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was leading the routine







U. Army when he captivated, some ten y







menco. The G. I stepping stone to College






became ago,




the art of


Bill was his Mexico City






ple time for the flamenco guitar.


After years of lessons and prache







At and





one ran









time (1958) he flamenco Café

eling the need to inform English-speaking world of

the the












a pro-


as a soloist


States. opened area,








he has eased


on the guitar at present and is devoting his practice time to investigating,

enjoying book


is the











he plans on the subject, the sec-





which is well intermittent



under way. dweller in




Spanish wife and family presently










Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2012 with funding from The Archive of Contemporary Music AE







F lamenco










by Donn

E. Pohren

All rights reserved under universal copyright Printed

Reservado N.o



de autor.








los derechos



in Spain










Maria Albaicin and the ’’Poet of the Hands’’ — M. del Rey, Luisa Maravilla in La Bodega — Reisinger, San Francisco The









José Dorado, — AND



Ignacio Rojas, MAIL



ORDER: 46,

















Introduction . Donkey




Juerga . anata cs) hat Flamenco and the Bullfight Gypsies. . BO) Oy Progress . ae bene





Whe Dance.






5: .

. Bs







§ a




ead esl



The Cante and the Non-Spaniard . The Baile and the Non-Spaniard. The Toque and the Non-Spaniard

. .





and Renewed










ane .








79 81 83

05 .

..... ier (eee




oe .






. i.





26 30 33 36




Genealogy of Cante Flamenco. . lmeyclopéedia index..." )) 3 Vso proper.





Discussion of the Verses of the Cante.







37 |







PA a


Flamenco and the Non-Spaniard.



!Oyr UN












Reciting .








What is Flamenco? .



Sat !

Origin and Background... Bhe Song





. 8

99 IOI 103







of the Cante,







Singers . Dancers. Guitarists



3.—Flamenco Records of Special Interest . 4.—Commercial Flamenco Establishments

5.—Private Juergas . 6,—Flamenco Contests




Concurso Nacional de Cante Jondo . La Llave de Oro del Cante . ~ le I Concurso Internacional de Arte Flamenco

8.—Buying a Guitar .


174 179

Within Spain . Outside of Spain

7.—Learning Flamenco

155 159


Glossary .

Photographs follow pages 8, 32, 64, 88, and 152.



197 199 205

To the true flamencos, a rare breed

in danger of




sty pue ‘eins esour puR IpfaoT}S soMIODeG ODIOA SIT] S9DTAOID Aysoxy og} SUITeM auIM sy

voman teaches her child the pitos (finger-snapping). The idea seems to have gotten through,





FORWARD I have writen this book,

without literary illusions, in an attempt to


cast a little light on the little-understood (and, more frequently, badly misunderstood) art of flamenco. To date flamenco has been the only internationally acclaimed art without so much as a basic English-language guide for its many enthusiasts. Little more is available in Spanish. This dearth of information has led to the general acceptance, both in and out of Spain, of a cheap commercial brand of flamenco only remotely similar to the authentic article. I have hopes that FLAMENCO will help correct this situation. FLAMENCO arranged itself into four sections. The first, entitled The Philosophy of Flamenco’’, consists of experiences and brief essays which are intended to help the reader to some sort of understanding of the creators and perpetuators of flamenco — the flamencos themselves. The next three sections get into the meat of the subject, and cover all but the most advanced or specialized facets of flamenco, on which I intend to elaborate in future works. Paris of the second section of FLAMENCO will seem painfully basic to the initiated aficionado, particularly portions of the section entitled ’’What is flamenco?’’ Bear in mind that the book is designed for readers ranging from the neophyte, who still vaguely knows flamenco as ’’flamingo’’, to the most advanced aficionado. Throughout this book the reader will find constant reference to two basic poles of flamenco, the classical-traditional and the popular-commercial. For clarity’s sake I shall briefly denote here the wide difference between these styles. Do not infer from the name classical-traditional a static, unchanging flamenco. On the contrary, it is everchanging. As in jazz, a top flamenco artist will never render an identical interpretation twice. The main difference between these opposite poles lies in the types of innovations and creations that make them up; those of the classical-traditional school always fall within certain well-defined bounds of good flamenco; those of the popular-commercial school are nearly always

catchy and worthless, eagerly accepted by the popular public, and then quickly forgotten. In other words, the classical-traditional flamenco has lasting value, the popular-commercial flamenco little to no value. Flamenco is often compared with jazz. This is logical and reasonable. We can go one step further and speculate on the types of flamenco that would closely approximate various trends in jazz. The primitive, traditional flamenco, for instance, could be matched with the Kid OryLouis Armstrong-Billie Holliday type of jazz; the complicated, less emotional concert flamenco (still in traditional taste) with the BrubeckModern Jazz Quartet progressive offerings; and the many commercial impurities of flamenco with types of jazz ranging from Be-Bop through big bands to Rock and Roll and its offshoots. The views of many authors have been taken into consideration (although not necessarily accepted) in arriving at various theories and historical conclusions in this book, some of whom are: José Carlos de Luna, Rafael la Fuente, Anselmo Gonzdlez Climent, Domingo Manfredi, Garcia Matos,


de Prado,


de la Plata,



Andrade de Silva, Fernando el de Triana, and Caballero Bonald. I express my gratitude to my wife, and to good friends John and Ann Leibold, who have given me valuable aid in the preparation of this book. Sevilla, July 1962.






INTRODUCTION Flamenco is not just a music of southern Spain, as is generally believed. More than that, it is a way of life that influences the daily activities of the southern Spaniard.

One does not have to be a performer

of flamenco to be a flamenco: a flamenco is anyone who is emotionally and actively involved book

in this unique


For this reason,

is complete in dealing with the art of flamenco


alone, for the art

of flamenco is merely the outward expression of the flamenco way of life. The reader must also be made to understand something of its creators


liefs, kes flamenco




and dislikes. is, but why

their philosophies,

It is necessary


to understand



not only what

it is what it is.

this objective in mind,

I present

and essays as an introduction to a study

the following experiences

of this fascinating but little

understood art.




We were riding donkey back along the ridge of the Sierra, often rounding into views of a deep-blue Mediterranean, other times descending into



or winding

our way




forests. It was slow going, but delicious and invigorating, making us glad to have broken away from the contained life of Sevilla. The morning of the third day we cut inland into the sparsely-populated mountain country between Ronda and the sea, an area famous for its rugged beauty and its bandit and smuggler bands of the past. As the day waned, we came upon a small ranch, from the doorway of which a white-haired old man stood observing us. *’ Buenas tardes.”’ Buenas tardes.”’ ”Can I serve you in some way?’’, he questioned, looking us over critically, his eyes softening a little as they took note of our two spare donkeys loaded down with provisions and belongings. ”We seek nothing, old one, but the honor of having you join us in a cup of good Valdepefias tinto’’, my friend answered with Spanish formality, patting one of the large leather wine skins carried by one of the donkeys. Con mucho gusto. With much pleasure’’, he replied. ’’Do one of you play the guitar?’’, he asked, nodding at the donkey that was carrying the guitar. “I do’, I said, ’’and my partner is an illustrious gypsy cantaor, famed in all of Andalucia.”’ The old man’s interest quickened, although he asked doubtfully “And you, being a foreigner, know well the flamenco?’’. ”Of course, old one. My mother is Spanish, and I have lived in Spain many years.”’ This was my time-tested answer which puts all wrongs right. The wine flowed, and soon the old man’s family returned from tending the sheep and goats and joined us. They sent for the one neighboring family, and amid singing, playing, animated conversation, and a dinner of 15


and lamb






During the course

of the evening the old man told us of a small livestock fair that was to take place in a mountain village two days distant by donkey. He was leaving for it the following day with his sheep and goats, and he invited

us to join him, explaining that it was customary for the fair to be highlighted by a gypsy wedding, or weddings, depending on this year’s crop of young lovers, followed by days of celebration. Gypsies traveled to this fair from considerable distance and, the old man explained, the festivities would certainly be worth the trip. He thought that we should have no trouble there, my friend being gypsy, and both of us flamencos, an unbeatable combination of door-openers for such an occasion. It sounded like a fine idea, and with a click of earthenware mugs we toasted the trip. At dawn we rounded up the old man’s flock and headed North. We passed through untamed mountain country spotted with cave openings, swooping hawks, and an occasional wild boar. It felt good to ride alongside the tinkling animals, feeling the hot sun on our backs and listening to the talk of the garrulous old man. Bien, apprentice sheep herders. I hope you'll forgive me if I talk too much. We rarely have visitors in these parts, and I get lonesome for someone new to exchange impressions with.’’ How many years have you lived in these mountains, old one’’, I asked. ”’T was born in the village where we are headed around 1890 — I’m not sure what year — and except for a few trips to Ronda, I’ve never been away from here.”’ ”Ozi’’, exclaimed the gypsy, ’’many years! Then you must have seen a few bandits in your time?’’ “Si, many of these caves hereabouts were hideaways for them. The bandits were like everyone else, some good and some bad. It was always necessary to watch one’s women, and to carry a gun when tending the animals, but generally they would leave us poor people alone. They used to make raids on the rich folks in some of the bigger towns, or on the stages on the Ronda road, and then come down here to hide. Fortunately they usually had money and women with them. It became more dangerous when the Guardia started to clamp down, as they could not raid successfully and they had to come to us for food and wine. I remember when they got drunk they would sometimes have knife fights to the death over a woman, or an insult, or merely for the desire to 16

fight. They were dangerous people, but basically like everyone; some good and some bad. And cofio!, que flamencos.”’ When conversation fell off, the gypsy would improvise cantes, usually humorous, about the animals, making the old man glow with warmth. He was truly an animal lover, treating the animals as humans, recognizing their needs and moods through long years of looking after them. Ay que burro, que bueno es

A ese burro de punta, tanto le gustan las borriquillas... Ay what a donkey, how good he is That one leading the line, who is so crazy about girl donkeys... “I’ve



that one


said the old man,


“OF course not. I just made it up. At least part of it’’, the gypsy replied, pleased with his creative success. “Oye, Tumba’, I said, calling the gypsy by his nickname, ’’tell me, what is so extraordinary about a gypsy wedding? Does it differ so much from a payo (non-gypsy) one?’’ “Caray, is it different! A gypsy wedding is the most exciting thing you'll ever see. And what a celebration afterwards! They’re the only people in the world who know how to marry properly. It begins with the novio (fiancé) and his friends ‘kidnapping’ the novia, usually with her consent, and carrying her off to the house of his parents: Then emissaries are sent to contact the girl’s parents, to obtain their consent. If it is given, the date is set, and all of the relatives and friends of both

families converge on the chosen spot, abandoning all of their pursuits for at least three days, the minimum length of a respectful celebration. Often several marriages are arranged for the same time and place, with the resultant celebration being something barbarous.’’ The gypsy’s eyes shown with enthusiasm, obviously remembering distant pleasures. ’’ The test of the girl’s virtue is in effect the marriage ceremony; the white silk handkerchief is inserted, and if it becomes stained with the blood of the girl, the ritual of celebration begins. The girl is covered with a deluge of flowers from all directions, and then the ceremony of the adoration of the bride is effected by the parents of the couple falling on their knees around the: girl and dancing a dance of the upper torso and arms. The bride and bridegroom are then taken into the bedroom and 7

the Alboreds (1) are sung. They are truly fine and gay. This is later followed by the bride performing a marriage dance in the middle of a circle of gypsies, who heap upon her showers of almond blossoms. This is usually the last of the rituals, and from then on it is every man for himself until he is too exhausted to continue celebrating.’’ We were climbing continually into a green splendor of cascading streams and snow white clouds. There had been a heavy rainfall that spring, which had caused the slopes to blossom with a rash of wild flowers and small animal life. Far below us to the west a little white village nestled in a valley, its houses like mushrooms against the green valley floor. The air felt fresh and clean. *’Dios, qué bonito!’’, breathed the old man. ’’I’ve lived here 70 years and have never gotten over the beauty of spring in this Sierra. Wait until you see the village where we go. It is out of a fairy tale. It has no roads, and is only accessible to donkey caravans and with great difficulty donkey carts. There are only cobblestones and flowers and wild grass for streets, the houses have red-tile roofs and are newly white-washed every year, there are plants and flowers in every window and balcony, and there is a man dedicated solely to picking up the litter in the village. And there is a beautiful clear stream that runs along the eastern edge, lined with willows and poplars.” That night we camped on a level spot on the side of a steep, pinesprinkled slope. A nearby stream swirled downhill, mixing its persistent gurgling with the crackling of our fire. We were content and above worldly preoccupations. The old man made us a steaming-hot mountain


a real



of red




and a little sugar. Two other donkey caravans had joined us, spotting us from across the narrow valley, and an interesting discussion was launched concerning the gypsies and their niche in life. Some (arguing in the Spanish way, not necessarily out of conviction but out of the desire to prolong the discussion) argued that the gypsies are a ’’blot’’ on society, while others maintained that the gypsies led the only plausible way of life (referring to the true gypsies as yet untainted by modern civilization). "That they have no ambition, that they refuse to work?!! And you consider these failings? Hombre, don’t you realize that this ’’ambi(t)




description of this ceremony. 18









tion’’ that you praise is the greatest motivating evil the world has known. One must have principles or ambition, as these two forces are instinctive enemies and are constantly at each others throats, Woe on the man who has both, for he will have a raging turmoil inside his person. For ambition, in the modern sense of the word, is the desire to *get ahead,’ and it is a rare man who can ’get ahead’ without sacrificing his integrity and his principles. And this other thing that you consider a fault: the refusal to work in some hated job that the payo takes merely to make money, or gain prestige, or ’get ahead’, or what have you. This rejection of work is the greatest of gypsy virtues! We refuse to prostitute our integrity in this way. We prefer to obey our natural instincts, although we may suffer more and work harder in obeying them than we would taking a soft payo job and wasting away our lives. Besides, who has the superior intelligence ; he who works unhappily within the System,

or he who pursues his own interests and remains above the

System?’’ This speaker was a dark-skinned young gypsy with considerable reputation as a poet. “Claro estd’’, spoke up an obviously respected old man, the leader of one of the newly-arrived caravans who gave the impression of being some sort of tribal wise man or witch doctor, ’’it is clear that the gypsies have outlived their age. God meant for us to live off of the fat of the land, moving from place to place feeding on wild fruits and fowl and abundant animal life, never abusing as the payo does, never depleting our sources like fools, never causing the extinction of entire species of animals, never exploiting, but merely taking what we needed. But now, through a complex puzzle of cause and effect not even understood by the payo himself, all of the lands have fences, the fruits and domestic animals owners, and the wild life is disappearing because of its exploitation by the so-called ‘civilized’ people. The gypsies should have been cut up for steaks along with the rest of the wild life, because we no longer belong. If we wish to follow our natural instincts, to pursue our way

of life, to retain our integrity,

we have no other recourse but

to steal our daily food and to camp on payo does not understand that we are that they are merely slaves to a system significance, Their instincts are moved momentarily realize the purposelessness beset by envy and longing. But instead us. We have always been.a threat to

the property of others. The fool the last of God’s children, and which reduces their lives to inwhen we come into sight, they of their existence, and they are of joining us, they chose to hate their serenity, we have always 19


them see the absurdity of their lives, and they have chosen to

drive us away, to banish us from their lands and their minds as one will

banish a wrong from his conscience.’’ The snow-white hair and nearly black face of the speaker gave him a primitive appearance in the firelight sharply belied by his words. ’’We are the symbol of everything that they lack; integrity, individualism, freedom. They cannot permit the gypsy to be the constant reminder of the ball-less void of their lives, so they





to break

our spirit,



to city slums... they have truly sinned by denying God’s children their intended existence.”’ ”One has but to think of the impertinence of the payo’’, said our old man, ’’They ‘discover’ lands that have been inhabited for thousands of years by several civilizations, and they proudly plant their flag and claim the land for their country. Not a thought is given to its present inhabitants, unless the ‘discoverers’ try to soothe their consciences during their plundering, murdering, and exploitation by deceiving themselves and the world into believing that they are committing their crimes in the names of Religion, the State, and Progress.’’ You are right, viejo’, the poet replied vengefully. ’’It is that mankind is consumed with greed, lust, and a doltish possessiveness. Why can they not leave the lands free, as God intended? How do they have the impudence to place a price on God’s real estate? To me, all of civilization paints a bile-retching picture of the strong abusing the weak. Ambition, egoism, and violent stupidity invariably are triumphant over integrity, principles, and goodness!’’ Christ, I thought, can these be the ignorant, immoral gypsies that my Spanish friends and acquaintances are constantly belittling. Gypsy reasoning may be innocent and impractically honest, but next to these people my cunning friends have little to feel superior about. The gypsies talked on, of the trials of their lives, their difficulties and disappointments, and as they talked, they became more and more depressed. Their depression became profound and directionless and morbid, almost like an orgy of despondency. They sank into the black and bottomless, but one could sense that, like all depressives, they were spurred on by a certain unconscious pleasure in their very suffering. Talking was no longer enough. Their expression, as always at such times, turned to poetry and song. I began playing a slow, melancholy Siguiriyas, and the poet stood up by the fire and dramatically recited 20

one of Lorca’s cante jondo poems, describing a cantaora singing to a dancer robed in long, black trains of silk, symbol of death. Ldmparas de cristal y espejos verdes. Sobre el tablado oscuro la Parrala sostiene una conversacion con la muerte. La llama,

no viene, y la vuelve a llamar. Las gentes

aspiran los sollozos. Y en los espejos verdes largas colas de seda sé mueven. Crystal lamps and green mirrors.

Upon a dark platform la Parrala sustains @ conversation with death. She calls, death does not come,

and she calls again. The people ave enveloped by her sobs. In the green mirrors

long trains of silk move. Desolate cantes eallgwed) each further fomenting the dejection of the impressionable gypsies. Moments such as these incite the jondo in men, and the miracle of the duende occurs; for the duende is the exposure of one’s soul, its misery and suffering, love and hate, offered

without embarrassment or resentment. It is a cry of despair, a release of tortured emotions, to be found in its true profundity only in real life situations, not in the make-believe world of theatres and night clubs 21

and commercial caves as a product that can be bought and sold and produced at will. A moving Soled by a wild-eyed gypsy from Jerez: Por ti abandoné a mis ninas, mi mare de penita murid; ahora

te vas y me


jno tienes perdén de Did! For my and may

you I abandoned my little girls, mother died of sorrow; now you abandon me... you be eternally damned!

A chilling Fandangos de Triana by Tumba: Una mujer se moria sus hijos la rvodeaban y el mds chico la decia Mama

mirame a la cara

no te mueras todavia... A woman was dying her children surrounded


and the smallest said to her Mama look at my face don’t die yet... A forlorn Playera of a loved one lost: Detrés del carrito

lloraba mi madre: no llovaba agiiita, que lloraba sangre. Behind the funeral cart sobbed my mother: she didn’t weep tears, she wept blood. As the gypsies sang, the campfire caused fleeting visions, now flickering on a rock, now on a tree, of the black-robed, dancing figure of death reigning over her terrible domain: the tragedies of unfortunate love ; a dying mother surrounded by her horrified children; the cart of 22

the dead rumbling its burden to the grave, a stricken mother stumbling blindly behind... The singing carried long into the night on the side of that lonely mountain, far from civilization, and finally an indescribable feeling surged to the surface; the moment arrived when mature men could weep cold, grim tears, lamenting the twisted fate of their lives, their race, and all mankind.

The village was as the old man had described. It smelled of grass and flowers and animals, and it exuded an enchanted feeling of the past, before there were machines

or fallout, when the stars were still a

mystery and the moon romantic, and when each region of the world had its own personality. People were arriving by horse, mule, and donkey back, many with their flocks of animals to be sold or bartered, others solely to participate in the wedding celebrations. The old man, Tumba, and myself, together with our new friends of the previous evening, set up camp in a select grove bordering the tushing stream. We noticed that it was ideal for flamenco, having a level clearing in the middle of the grove. We hung the still brimming wine skins on trees, dug a barbeque pit and set up a spit, put the animals to graze, and settled back to watch the activity. Everyone was in the state of fine spirits always caused by the anticipation of a good time. The few gypsies with horses were prancing about with their women balancing effortlessly on the rumps of the horses. Others were in groups talking animatedly, and still others, like ourselves, were resting up for the big blast. There were going to be no less than three weddings, and the competition between the celebrants was expected to be fierce. Who could have a better time longer, drink more, sleep less!? Our camp was unexcelled for popularity. We had much to offer: two skins full of good tinto, an outstanding singer, renowned gypsy intellectuals, and phenomenon of phenomenons, a ’’guitarrista Americano’’. The old man, as was his yearly custom, had singled out two of his best sheep for roasting, and everyone was invited to partake of the sizzling, smoke-flavoured meat. This was, as he explained, his once-ayear fling, and there wouldn’t be many more. He was having an absolutely: delightful time, half-tight at all hours, and rollickingly gay. Most 23

of the celebrants were old friends of his, and with each he insisted on

sharing remembrance cups of wine and of showing off his flamenco

friends. ”Anda, primos, the Bulerias’’, he would urge, and when we started off he would jump into the clearing and begin dancing. When tight the old man was a natural comedian, and he would have all of us roaring with laughter. Hearing the jaleo, other people would run up, and the old man always managed to select as his dancing partner the prettiest gitana in the crowd, whom he would set about ’’winning’’ with more antics. Then Tumba, with a wink, would dance in and sing to the gitana, pretending to woo her away from the old man, who would respond with sham indignation and stage a mock battle with Tumba; all in perfect time to this difficult rhythm. The gypsy girl, entering into the spirit of the dance, would flirt unabashedly with them both, and then, with a flip of her head and a saucy turn of her body, leave them and dance back to her boyfriend. Other gypsies would soon be dancing and singing and playing their guitars, competing, outdoing each other, and the mountain seemed to vibrate with joy. The Bulerias, the Alboreds, the Rumba Gitana, the Tientos Canasteros, the Chuflas, all of the merty cantes and bailes were sung and danced. The weddings took place in the manner that Tumba had described, and for four days the celebrating continued; four days of laughing, loving, love-making, the gypsies driving themselves to a wild frenzy, tearing at their clothes, but always good-humored and staying within certain gypsy limits and laws regardless of their delirious drunkenness. The whole village took part in the celebrations. Small children and old women danced gaily in the streets, old men sang with cracked voices, and gnarled working hands played antique guitars. Wine could not be purchased. It was everywhere, and it was free. The simple village houses were open to all. Romance was natural and without complications, and strangely innocent and clean. Pacts were made, promises were whispered, only to be forgotten with the next day’s adventures. For four days and nights our campsite played host to the composite caprices of wine, love, flamenco, and gaiety. On the fifth day it happened. No one knows quite how or why. A flash of knives in the village bar, and a gypsy, unknown to us, fell with his heart punctured. The celebration died with him; the craziness filtered away and left the bedraggled remains of four tumultuous days and nights. The knifed man was buried further down the mountain, and the a“

wailing of a gypsy song of mourning carried eerily to our campsite. A weariness and depression settled over the village like a dense fog as the voice from downstream, raucous and miserable, sang of death, hopelessness, the futility of life:

Con las fatiguitas de la muerte a un laito yo me


con mi arma destrozd sufvo mi sino... With the weariness of death I creep to one side; with a soul void of hope I suffer my destiny... After a time the voice stopped, away before an overpowering fatigue Senses were numb and minds blank gypsies fell to the ground, exhausted. ing had finally ended.

and the oppression began melting that could no longer be ignored. with tiredness as the tempestuous The celebrations and the mourn-

Across the clearing village lamps blinked out one by one, and an occasional dog challenged the infringing darkness. Small night sounds crept stealthily about as the campfires flickered low, and the gypsies succumbed to a deep, unmoving sleep.


JUERGA The juerga (flamenco session) began at my place at about 10 p, m. I have an ideal set-up in the Barrio Santa Cruz, the picturesque old

Jewish quarter in Sevilla where summertime flamenco can be heard

issuing from surrounding plazas. Of course, outdoor juergas are against the law now, but they go on just the same, reminding the old-timers nostalgically of the gay, wide-open Sevilla of thirty years ago. *’Leche’’, they confide, ’’how you would have enjoyed Sevilla in those days. Down by the Siete Pwertas (1) every building had a bar, and every bar flamencos. Sevilla had the reputation of being the gaiest town in Spain. It was a kind of tonic — people came from all over Spain to escape their lives and problems in the activity of Sevilla. Now they prohibit singing, dancing, and even the guitar in the bars. It is truly a changed, sad city.”’ But this particular jwerga was anything but sad. It was one of the many that we have at my place, which are the scandals of the neighborhood. Inappropriately, that romantic tangle of old crooked passages and hidden gardens is inhabited by traditional families with their noses to the social grindstone. They greatly disapprove of gypsies and flamencos in the neighborhood, and moreso of people who entertain them. The jwerga was one of the good, serious ones. The artists and the audience










and compatibility. There were two cantaores, a bailaora, and a guitarist, four of Spain’s non-commercial best, and five listeners, all devout aficionados, We started out with good Jerez wine, olives, fried fish, chorizo, and conversation, encouraging the old-timers to reminisce about legendary flamencos, and the merits of contemporary ones. They would illustrate their points by singing, or playing, passages of former greats, often comparing them with present styles. (1) and which 26

The Siete Puertas (Seven Doors) is a bar which still exists in Sevilla, used to be the center of Sevilla’s flamenco life.

A discussion of two of flamenco’s legendary cantaoves arose, and one of the singers, Juan Talegas, expounded an interesting comparison: ” Antonio Chacén, of course, was a far superior singer, but Manuel

Torre, when in the mood, era tinico (was in a class by himself). His

cante struck straight at the heart in a manner that was unbelievable. Chacon, also, was capable of evoking great emotion, but Torre had a duende that only one in a million possesses. The trouble with Torre was that unless he was moved he could not sing at all, while Chacon always sang beautifully.”’ Then Juan, who had been a personal friend of both, demonstrated the differences in their styles and approaches to the Cante in a manner that would be invaluable in a good anthology. As’ the wine took effect faces became illuminated and gaiety paramount, and cantes por Bulerias irrepressibly bubbled forth, intermixed with a maze of gypsy guitar falsetas (passages) and an occasional dance. The jwerga was soon in full swing, and the music and dance flowed, seriously or lightly as moods changed, into the early hours of the morning. How dawn arrived so quickly no one could explain, except that in a good juerga hours seem to pass as minutes. Finally we became restless, and the juerga began developing into good-natured hell-raising. We decided to go out to a neighboring village, a famous outpost of flamenco, for coffee and aguardiente. and whatever adventures might arise. Upon arriving we installed ourselves in a local taberna, and before long were joined by the cement factory workers who began dropping in for their early-morning copitas (eye-openers). (By the time they had both eyes open they had decided that work could wait, and they joined in). And the juerga carried on, and grew, and grew; we soon outgrew the little taberna, and spilled up the street to a larger, more central café where we were joined by still more of the local flamencos. The town was up and about by now, which added colour to the festivities. Groups of chiquillas hazarded by to the accompaniment of devastating flattery (so we thought) and irresistible flamenco. We were the shameless recipients of dagger-like stares thrown by indignant, Massbound women in black. The old fellow from the hardware store down the block closed shop and joined us. A few bankers, lawyers, and doctors embarrassedly skittered in, supposedly out on business calls. The festivities became such that even the eternal domino game broke up 27

when an apprentice bartender leaped on the table and danced until he went tumbling, table and all. The proceedings were becoming a bit scandalous, a local guardia pointed out, in view of which one of the more enthusiastic aficionados, a local bull breeder, prudently suggested we move out to his finca (ranch); we did, en masse. By this time the jwerga was developing into a town fiesta, and we were joined by many of the village adventurous. In the corral of the finca the breeder broke out one of his utreros (young fighting bulls), which proceeded to inflict minor injuries on wine-reckless aficionados. After a few such one-sided encounters, the town hopeful finally jumped in and showed us how to fight, passing the bull time and again with serious naturales and Manoletinas to thunderous shouts of ’’olé’’! ” Another Manolete’’, his admirers claimed. ”’Veremos. We'll see’’, replied tough old-timers, who had too often seen young flashes wither away. Finally the boy turned his back on the bull and stalked to the corral wall, displaying by his coolness his complete dominance of the bull. His followers could contain themselves no longer; up on their shoulders he went, to be paraded about the finca in heroic confusion. By now countless local aficionados were dancing and singing in large groups about the patio, and the din of boisterous singing, laughing, and shouting began to make our heads throb. During the proceedings some gypsy girls chanced along, and one of the singers proposed that a group of us escape to the tranquility of his place in Alcala. He is a very fine singer, but one of the non-commercial, non-prosperous breed, and his ’’place’’ is a rather romantic cave cut into a hillside overlooking the river Guadaira, just below the ruins of an old Roman castle. Who could resist the idea. On arriving we lounged about at the entrance to the cave, sipping fino and feeling mellow and somehow exalted after our night of juerga. Below us women washed clothes in the river, and nude children played blissfully in the high grass along the edge. A donkey stood picketed nearby, watching us with ancient eyes as God must watch fools in their folly. I began stroking the guitar softly, lazily, and the girls sang romantic verses in low, caressing, gypsy voices... La luna es un pozo chico, las flores no valen nada, 28

lo que valen son tus brazos cuando

de noche

The moon



is a little well,

flowers are worth nothing; what is of value are your arms when at night they embrace me... As the music blended with faraway sounds, an overwhelming sense of peace pervaded the group. For the moment we were all brothers, differences forgotten, prejudices dissolved... Across the river distant olive groves simmered in the afternoon sun, and time, and the jwerga, droned contentedly on...





Flamenco and the Fiesta (spectacle of bullfighting) are deeply related. This connection is undeniable, and vital for an understanding of either. Both stem basically from the common people, and they stir the same basic emotions and passions. Both are given flashes of erratic genius by gypsies, and a sense of indomitable steadiness and responsibility by the Andalucians. And they have in common another important factor: they are the two most probable ways that the commoner can break out of his social and economic level. This


has been

dealt with often,

but is still little under-

stood. The guitarist Sabicas has tried to capture it on his record ’’Day of the Bullfight’’. The poet Garcia Lorca wrote inseparably of flamenco and the bulls. Gonzalez Climent dedicated an entire book to the psychological and physical ties between the flamenco dance and song, and the Fiesta. My brief contribution follows, spiced with the fabulous poetry of Garcia Lorca:

Late in the afternoon cingly



on bullfight




the sun

of Andalucian

slants menavillages,


luminating the stark-whiteness of humble houses crowding haphazardly about churches,


ruins, and,


of Andalucia,

bull rings.





air is charged




fear... and a source-less undercurrent of a flamenco guitar, sound-

ing at first slowly, and raspier sand...


clearly, profoundly,


as the blood


of man

then growing or beast

A las cinco de la tarde. Eran las cinco en punto de la tarde. Un nitio trajo la blanca sdbana a las cinco de la tarde. 30


spills to the

Una espuerta de cal ya prevenida a las cinco de la tarde. Lo demds era muerte y sdlo muerte a las cinco de la tarde. {Que no quiero verla! Dile a la luna que venga que no quiero ver la sangre de Ignacio sobre la arena (1). At five in the afternoon. It was five sharp in the afternoon. A small boy brought the white sheet at five in the afternoon. A basket of lime was already prepared at five in the afternoon. Everything else was death, and only death, at five in the afternoon. I can’t stand to see it! Tell night to fall; I don’t want to see the blood of Ignacio on the sand. The eternal guitar plays on, and its duende seeps into atficionados, the walls, the wine, everywhere, and makes the village vibrant and explosive. It does not subside until long after the bull-

fight and the inevitable juergas, and even then never completely disappears. For this guitar is the soul of flamenco, the soul of bullfighting... the timeless essence of Andalucia. Empieza el lanto de la guitarra. Se rompen las copas de la madrugada. Empieza el llanto de la guitarra. Es inittil callarla. Es imposible













callarla. Llora monétona como

llora el agua,

como llora el viento sobre la nevada.

Es imposible callarla.

Llora por cosas lejanas. Arena del Sur caliente que pide camelias blancas. Llora flecha sin blanco, la tarde sin manana


The cry of the guitar begins. The crystals of dawn shatter. The wail

of the guitar begins. It is useless to silence it.

It is impossible to silence it. It cries monotonously like water cries, like wind cries over frozen peaks. It is impossible to silence it. It bemoans distant things. It is the hot Southern sand craving white camellias. It is an arrow without destination, the afternoon


“'La Guitarra’,


by Federico


Garcia Lorca.








difference in color of payo and gypsy faces



ars 77

Ttthh & burro)


a tn:


5 e













lee we

eo eoocmnte





Ser drinks






Ee ‘










wal meahed some


gy PI are




nebtiret a: linbag:



Sear ance,







to ws:




precio i




OEM sa


Te Shahi


babe es)








gear epe aeaee

aE dee






(whes bien
















The verses included in the Encyclopedia have been selected to be the most representative of each cante. The Spanish form has been guarded as closely as possible in the translations, although it was often necessary to translate the verses more or less freely in order to avoid clouding their meaning. The rhyming of the verses had to be sacrificed entirely. These verses, ingenious in their phrasing and symbolism in Spanish, lose somewhat in translation. A considerable knowledge of Andalucia and its philosophy is necessary in order to capture the true fragrance of their meaning. I have attempted to give something of this knowledge during the course of the book, and have explained in the Encyclopedia those verses that are probably the least meaningful to the non-Spaniard. A brief general explanation follows which is intended to further crystallize the meaning of these verses. The verses of the Cante are derived from two sources: the poet who creates them and passes them on to the people through a published work (and which are often altered to fit the personality of each interpreter) ; and those springing from the people themselves, created during inspired moments by cantaores and aficionados. The verses of the professional poet, usually a profound expression of the feelings of the people, are nearly always more grammatically correct than those created by the people. To my knowledge, the only poets who have had their verses widely accepted have been Andalucians. Perhaps the most flamenco and colorful verses are those of the gypsies, which are distinguished by their picturesquely incorrect grammatical


and spelling, their tenderness, and their vivid surrealism.



What has seemed to excite the most verses, regardless of their sour-

ce, is the indignation and sorrow caused by being deceived in love, the ingratitude and falsity of humanity, and (never-forgotten) death. Many verses also deal with religion (pro for the philosophy, con for the bureaucracy), an unjust society controlled by the rich and the strong, admiration for those who rebel against this society (smugglers, bandits, etc.), and love in general. Often a verse will express a deep sorrow in a more 97

or less humorous way; the southern Spaniard makes fun of everything

except God and mother, including death, a result of his inbred resigna-

tion and skepticism. The verses are not sung exactly as they appear on the printed page. Lines are often repeated, words prolonged, long wails of aaay interjected (x). When actually heard and seen interpreted, the verses are infinitely more meaningful. That is another adventure that awaits the aficionado!



the example

of this Siguiriya

of the legendary


Son tan grandes mis penas que no caben mds. Yo muero loco, sin calé de nadie,

My suffering is so great I can bear no more. I am dying insane, without

en el Hospitd...

in the hospital

In the actual singing of this verse, it may Son tan grandes mis penas que no caben mds jayyy!...

warmth of [anyone, (insane asylum)...

be changed



I can

Dios mio, que yo muero

loco, sin calé de nadie,

My God, I am dying insane,



My suffering is so great I can bear no more

que no caben

en el Hospitd...


bear no more.

in the hospital...


warmth of [anyone,




The following Genealogy is the result of extensive studies of the origins of the components of present day flamenco. The chart only attempts to trace the basic origins of these components, along with a few of the more important secondary influences. If all of the subtle crosscurrents were charted, the result would be an incoherent muddle. It will suffice keeping in mind that the Andalucian influence, especially the gypsy, is strong in all of these components as we know them today, regardless of their origins. There has been much agitated guesswork as to which cantes were actually conceived by the gypsies. Only four have been irrefutably established as pure gypsy creations: the Martinetes, Rods, Alboreds, and the Zambra. Other than these, the cantes with perhaps the strongest gypsy influence have been the cantes grandes, particularly the Playeras, Siguiriyas, Deblas, Soleares... As all but three (Danza Mora, Zapateado, Rondena toque) of the charted











entitled Genealogy of ’’Cante’’ Flamenco.



WdIW |










Sva00g Tv

OWI \owowz





ieee a ;

| vamortw

1 ee
















svsoY L





| — (SOW) |!

scour et

; '


SW¥ImMe |


| odn















oe se SWUWNT

plkee eae=:

Wien77 orm



jou GOT0d







one y ayva) fo hSapoaua9



106 107 108

109 r09g IIo III Tit 112 II3 II4 II5 II5 117 I05 117 118

118 119 119 120 120 122 122 123 124 124 125 126



Caleseras Campanilleros Cantifias Cafias Caracoles

139 I4I 139 I4

Fiestas Garrotin

Mirabras Murcianas

Policafia Polos

137 138

Fandangos Grandes Fandangos de Huelva Fandanguillos Farruca



133 133 134 134 136

Colombianas Danza Mora Deblas



132 132

Cartageneras Chuflas

Marianas Martinetes Media Granaina Medio Polo

125 128 128 129



Granainas Guajiras Jaberas Jaleos Livianas Malagueiias






Alegrfas Bamberas


103 104 104 105






145 142 143 143 144 144 145 146 146 147 148 148 149 149 150

Palmares Peteneras






Rondefias Rosas Rumba Gitana Saetas Serranas Sevillanas


Solea Solea Corta Soleares

Soleariya Tangos Flamencos Tanguillo Tarantas

Taranto Temporeras Tientos Antiguos Tientos Canasteros Tirana Tonas Trilleras Verdiales Vito

Zambra Zapateado Zorongo Gitano




Ss re













er Bey












‘eatrgath ebradenet

e I

ms pati) sdtuu A ae fr

on ey


“ a




epingioe ayitiplos

, EY aovosmslT eoaT

pttengneT hastens

%¢ a

oh x



eorofesneD ;




: 3

ve *



as aT

tiniege aati



A fx te)





ae Si)

stot snack


i gatded

avlanheob 2oganbagt’


opt apt



spe et

4 A






S > erates

Bae OD

,,-T B






ds ~ | spbaste: sogdsbatl

pA See we Ty agin’ sounitak,




falbe apex

ghod dloe




2 ae





* a: k


jealojbigVe Sx ze ORNS Sheed, b HES, Ober ft

obsstaqs’ Opt it We onntid- onno208 oer ay

og oF .


eollingasbart ‘


morn Eaieath


“entljsued’ z


sogted aiid





ALBOREAS.—Cante, baile, and toque chico. The word “’alboreds’’ is an abbreviation of ’’alboreadas’’, meaning dawning; dawn of the day’’, which has led some theoreticians to believe that the Alboreds are merely songs sung at dawn. In reality, the Alboreds are a gypsy wedding cante, believed by the gypsies to give bad luck if sung at other than the celebration of a wedding. The word “alboreadas’’ can also be construed to mean ’’a happening at dawn’’, which is the time the Alboreds are often sung to the newly-weds, and which could explain their connection with dawn. More romantically, it could also signify the ’’dawning of a new life’ for the couple. The Alboreds are usually done to the compds of the Bulerias. En un verde prado tendi mi panuelo. Salieron tres rosas como tres luceyos. Padrinito honrao @ tu hija ya la han coronao.

In a green pasture I stretched out my handkerchief. Three roses appeared like three morning stars. Righteous father, they have crowned your daughter.






que hasta bonitos tiene los pies,




at her,

she is pretty to the tips of her toes.

The above verses refer to a gypsy ceremony testing the virtue of the bride-to-be. If this ’’virtue test’’ is successfully passed, it is in effect the wedding ceremony. The mother of the bride-to-be, and the parents of the bridegroom-to-be, deliver the nuptial handkerchief to an old woman who presides at this ceremony. The old woman takes the girl aside and inserts the handkerchief into her, deftly rupturing the girl’s virginity, if existent. If the handkerchief is withdrawn spotted with blood, the wedding is consecrated, and a two or three day celebration ensues,

If the handkerchief

is withdrawn

with no trace of blood,


thing might happen, including a pitched battle between the families and their supporters. One thing is certain; the wedding rarely takes place. But considering that gypsy girls marry at the tender age of fourteen (or less), the ceremony has all of the probabilities of turning out well. If so, further rituals are performed (described in Donkey Back, Part I), culminated by the singing of the Alboreds to the newly-weds. Of course,




gypsies are adopting payo



cluding the church wedding ceremony. Only a few gypsy bands still tenaciously cling to their antique customs and rituals in this age when all remnants of regional colour are fast giving way to a fanatical drive 403

to make three billion people look, act, and talk alike in a dull, universal togetherness. ALEGRIAS.—Cante chico, baile intermedio, toque chico. The Alegrias, developed in CAdiz, were conceived from the ancient Soleares ; their rhythmical count and accentuation are identical, although the Alegrias are faster, and their chord structure stresses the gay major chords rather than the more melancholy minor chords of the Soleares. The cante and the toque of the Alegrias are lively and vivacious (Alegrias translates ’’gaiety’’). The baile has developed along slightly more jondo lines. As a popular Tientos Canasteros verse states, one should go to the Barrio Santa Maria (gypsy quarter) in Cadiz to see the Alegrias performed, in the little taverns and often in the streets themselves, with their true flavour. Various cantes have been inspired by the Alegrias, such as the Bulerias, Romeras, Mirabrés, Cantinas, Caracoles, and Rosas. The Alegrias, one of the more difficult elements of the chico category, are also one of the two or three most popular. Aunque

me ponga en tu puerta




Even if they put in your door-way artillery


tengo que pasar por ella aunque me cueste la via.

I would attempt to enter although it cost me my life.

Se han puesto en balanza

Two hearts




a un




on a

uno pidiendo justicia, otro pidiendo — venganza.

one asking justice, the other — vengeance.

Cuando te vengas conmigo éque addnde te voy a llevar? Que a darte un paseito por la muralla real.

When where For a along


you come with me am I going to take you? little walk the great sea-wall (in Cédiz).

BAMBERAS.—Cante chico, neither danced nor played. In many towns of Andalucia their still exists a curious medieval tradition of erecting huge swings every spring and summer, as a sort of fair weather sport celebrating the crop harvests. Each neighborhood in the town has its swing, and there are competitions to see who can swing the highest. The swingers are usually full-skirted girls, aided by people on the ground with ropes attached to the swing. In rhythm to the swinging, the spectators sing Bamberas, which are similar to the FandanguiHos and the cantes camperos (Trilleras, Nanas), while peeking at the 104

girls’legs. name

It is claimed that the Bamberas

is derived from the word


are of Celtic origin. Their the local name for "swing’’.

Eres chiquita y bonita, eres como yo te quiero, eves una campanita en las manos de un platero...

You are petite and pretty, like I want you, a little bell in the hands of a silversmith...

La no mi mi

The has nor nor

nitta que esté en la bamba tiene padre, ni madre, novio que vaya a verla, perrito que la ladre...





girl that is swinging neither father nor mother, boy friend that goes to see her, even a little dog to bark at her... chico.

The Bulerias are a gaier, wilder, faster version of the family Alegrias — Jaleos — Soleares, maintaining the same rhythmical count, although their accentuation is far more complex. Both major and/or minor chord structures are employed. It is said that the gypsies of Jerez de la Frontera mistakenly misperformed the Alegrias over a period of time, with the resultant development of the Bulerias. Although the Bulerias were apparently performed first as a slow dance, they are now the liveliest component of all flamenco, often performed in a humorous vein. The name ’’bulerias’’ was derived from the word ’’burlerias’’ (to make fun of). The Bulerias are the overwhelming favorite of the flamencos on festive occasions (the Bulerias are also called ’’Fiestas’’), being particularly suited to the gypsies. They are probably the most technically intricate and difficult flamenco form for the guitarist. There are many styles of Bulerias, the most frequently heard being those of Sevilla, Triana, Alcala, Jerez, Puerto Real, Puerto Santa Matia, and


The following are typical gypsy verses: Tengo en mi casa un jardin por si viene un contra tiempo vender yo flores pa ti.

In my house I have a garden in order to sell flowers for you if bad times come.

A mi me duele, me duele la boquita de decirte, gitana, si tt me quieres.

My mouth hurts me, gitana, from asking you if you love me. 105

Lo he dicho, y lo voy hacé un teléfono sin hilo pa sabé de tu queré..

I’m going to make, as I have said, a wireless telephone in order to know of your love...

Er queré quita er sentio; lo digo por esperiensia, porque a mi m’ha suseio.


I talk through experience because it has happened to me.

A mi me daban, me daban, tentaciones de locura cuando de ti me acordaba.

I had crazy temptations whenever I thought of you.

Ven acd, falsa y refalsa,© falsa, te vuelvo a deci... El dia que me vendiste, ccudnto te dieron por mi?...

false, I say again, the day that you sold me out, how much did they give?

Cuando pases por mi vera orvia que me has querio y no me mires siquiera,

When you pass by me forget that you have loved me and don’t even glance my way,


If we were in a room together I would do anything for you, even take poison.

un cuartito los dos,



tt me








the senses;



CALESERAS.—Cante chico, neither danced nor played. A ’’calesero’’ is the driver of a horse-drawn buggy. The Caleseras are the cante that helps these drivers pass the long hours on the open road. The compds is to the trot of the horse’s hooves, slow or fast as the case may be. The verses are usually about animals, the country, and love. The Caleseras are thought to be a much gaier descendent of the Serrana.

Tengo una yegua rubia, rubia castana, la rubia de Lucena se llama la -yegua.

I have a blonde mare, a chestnut mare, she is called

the Blonde of Lucena (a town near Cérdoba). ;

CAMPANILLEROS.—Andalucian folklore not considered The Campanilleros are a traditional cante sung by the religious processions called the ’’Rosario de la Aurora’’ dawn). These processions leave at dawn from their churches 106

flamenco. members of (Rosary at for various

teligious motives, proceeding through the streets singing the Campanieros, en masse, to the accompaniment

of the ringing of little bells, and

sometimes guitars, carried by the members of the procession. The tradition of the bells is being lost, although a few parishes in Andalucia still respect this colorful ceremony. These processions take place most frequently during Lent, and in the fall of the year. The Campanilleros are not usually considered flamenco, as the cante has few of the characteristics of true flamenco singing. Nevertheless, they do play an interesting part in the life of Andalucia, and therefore qualify to be mentioned. Also, a few singers have introduced more flamenco-ized versions of the cante, apparently attempting to add the Campanilleros to flamenco’s repertoire. When accompanied by the guitar,-the Fandanguillo compds is often used, or merely a steady, beating thythm. Their name derived from the tradition of the little bells, which are called


En los pueblos de mi Andalucia los Campanilleros a la madrugé me despiertan con sus campanillas y con su guitarra me jasen lord...

At dawn the Campaunilleros wake me with their little bells and make me weep with their guitar in the villages of my Andalucia...

Un devoto por ir al Rosario

As the Rosary

por una ventana se quiso arrojd,



y al deci *’;Dios te sarve Maria!l’’,


on crying ’’God save you, Ma-

se jayo en er suelo sin jaserse nd.

[rial’’, he crashed to the ground uninjured.






devout threw himself [from a window,

baile, and toque chico.

The Cantifias are identical to the Alegrias, with the exception of a variation in the cante. The word ’’cantina’’ is the name given to medieval songs from Galicia, in northern Spain, which leads theorists to believe that the Cantiias were adopted by the people of Cadiz and set to the rhythm of the Alegrias. They are a gay cante, with a strongly accentuated compds. Excellent present day singers of the Cantifas are Aurelio de Cadiz, Pericén de Cadiz, and La Perla de Cadiz, among others.


A ti muchos te dirdn, *’Serrana, por ti yo muero’’;

Many will tell you “Mountain Girl, I would

yo nunca te he dicho nd que soy el que mds te quiero.

I have never told you that, although I am the one that loves [you most.

Que que que que

With when you're at the

con el aire que llevas cuando caminando vas, hasta el farol de la popa tu lo vas a apagar...

die for


the air that you have swinging along, likely to blow out the lantern poop of the boat...

CANAS.—Cante, baile, and toque grande. The Camas, together with their sister cante, the Polos, are the most ancient known manifestation of flamenco. They were derived from religious chants centuries ago. Many cantes have derived, directly or indirectly, from the Camas (see the Genealogy of Cante Flamenco), the most similar of which are the Soleares. Today the basic differences between the Caias, Polos, and the Soleares are in the structure of their cantes. Their bailes and toques are very similar, although traditional differences still exist which are known by truly knowledgeable artists. Presently the Camas are rarely performed in their traditional purity, although strong efforts are being made to revive this majestic cante. The







all contributed

creatively to the development of the Cafias. Deja que la gente diga que te quiero y no te quiero, yo soy quien pasa las penas, y sé que te estoy queriendo...

Let the people say what that I love you or don’t I am the one who suffers and I know that I love

El no al y

The book of experience serves man for nothing; the truth comes at the end, and no one arrives to the end...

libro sirve final nadie

de la experiencia al hombre de nd; viene la letra llega al final...

La mujer y la sombra tienen un simil: que buscando se alejan, dejadas, siguen. 108

they wish, love you, the pangs, you...

A woman and a shadow are much alike; on being pursued, they escape; on being ignored, they follow.

CARACOLES.—Cante and toque chico, baile intermedio. The Caracoles are rhythmically identical to the Alegrias, varying mainly in their cantes and in their chord structures. Today the Caracoles are considered to be a cante of Madrid. In modern times this is true, due to their introduction to Madrid by the roth century banderieros (placers of banderillas in the bullfight) Curro Cuchares and el Tato,


fore this,


and were

the cantaores


captivated el de

by the Caracoles




in Cadiz.


el Gandul


taken a relatively serious and majestic Caracoles and infected them with the gaiety and lightness characteristic of the cantes of Cadiz. Thus the Caracoles have developed from relatively serious to light, and have been transplanted from the province of Cadiz to Madrid. The word **caracoles’’ literally means ’’snails’’, but here it is used as an exclamation, much like ’’caramba’’. It is thought that the Caracoles may have been in part developed from a 19th century Cantifia called ’’La Caracolera’’. Como reluce la gran calle de Alcala cuando suben y bajan los Andaluces.

How the great street of Alcala glitters and shines when the people of Andalucia pass up and down.

Alcala is a principal street in Madrid. Vdmonos,


Let’s go, let’s go

al café de la Union

en donde para Curro el Tato, y, Juan Leon.

to the




the meeting place of Curro Cticha-


el Tato, y Juan Leén.

The Café de la Unién, in Madrid, used to be the hangout for toreros, banderilleros, and other people of the bull ring.

CARCELERAS.—Cante grande *’a palo seco’’, neither played nor danced. ”Carcel’”’? means jail’ or ’’prison’’, ’’carceleras’’ translates ’’happenings in a prison.’’ The Carceleras are reminiscent of the Martinetes, Tonds, and Siguiriyas in their wailing, difficult execution. They are a cante that was created, and still thrives, within the walls of Andalucian

prisons. They are the lonely cry of the abandoned, of men who have become criminals during a moment of passion, or perhaps have been 109

jailed mistakenly. They are jondo, serious, and hopeless; men pressed against bars and crying:

a cante of

Maldita sea la céarcel, sepultura de hombres vivos, donde se amansan los guapos y se pierden los amigos.

Damned be the jail, tomb of live men, where spirited men are tamed and friends are lost.

Conoct a un hombre de bien, tan cabal como un relo, y por cosas del querer en un presidio murio,

I knew a good man, as faultless as a watch; through the happenings he died in a prison,

Si alguien hubiera en el mundo que la libertad me diera,

If someone could


of love

in the world me


con jierros en los tobillos esclavito suyo fuera.

with chains on my ankles I would be his slave.

Aquel que tenga familia

He who has should talk for he may by someone







que puede tené el castigo de que de la suya hablen. This verse refers to a gypsy

a family badly of no one, be punished in turn talking of his.

superstition that slanderous

talk is

liable to backfire.

The Carceleras also served a practical purpose. Gypsy prisoners used to sing messages in cald (the language presently spoken by the Spanish gypsies, an impure mixture of Romani and Spanish) to relatives and friends outside of the walls, much to the annoyance of the uncomprehending guards. CARTAGENERAS.—-Cante and toque intermedio, not danced. The Cartageneras were conceived by the sweat, risks, and hard life of the miners of Levante during the latter part of the last century and the beginning of the present. They are sad, resigned, and jondo in nature, and have a definite Oriental quality. They are a free cante, having no defined compds; the guitarist has the difficult task, in this and in all free cantes, of following the whims of the singer. They are a true test for both the singer and the guitar accompanist. Their name was taken


the eastern Mediterranean

seaport of Cartagena.

A singer called Rojo el Alpargatero is credited with much of their early development, followed by Antonio Chacén’s superb interpreta-

tions. 110

Se estdé quedando la Union como corrd sin gallinas: a unos se los lleva Dios, a otros los matan las minas.

La like God the

Unién is becoming a farm without chickens: takes some, mines finish the others.

La Union was a mining town in the mountains near Cartagena that had a typically large casualty list in the years of primitive mining. Obrero, si pa ti para el y para

porqué trabajas no es el producto; rico es la ventaja tu familia el luto.

Worker, why do you work if you don’t reap the benefits; for the rich, the rewards, for vour family, the mourning.

Notice the similarity between songs of the 20’s and 30’s. CHUFLAS.—Cante,

this verse and the American


baile, and toque chico.

A more burlesque form of the Tientos Canasteros (Tangos), the Chuflas are an all-out effort at humour. Developed by the gypsies of the Cadiz region, it is said that only the gypsies have the abandon to dance the Chuflas well; if not done with true gracia and good taste by a natural comedian, they often become grotesque. The Chuflas will often express the public’s view of contemporary events, usually in a humorously ironic manner. As in the Chuflas anything goes, they are probably flamenco’s most truly spontaneous component.

Verses of the Tientos Canasteros and the Chuflas can be sung interchangeably, as the rhythm and accentuation are identical. The word ’’chufla’’ means ’’kidding’’, ’’horsing around’’. Somos unos

senores, giienos



are seiiores,

all good friends,

que a divertirnos

decided to




a pasar las incomodidades y a partirnos las utilidades. COLOMBIANAS.—Cante,

a good


to ignore the bad and share the good.

baile, and



The Colombianas have been inspired by the rhythms of Colombian folk music. Their compds, accentuation, chording and flavour are reminiscent of the Cuban Gwajiras, and the Rumba Gitana. They have been popularized to a great extent by the dancer Carmen Amaya and Ml

the guitarist Sabicas. They are known to be gay, but, as you can note from the verses, this is not necessarily so. Quisiera ser perla fina de esos pulidos arretes y besarte la boquita y morderte los cachetes. cQuién te manda ser bonita si hasta a mi me comprometes?

Oh, to be one of the elegant pearls of your burnished ear rings and kiss your pretty mouth and bite your cheeks. Who told you to be so pretty that even me you are winning?

De la guerra vengo ciego, y aunque me sea doloroso, prefiero no ver el cielo que verte que estds con otro; hubiera sido un consuelo dar mi vida al Poderoso.

I return blind from the war, and although it is truly sad, I prefer not to see the sky than to see you with another; it would have been a consolation to give my life to the Almighty.

Con tu genio y tus desplantes,


es poco grato mi sino. jBien supistes engaharme al tropezarte conmigo! jPues que te pelen al rape y que te den el ricino!




and your (tantrums, my destiny is pretty grim. How well you knew how to deceive me! So let them shave your head and give you castor oil!

This verse refers to the hoped-for jail treatment of a bad-natured lover.

DANZA MORA.—Baile and toque chico, not sung. *’Danza Mora’ translates ’’Moorish Dance’’, and is a direct flamenco adaptation of the Moorish style of music. Rhythmically it is similar to the Zambra. The Danza Mora is the flamenco baile and toque most influenced by the Moors. It is usually danced barefoot, and often with little cymbals on the tips of the fingers which make bell-like sounds when struck together. It is generally more serious and less sensuous than the Zambra, with an increased use of slow, fluid arm movements, and without the desplantes which mark the Zambra. When danced well the Danza Mora has an air of mysterious beauty which characterizes all serious Oriental dancing. Sometimes verses of the Zambra will be sung to the Danza Mora. This practice is frowned upon, as it is out of keeping with the feeling of the dance. 112

DEBLAS.—Cante grande ’’a palo seco’’, neither danced -nor played. The Deblas are one of the most jondo manifestations of the cante grande. Very few cantaores are capable of singing them with their original depth of expression. Presently the Tonds, Deblas, and Martinetes are nearly indistinguishable to most cantaores and aficionados, and are often


in the same


as the complete


of each


been nearly forgotten. Great effort is being made to revive these grand cantes. The Deblas, as we know them today, were created by El Lebrijano,

a singer of the 18th century, and further developed by Diego el Fillo in the early roth century. Their verses have the curious characteristic of being always ended with the phrase ’’deblica bare’’ (usually sung in the










calé (gypsy) for ’’grand goddess’’. The reason for this is unknown. Most probably there is a connection between the Deblas and some distant gypsy religious rite. Rafael Romero sings one of the few recorded interpretations of the Deblas (and another rarely heard cante, the Tonds Chicas) on the Westminster Anthology of Cante Flamenco. Yo ya no era quien era mi quien yo fui ya seré; soy un drbol de tristeza pegaito a la paré. Deblica bare... Una mujer fue la de mi perdicién no hay perdicién que por mujeres Deblica bare...

causa primera; en el mundo no venga.

En el barrio de Triana no hay pluma ni tintero pa escribirle yo a mi mare que hace tres aios no la veo. Deblica bare...

I am no longer what I was nor will I be again;

I am a tree of sadness in the shadow of a wall. Deblica bare... A woman was the cause of my first downfall; there is no perdition in the world that is not caused by women. Deblica


In the neighborhood of Triana there is neither pen nor ink with which

to write my


whom I haven’t seen for three years. Deblica bare...

This verse reflects the poverty which still exists in the Barrio de Triana,

in Sevilla. m3

FANDANGOS GRANDES.—Cante and toque intermedio, not danced. The Fandangos Grandes are probably the most widely sung, and badly abused, cante of all of flamenco. Every singer with the minimum of pretentions attempts the Fandangos Grandes; but the Grandes, sung

as they should be, are not a cante for the run-of-the-mill singer. The

true Fandangos Grandes approach the jondo, and are dominated by only a few singers; el Gordito de Triana, Antonio Mairena, Canalejas de Puerto Real, and Caracol are among their true masters. The origin of the category ’’Fandangos’’, which includes the Grandes and the Fandanguillos

(also called Fandangos de Huelva) is thought

to have been in the Jota country of northern Spain (1). The original Fandangos were lively and danceable, accompanied by guitars, castanets, tambourines, and violins (as is still true of the traditional Verdiales of the same family). In time one branch of the Fandangos took on more serious aspects, chiefly because of the influence of Arabic stylings, and grew away from the original Fandangos; this jondo outgrowth is the Fandangos Grandes. Now, due to their completely different natures, it is necessary to differentiate between the Fandangos Grandes (Great Fandangos), and the Fandanguillos (Little Fandangos). There are many types of Fandangos Grandes, the most prodigious being those of Triana, Cérdoba, and Lucena. They are an abstract cante without an indicated compds, the guitar having to closely follow the singer. La gente quiere perderte y voy a salvarte yo, porque me duele tu pena como le dolidé al Senor el llanto de Magdalena.

The people wish to reject you, but I am going to save you because your grief saddens me as the grief of Magdalena saddened God.

A los racimos de uva

Your love seems

se parece tu querer;

like a bunch of grapes;

la frescura viene antes,

the freshness comes first,






tt no encuentro nin(guna, con quien compararte;

mujer, (1) 114


The Jota,

in turn,



I won’t find another woman to compare

with you;

has been traced to a Moorish heritage.

sélo he visto, por fortuna, a una en un estandarte y a los pies leva la luna.

I have only seen one on a pedestal with the moon at her feet.

This verse refers to a statue of the Virgin Mary, standing on a ball which could be taken as the moon. Por su santa voluntd ciego hizo Dios el queré. Yo he visto mds de una vé perderse a un hombre cabal por una mala mujer.

on which she is

God made love blind by his saintly desire. I have seen more than once the ruin of a good man over a bad woman.

And two depressing Fandangos de Triana: Una mujer se moria sus hijos la rodeaban y el mds chico la decia Mama mirame a la cara no te mueras todavia...

A woman was dying her children surrounded her and the smallest said to her Mama look at my face don’t die yet...

Entré un dia en un manicomio me pesa el haberlo hecho yo vi una loca en el patio se sacaba y daba el pecho a una munequita de trapo...

I entered an insane asylum one day —it grieves me to have done it— I saw a crazy woman in the patio take out and feed her breast to a little rag doll...

FANDANGUILLOS.—Cante and toque chico, mixed dance. The Fandanguillos (Fandangos de Huelva) are thought to have descended from the Jota of northern Spain. Originally they were accompanied

by guitars,

violins, tambourines,

and castanets. Deep in the

Huelva country, where these instruments are scarce, supplemental accompanying instruments have been developed, and are still used, which are: reed flutes, hand-made by the country people from reeds that grow in the country; pieces of partially-split cane that, when skillfully banged between the thumb and forefinger, produce a sound similar to castanets; and crude drums on which they beat out the basic rhythm. Each village in the province of Huelva has developed its own style of Fandanguillo, the most well-known being those of Almonte, Alosno, and el Rocio. A particularly good time to hear these many types of Fandanguillos is during the Romeria del Rocio (religious pilgrimage to the village of Rocio, which lies between Sevilla and Huelva). Once a 11s

year el Rocfo is the convergent point of oxen carts from all over the

province (this Romeria is, sadly enough, becoming badly cluttered up with automobiles, motos, trucks, etc.). Religious ceremonies are stressed the first two or three days, followed by two or three days more of merriment sparked by countless Fandanguillos which issue from everywhere and everybody. The Fandanguillos have enjoyed immense popularity during this century, much to the disgust of the purists. During a span of thirty or forty years the Fandanguillos and the Fandangos Grandes were almost all that could be heard of flamenco. This state of affairs, extremely harmful to the art of flamenco, is just today subsiding. The most famous fandanguero remembered is Pepe Pérez de Guzman,

a member

of an aristocratic family

of Huelva.

The Fandanguillos are characterized by a never-ending number of poetically beautiful verses of all themes and moods, as follows: Cuando la vi de llorar que

crei de



pero luego me enteré que ella lloraba por otro, y entonces fui yo quien lloré.

When I saw her cry I thought that I would go crazy. But later I understood that she cried for another; then it was I who

Me tratas como a un nifio porque te quiero con locura. Tu me tiras por los suelos. Qué malamente me miras tanto como yo te quiero.

You treat because I You drag How bad

Se al y se

As they rounded a corner they met again, and like two children they began crying. Love has no cure.

volvieron a encontrar revolver una esquina, como dos criaturas pusieron a llorar,

El amor

no tiene cura.

No quiero que hables con naide.

as much

me love me you


like a child you with frenzy. . through the dirt. are with me

as I love you.

con tu padre,

I don’t want you to talk to anyone. Only to your confessor, your father,







con tu

tu confesor, madre,

con tu hermanita,

¥ yo. 6

and me.

The last verse portrays prevalent in Andalucia. Hasta


te tengo




de la muerte




TI shall love you even after death, for the dead can still love. I love you with my soul, and the soul never dies.

estar queriendo,

que muerto también se quiere. Yo te quiero con el alma, y el alma nunca se muere.

FARRUCA.—Baile and toque chico, no longer sung. La Farruca is thought to be an adaptation of the dances of the province of Asturias, in northern Spain. This belief is strengthened by the dictionary definition of ’’farruca’’: ’’Asturian or Galician newlyarrived ; brave, courageous.’’ It is very similar to the Tientos Canasteros, although its baile and toque have developed along more majestic, serious lines.


bailes and


such as the Farruca,

have been

formed in the port of Cadiz, which was an extremely popular stop-over port in the past. The Gaditanos (people of CAdiz) were fast to absorb their visitor’s folklore, and were ingenious in converting it to flamenco. The Farruca has developed, largely through the efforts of el Faico, a rgth century dancer from Sevilla, as probably the most virile of the male dances. The cante Farruca largely disappeared in the last century. GARROTIN—.Andalucian



is being



slowly’ but surely into flamenco

circles, as are the Sevillanas, Milongas, Tanguillos, Campanilleros, and the Vito, to date considered folklore. All of these are considered by an

increasing number of aficionados as chico elements.

The Garrotin is said to have descended from the Farruca and, like the Farruca, is thought to have been converted into flamenco in the

Cadiz area from the folklore of northern Spain, probably of Asturias or Galicia. Mi mario es mi mario y no es mario de nadie;

la que quiera a mi mario vaya a la guerra y lo gane. Pregintale a mi mi sombrero te las malas noches y el relente que

sombrero, dird que paso me da.


husband is mine

and mine alone; whoever wants him

has a fight on her hands. Ask my


and it will tell you of the bad nights that I pass and the cold that I feel. il7

GRANAINAS.—Cante and toque intermedio. Not danced. The Granainas are an adaptation of the Fandangos Grandes which have been strongly influenced by the Moors, rulers of Granada for eight centuries. They have developed a more discordant, Oriental quality than the Fandangos Grandes. Although not considered particularly jondo, certain interpreters, such as el Nifio de Almadén, give them a profundity and beauty that cannot be denied. Many of their melodies and verses strongly stress the resignation prevalent in the Arabic and Gypsy philosophies. They are a free cante and toque, without a determined compds. The term ’’granainas’’ is an abbreviation of ’’granadinas’’, which means to say ’’songs from Granada’’. Ninguno ya tiene penas, que todas las tengo yo, con una losita negra encima del corazon... Una



al pecho,

engarza en oro y marfil, deja que me duerma en ella, crucificandome alli...

No one has grief anymore, I have it all myself, with a black tombstone upon my heart... You carry a cross on your chest, _mounted in gold and ivory, let me sleep upon it, crucifying



GUAJIRAS.—Cante, baile and toque chico. The Guajiras are a flamenco version of a Cuban rhythm of the same name. They were brought to Spain in the XVI century by Spanish soldiers returning from the conquests. Most of their verses deal with Cuba and the Cubans, usually in a light vein. The Guajiras, indolent and sensual, are rhythmically similar to the Tientos Canasteros and the Rumba Gitana. Yo vi banarse un cubanito entre los canaverales y al mivarme sonreia y cantandome decia que lo sacava del agua porque el agua estaba fria...

I saw a Cuban boy swimming between the cane fields; on seeing me he smiled

Vente conmigo


al bohio





to take him out of the water because it was very cold... with me to my


que es una choza de plata,



where you will be, my mulata, by your own free will; I will toast my love to you

has de estar,

mi mulata,

a tu completo albedrio; te brindaré mi amorio 118

is made

of silver,

satisfecho y orgulloso, y ante el Todopoderoso, como



te juraré serte fiel; el mds fiel de los esposos.

satisfied and proud, and before the All-powerful, like a conquered


I shall swear to be true; the truest of all husbands.

JABERAS.—Cante and toque iniermedio. Not danced. The Jaberas are a rarely heard member of the large family of the Fandangos Grandes, more directly associated with the Malaguefas. They are believed to have originated as an inland cante of country people. Like the Malaguefias, they are a free cante with no determined compas. Se despierta un rey celoso, coge la pluma y escribe, y en el primer renglon pone: quien tiene celos no vive.

A jealous king who wakes up picks up his pen and begins writing, and on the first line he puts: he who is jealous does not live.

En el pinar del amor estando cortando pinas, del tronco salté una astilla; se clavé en mi corazon. Muerto estoy, llorame, niia...

In the pine forest of love cutting pine trees, a@ splinter flew from a trunk and buried itself in my heart. Tam vanquished; cry for me, love...

JALEOS.—Cante, baile, and toque chico. The Jaleos are said to be the oldest of the known rhythms of Cadiz. They are gay, vivacious, usually a typical manifestation of the picturesque ’’joy of living’’ that the Gaditanos (people of Cadiz) possess. They are a more primitive form of the Alegrias. Viva Cadiz y viva la muralla junto al mar... Vivan los cuerpos gaditanos que se saben jalear...

Long live and its sea Long live experts at

Viva la novia, y el novio, y el cura que los casé, el padrino y la madrina

Long live the bride and the groom, and the priest who married them, and the godfather, and the god[ mother, and the guests, and myself...

y los convidaos, y yo...

Cadiz wall... the Gaditanos, hell-raising...

and one not so gay: lig

jAy!, que me he quedao manquito y cojo, que de cortar las catias de caha en los canaverales... Ayyy, como darle de comer a mi pare, a mi mare... LIVIANAS.—Cante,

Ay! I have been left maimed and crippled from cutting cane after cane in the cane fields... Ayyy, how to feed my father and my mother...

toque, and baile grande.

The Livianas are the sister cante of the Serranas, having the same compds, and varying only in the structure of the cante. They are said to have been derived in part from the Martinetes and the Siguiriyas, perhaps being first sung in gypsy blacksmiths’ forges. Their verses are generally more philosophical and less melancholy than those of the Martinetes and the Siguiriyas. The origin of the term ’’livianas’’, as applied to the cante, is unknown. Presently a ’’liviana’’ is understood to mean "lead donkey’, or ’’frivolous’’, neither of which seems appropriate. Quita una pena otra pena, un




un clavo saca otro clavo, y un amor quita a otro amor...

One sorrow relieves another sorrow, one




Crece el fuego con el viento, con la noche el padecer, con el recuerdo, la pena, con los celos, el querer...

one nail forces another, and one love is replaced by anoth[er;.. Fire grows with the wind, suffering with nightfall, sorrow with remembrance, and love with jealously...

Tengo una copa en la mano, y en los labios, un cantar, y en mi corazén, mds penas que gotas de agua en el mar, y en los desiertos arenas...

I have a drink in my hand and a song on my lips, but in my heart... more sorrows than drops of water in the sea, or sand in the desert...

Ventanas a la calle son peligrosas, son peligrosas, pd la mare que tiene sus nifias hermosas

Windows facing the street are dangerous, so dangerous, for the mother that has beautiful daughters...

MALAGUENAS.—Cante and toque intermedio, not danced. In the past the Malaguefas have reached unforgettable heights. t20

They were the favorite cante of such famous singers as Juan Breva, Antonio Chacon, and Enrique el Mellizo, and when sung by them reached the honored level of cante grande. The Malagueias have been described as a Fandango Grande given the special flavour of the sea and the beaches; the flavour of the beautiful region of Malaga. They are a direct descendent of the Fandangos Grandes, and, like them, are a free cante with an undetermined compas. The well-known semi-classical Malaguefia of Lecuona was based on the flamenco Malagueiias, and at times displays certain faint traces of a flamenco style. Malaguefias of Antonio Chacon: En, la tumba de mi madre @ dar voces me ponia,

In the tomb of my mother I started shouting,

y escuché un eco del viento;

and I heard an echo on the wind;

no la llames,

do not call her, it sighed,

me. decia,

que no responden los muertos.

the dead do not respond.

Aquella campana triste estd dando la. una; hasta las dos estoy pensando _ en el querer que me distes; y me dan las tres llorando...

The mourning bell tolled one; until two I thought of the love that you gave me; as it tolled three I was crying...

Malaguenas of Enrique el Mellizo: Donde va a llegar este querer tuyo y mio?

Where is it leading us, this love of ours?



de aborrecerme,



to destroy


ca vez

te quiero





that God send me death...


Ayy que Dios me mande a mila [muerte...


I love you


Malaguenas credited to Juan Breva: Los no las me

siete sabios saben lo que fatigmtas y lo hicieron

de Grecia yo sé... el tiempo aprender...

jAyy! Maresita del Carmen, que pena tan grande es

The seven wise men of Greece don’t know as much as I... anguish and time have made me learn... Ayy! Virgin of the Carmen, what suffering it is aI

estar juntito del agua y no


to be so near the water and not be able to drink...








Like so many cantes, the Marianas are a descendent of the Fandangos Grandes. They have developed a rhythm reminiscent of the Tientos, although they are actually a free cante without a well-defined compds. They are believed to have been originally created by a singer of the last century as a love song for his sweetheart, Mariana. Another theory exists which claims that Mariana was the name of a performing monkey. Several verses are still sung that support this theory, but it is nevertheless considered unlikely.

que no tenga su botana.

No one should talk badly about any[one as we are all of human flesh, and there is no flesh that is not marred.

Los hombres, para ser hombres, ha de tener tres partias:

Men, have


accomplish much, talk little, and never praise themselves.

Nadie que




de carne

nadie, humana,

y no hay pellejo de aceite


y hablar


y no alabarse en su via.

St quieres que yo a ti te quiera que ponme fianzas; de tu querer no me fio, carne de mi carne, porque eres muy falsa.

to be true men, to have three virtues:

If you want me to love you give me guarantees; your

love I don’t


flesh of my flesh, because you ave very false.

MARTINETES.—Cante grande ’’a palo seco’’, neither danced nor played. When the gypsies were driven off of the open road, many of them entered iron forges and became blacksmiths. Frustrated by their desire to roam and of the hard life to which they had been subjected, they poured out their souls in song while they hammered away at their work. Thus the Martinetes of the forges were derived from the Tonds of the open road. ; The Martinetes, probably first developed in the forges of Triana, are extremely difficult to interpret, as they take great physical and emotional capacity. They are often accompanied, generally with no 122

attempt at compds (in modern times the compds of the Siguiriyas is sometimes used), by a blacksmith’s hammer. The word ’’martinete’’ is said to have been derived from ’’martillo’’ — hammer. The two types of Martinetes still sung are the ’’natural’’, and the ’yedoblao’’, longer and more difficult. The 19th century singer, Juan Pelao, of Triana, is still remembered as the ’’king of the Martinetes’’. Entre la Hostia y el Cali,


I took my





a mi Dios se lo pedi,

I asked

que no te ajoguen las fatigas como me ajogan a mi.

not to permit misery as tt chokes me.

Asi, como estd la fragua, jecha candela de oro, se me ponen las entranas

Like the forge, my insides glow like gold when I remember you,



The Media naina,


Granaina less

With the weariness of death I crept to one side; with the fingers of my hand I tore at the wall... and

toque interimedio, not danced.

is very similar to its mother


to choke you

and I weep.

te recuerdo, y lloro.

Con las fatiguitas de la muerte a un laito yo me arrimé; con los deitos de la mano avanaba la pared... MEDIA

and [Wine






the Gra-


it has

absorbed a strong blend of Moorish and Gypsy influences. Today the Media Granaina is probably more widely sung than the Granaina. Both of these cantes are from the province of Granada. ’’Media’’ translates “half’’. Gitaniya como yo no la tienes que encontrar aunque gitana se vuelva toita la cristiandad...

Another gypsy girl like myself you will never find although all Cristianity turns gypsy...

Dejarme un momento solo, quiero hartarme de llorar; déjame que ponga unas flores

Leave me alone a moment, I wish to satiate my crying; Let me put some flowers 123

a esa tumba

tan sagra,

on that tomb


Ya te tengo prepara, pd cuando quieras veni, una cuevecita nueva jecha en el Albaicin.

I have prepared for you for whenever you want to come, a new little cave in the hill of the Albaicin, (near Granada).

Quiero vivir en Grand porque me gusta el oir la campana de La Vela cuando me voy a dormir..

I wish to live because I like the bell of La when I go off

La la de si

The Virgen of Anguish, she who lives in the carrera, may she punish me if I don’t truly love you.

que habita en la carrera, Virgen de las Angustias, esa seiora me espante no te quiero de veras.

of my

so sacred,

recuerdo de mis amores...


in Granada to hear Vela to sleep...

MEDIO POLO.—Cante, baile, and toque grande. The Medio Polo is a simplified adaptation of the Polos, easier to sing, and not as jondo in nature. It is said to have been developed, like the Media Granina and the Soleariya, by singers who did not have the capacity to sing the mother cante. Nevertheless, it can be a very moving cante, and is still in the grande category. It is rhythmically identical to the Poles and the Soleares. ’’Medio’’ translates ’’half’’. Hasta si va

la calumnia contra


mata mujé,

que no hay veneno mds malo que el que da gusto bebé...

MILONGAS.—Andalucian folklore.

Slander if said

can even about

cause death

a woman;

there is no worse poison than that which gives pleasure to (drink...

The Milongas, thought to have originated in Argentina, were brought to Spain by returning conquistadores four centuries ago. They are similar to the Colombianas, although they have a changeable compds; sometimes free, sometimes well-defined. In time, the Milongas will probably be considered flamenco chico, as their cante and toque are flamenco in nature. They are not generally danced. Cuando siento una guitarra me da ganas de llorar, 124

When I hear a guitar I feel the urge to cry,

porque me acuerdo de Espana la tierra por mi sonada. Y en la noche clara

because I remember Spain, the land of my dreams. In the clear night



el aire


the air sings,

4 de una garganta

and from

yo creo escuchar palabras de amores muy junto a una reja;

I can almost hear words of love pass through barred

suspiros y quejas

sighs and

y un beso al chocar...

and a kiss through

These are obviously migrant in America.



jMe gustas mds que el buen vino y mds que un pavo trufao! jMds que me gusta el tabaco 4 que estar siempre tumbao! jCon decirte que me gustas mds que el acta a un diputao! iY eso que eres un tonel y tu cutis se ha arrugao!... Mas no sé que gracia tienes ni qué tienen tus traseras que te miro y me parece que me das adormideras...

a throat



the bars...

of a homesick



I like you more than good wine and roast turkey! And more than tobacco and just lazing around! L tell you that I like you more than a lawyer likes court! And this, even though you're a [barrel and your skin is all wrinkles!... I don’t really know what charm you and your buttocks have, that when I look at you it seems you've given me opium...

This immigrant seems to be better adjusted. MINERAS.—Cante and toque intermedio, not danced. The Mineras are very similar to the Cartageneras, the Murcianas,

all cantes of the mines,



created amid the sweat and toil

of the miners of Levante. They can be very moving when interpreted properly. They are a free cante, without a determined rhythm. No se espante usted, senora, que es um minero quien canta; con el jumo de las. minas tiene ronca la garganta...

Don’t be frightened, seiiora, it’s just a miner singing; with the smoke of the mines his voice has turned hoarse... 125

En diciendo jgente ar torno! todos los mineros tiemblan al vé que tienen su via

In saying, line up to enter! all of the miners tremble to see that their fate

a voluntd


de una


on a rope.

MIRABRAS.—Cante, baile, and toque chico. The Mirabrds were undoubtedly inspired by the Alegrias or a similar cante, as the compds and many other characteristics are identical. A mi que me importa que un rey me culpe si el pueblo es grande y me adora...

What does it matter to me whether a king pardons me if the country is large and the people believe in me...

This verse had led theoreticians to consider the possibility that the creator of the Mirabrds was a nobleman, or person of the upper classes, persecuted by the king. Venga usté a mi puesto, hermosa, y no se vaya usté, salero,

castanas de Galarosa vendo, camuesa y pero. Ay Marina, yo traigo naranjas y son de la China, batatitas redondas y suspiros de canela, melocotones de Ronda, agua de la neveria; te quiero yo como ala mare que me pario... Come to my stand, beautiful, don’t




I sell sweet and sour apples and chestnuts from Galarosa; I have



little round yams and cinnamon sweets, peaches from Ronda and water like ice. Ay Marina, I love you as I loved my mother who gave me birth. This verse reveals the technique used by the owner of a stand in attempting to entice Marina with the delicacies that he sells. It has inspired the theory that the Mirabrds came into being when José el de Sanhicar, a 19th century banderillero, first saw the many colorful stands 126

of delicacies that used to rim the Madrid bull ring. He is said to have put his verses to the music of a Cantifia called the Mirabrds came into existence.

’’El Almorano’’,


MURCIANAS.—Cante and toque intermedio, not danced. The Murcianas are one of the group of mining cantes of Levante, which includes the Tarantas, Cartageneras, and the Mineras. Like all of these mining cantes, the Murcianas have an Oriental, resigned air and

a discordant beauty Moorish in nature. They are a free cante with no defined compds, the guitarist following the singer and utilizing basically the chords of the other mining songs. The Murcianas are a rarely heard cante, on the verge of disappearing. They are from the region of Murcia. NANAS.—Cante and toque chico, not danced. The Nanas are cradle songs, sung to the children at bedtime to lull them to sleep. Cradle songs, of course, date back to the first mother and her child, but the cradle songs of Andalucia, sung in a tender flamenco style, are especially irresistible. The compds of the Nanas is the rhythm of a rocking cradle. ’’Nana’’ literally means ’’slumber song’, ”erandmother’’, ’’wet nurse’, or, less frequently, ’’mother.”’ Un dngel de canela guarda tu cuna, la cabeza p’al sol, los pies pd la luna...

A cinnamon angel watches over your crib, his head towards the sun, his feet towards the moon...

A dormir va la rosa de los rosales;

Off to sleep goes the rose of roses;

a dormir, nina, porque ya es tarde...

sleep, little girl, it is getting late...

El se y no

The little baby wishes to sleep, but the mischievous sandman just won't come...

niio chiquito quiere dormir, el picaro sueho quiere venir...

Las mujeres de La Puebla, para dormir a un chiquillo,

The women of La Puebla, to lull a baby to sleep,

en vez de llamar al coco,

sing him

le cantan



a Fandanguillo

instead of calling the bogy man...

La Puebla is a small village in the province of Huelva. 127

Nana, nana, nana... ay... nana, — Slumber song... ay... slumber song, duérmete, lucerito de la sleep, little star of the manana... morning... PALMARES.—Cante






The Palmares are a cante of the country, still sung by the poor country people as they slowly ride their burros to market or follow the plow behind a pair of oxen. They are a simple and unassumingly lovely cante, rarely heard away from the fields of Andalucia. They are descended from the Serranas. Tuve un pdjaro en la mano

I had a bird in my hand

y se me



si lo tuviera






nunca se me escaparia.

it escaped


y tu maresita

el viento,

que sois un par de mujeres faltas de conocimiento.


if I had it again

it would never escape.

The bird, in this case, is symbolic most probably of a lost love: Tu eres una

one good

of any good thing,



a weather





vane the



you ave a pair of women lacking all sense.

PETENERAS.—Cante, baile, and toque intermedio. The legend goes that the Peteneras were created by a beautiful prostitute who was a great destroyer of men’s hearts, and who finally died a violent death. She was named Ja Petenera, and was from the village of Paterna,

near Sevilla. The

similarity of the names


and Pete-

nera has caused some to think that the cante of the Peteneras got its name through the mispronunciation of the word Paterna ; this is generally discredited. The Peteneras are a pure creation, quite dissimilar to all other cantes.


When la Petenera was killed, the following verse became popular: La


se ha


y la llevan a enterrar,

y en el pantedn no cabe la gente que va detrds... Other popular verses: 128





and they are taking her to be buri[ed; all of the followers of the proces[sion will not fit into the mausoleum...




y remedia mis dolores, que estd sufriendo mi cuerpo una enfermed de amores...

Come here, and remedy my body is the sickness

Al pie de me puse qué pocos el que no

At the foot of a fruitless tree I sat down to contemplate how few friends one has who has nothing to give...


un drbol sin fruto a considerar amigos tiene tiene que dar...


bella judia,

tan compuesta y a deshora? Voy en busca de Rebeco, que estd en una sinagoga...


girl of remedies, my affliction; suffering of longing...

beautiful [Jewess, after hours and so fixed up? I go looking for Rebeco, who

are you going,

is in a synagogue...

La Petenera was out after hours, which was unheard of in Spain for women a few years ago. When questioned, she gives a flippant answer. This verse has led theorists to believe that La Petenera was Jewish. PLAYERAS.—Cante, baile, and toque grande. The Playeras are traditionally the most plaintive form of the Siguiriyas, derived from the verb ’’planir’’ (to mourn, grieve, bewail). Except for the content of their verses, they are identical to the Siguiriyas; in modern times a distinction between them is rarely made. It is said that the Playeras were originally a cante of mourning, sung during the procession to the graveyard, and at the grave-site itself. Tt is curious to note that professional mourners were often hired who had a knowledge of the songs and rituals of mourning, and who interpreted them movingly and well. This burial singing may well have been the earliest manifestation of flamenco on a professional level. Me faliaba entereza: yo sdlo veia que era la mujer a quien adoraba la que se moria.

I lost all reason: I only saw that the woman I adored was dying.

Anhelaba vivir por verte y oirte; ahora que no te veo ni te oigo, prefiero morirme.

I longed to live to see you and hear you; now that you're not here, I prefer to die. 129


El carro e los muertos pasé por aqut; como llevaba la manita fuera yo la conoci...

The cart of the dead passed by; I recognized her by her dangling hand...

From ’’The Venta de Los Gatos’’, by Becquer. This verse tells of the tragic end of denied love, in which a boy, unaware of the death of his forbidden sweetheart, recognizes her by her hand protruding through an opening in the funeral cart. The boy, so the story goes, went insane from grief. The singer Silverio made this verse famous over a century ago, shortly after the tragedy occurred. No quiero que se entere quien



en mis




se me va la via... Si te enteras que

I don’t

suspiros [por ella

he muerto,

pide a Dios por mi, pues de ese modo,

en la otra vida

yo pediré por ti. En

el mundo

las luchas

que hay entre la gente son siem[pre grandes, y no vence en ellas el justo, y si el fuerte...



to know,

she who was only mine, that in my profound sighs for her my life is wafting away... If you hear of my death, pray to God for me; if you do this, in the other life I shall pray for you. In this world there is a continuous struggle between the triumphant not the just...



being the strong,

POLICANA.—A completely forgotten cante that combined the Polos and the Camas, the Policaia was significant in the development of the Soleares.

POLOS.—Cante, baile, and toque grande. The Polos and the Cafias are known to be the oldest, most primitive cantes in flamenco, the very roots of the cante jondo. They were inspired by religious songs and chants centuries ago. The Soleares is their direct descendent, far surpassing both the Polos and the Casas in present day popularity. The compds of the three are identical, as are many other of their characteristics, although the structure of their cantes varies considerably. Only the true purists have maintained a close relationship with the Polos, and there are consequently few singers who interpret them properly today. 130

With the present revival of the cante grande the Polos have again become they

a bread




a necessity for the





in circles that have


and the

vaguest idea of their traditional content. Only too frequently the Polos and the Cafas are sung with a rapidity, lack of expression, and rhythmical emphasis that makes them sound more like cantes chicos; another

indication that flamenco in many ways has to slow down and again learn to walk. The Polos are usually ended with a difficult macho. Dance arrangements and guitar falsetas can be, and usually are, used interchangeably between

the Polos,

the Camas,

Polo and the Soleariya.


the Soleares,

as well as the Medio

In my opinion, the Polos, as interpreted today,

is one of the least jondo of the cantes grandes, but with the inherent qualities of rising again to its former level. The Polos most sung today are those of an 18th century singer known

as Tobalo.

Toitos le piden a Dios y yo le pido la muerte y no me la quiere mandar...

Everyone asks God for health and freedom, I ask for death and he will not grant it...

Mi carito me tiene conmosionao, sin sabé lo que me pasa... loro y tiemblo como un nitio por ti...

My love has me all muddled up beyond my understanding... I tremble and cry like a little boy for you...

Si a el ¥y

I asked

la salud y la libertad,

el queré un sabio sabio no no supo

era bueno o malo le pregunté; habia querio respondé.

Clérigos ‘y confesores, obispos ¥ cardenales, en la hora de mori todos seremos iguales.

a wise man

if love is good the wise and



never loved

not how

to respond,

Clergymen bishops

or bad; had


and confessors, cardinals,

in the hour of death we shall all be equals.

This verse indicates the only consolation left to the poor people... equality after death. It will be interesting to see if it works out that way. 131

ROAS.—Gypsy flamenco.


dance and song,

The Rods are a song and dance which

not generally considered have

been conserved


an ancient gypsy religious (mystic) ceremony. They are believed to have been brought by the gypsies from the Far East, and to be a descendent of one of the primitive rituals such as sun, moon, or wind

worship. The Rods is an abbreviation of ’’rodadas’’ (to wander about,

to roll), which is thought to have resulted from the constant wandering of gypsy caravans. The Rods are usually accompanied with tambourines, and the dance and camte are accomplished by an entire circle of gypsies simultaneously. In Spain this ceremony is practiced mainly in the Granada area; outside of Spain the Rods, by a different name, are said to be practiced by gypsies in Hungary, Yugoslavia, France, and in other countries where gypsies are found. ROMERAS.—Cante, The Romeras,

baile, and toque chico. a variation of the Alegrias, were created in the last

century by a Café Cantante singer called Romero el Tito, a cantaor with a strong personality who left his stamp on many cantes. The Romeras guard the same compds as the Alegrias, although their personality and style are quite different. Named after their creator, they are presently being revived after having nearly disappeared. Debajo de los laureles


tiene mi nina la cama,


little girl has her bed

y cuando sale la luna, la lama...

and when the moon comes out, it calls her...

the laurel


Romero el Tito’s Romeras were said to have been inspired by a folk cante called el Torrijos, from Sanlicar de Barrameda, near CAdiz. RONDENA (TOQUE).—Toque intermedio, baile jondo, not sung. The little known Rondewa differs completely from the Rondenas, which are a form of the lively Verdiales. The Rondefa is an emotional, discordant toque, strangely reminiscent of the haunting mountain country near Ronda (much of the discordant effect of the Rondefia is caused by the re-tuning of two of the strings of the guitar). It is said to have been a togue of the bandoleros (bandits) of the rugged Sierra near Ronda; Ramén Montoya is credited for developing it into the complex toque that it is today. The Rondefia is not widely played, and the first and only interpreters of the baile Rondena, to my knowledge, 132

are Luisa Maravilla and Carmen Amaya. It is rhythmically remindful of the baile and toque Taranto. It can safely be said that the Rondefa is one of the most beautiful of flamenco’s toques and bailes. RONDENAS.—Cante and toque chico, group dance. The Rondefas are the Verdiales of Mélaga removed to the rugged mountain country of Ronda. They are a gay, optimistic cante, very similar to the Verdiales in rhythm and temperament, but much less frequently heard. The name ’’rondefias’’ is generally believed to have stemmed from ”’rondar’’, to serenade, which would indicate that they were originally songs for serenading.

jRondefas vienen cantando! Sobre la cama me siento, porque en oyendo Rondenas se me alegra el pensamiento...

They come singing Rondefas! I sit on my bed to listen because my thoughts become gaier when I hear them...

Después de haberme llevao téa la noche de jarana me vengo a purificar debajo de tu ventana como si fuese un altar.

After having spent the night in revelry I come to purify myself beneath your window as if it were an altar.

Navegando me perdi por esos mares de Dios, y con la luz de tus ojos a puerto de mar sali.

Navigating I became lost in God’s stormy seas, and with the light of your eyes I found my way to port.





que en el corazén te llevo, y aunque lejos de ti esté, en otra fuente no bebo aunque

me muera


de sé... and

toque chico,



because in my heart I carry you, and although I may be far from you from another fountain I shan’t [drink although I die of thrist... baile intermedio.

The Rosas are a variation of the Alegrias, guarding exactly the same compds and accentuation. They vary in the cate and in the guitar chord structure utilized, and in the fact that the Rosas will usually be performed in a more jondo'manner than the Alegrias while still retaining the gaiety and wit of Cadiz. The term ’’Rosas’’ is falling into disuse today, the distinction between the Rosas and the Alegrias more 133

often being made by referring to the ’’Alegrias por bajo’’ (Alegrias) or the ’’Alegrias por alto’’ (Rosas). The same verses and guitar falsetas are often used for both the Rosas and the Alegrias, although traditionally the Rosas should be more serious than the Alegrias in all ways. RUMBA




baile, and toque chico.

the Latin



the Rumba

Gitana has

retained all of the sensuality and charm of its source in becoming flamenco’s sexiest dance. When danced well, it is certainly most suggestive and gaily infectious while never having to resort to vulgarity. The guitarist can actually use the slapping techniques of the Latin American guitarist, while inserting flamenco falsetas and rasgueado as desired. The singing is gay and colorful. Rhythmically the Rumba is in the family of the Tientos Canasteros and the Colombianas, although varying in the accentuation. Two of its outstanding performers at present are La Chunga and Manoli Vargas. Hazme con los ojos senas que en algunas ocasiones los ojos sirven de lengua...

Make signs to me with your eyes for on many occasions the eyes can speak...

Yo me la llevé a mi casa, se la presenté a mi gente, y le pusieron corona por ser gitana decente.

I took her to my house and presented her to my people; they crowned her for being a decent gypsy.

El sol le dijo a la luna ”apdrtate, bandolera, que a las seis de la manana cqué hace una mujer soltera?”’

The sun told the moon, go home, little tramp, what is a single girl doing out at six in the morning?”

SAETAS.—Cante grande ’’a palo seco’’, neither danced nor played.



The Saetas are sung as worshipping chants to the figures of the

Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ during Holy Week religious processions. Traces of the Saetas date back centuries, before they evolved as a part of flamenco. In the mountain areas of Granada, especially, these early Saetas are still remembered and sung in their original form, which is less powerful and moving than present day Saetas, although perhaps more lyrical. The flamenco Saetas are sometimes sung with a free thythm, other times to the compds of the Siguiriyas.

The Spanish Holy Week processions, with their corresponding Saetas, have excited international interest. Barefoot penitents of each church carry their Virgin platforms



Mary, streets

or Christ, on heavy, richly-ornamented of







candle-bearing worshippers, also often barefoot, dressed in pointed hoods, and capes. These, snail-like processions are marked by a band monotonously repeating a religious type of march. At intervals the platforms pause to rest and the band stops playing, which is the opportunity for the singers to sing to Jesus and the Virgin. This is a very emotional moment for the flamencos and the devout. In many Andalucian towns, such as Sevilla, it has become traditional for the Saetas to be sung by a particular saetero (singer of Saetas) from particular balconies. Pepe Valencia, the famous Sevillanan saetero, each Holy Week day frequents a pre-established balcony along the route of one or more processions, under which huge crowds gather to hear him sing to the vatious passing religious figures. Many people prefer to spend at least part of Holy Week in a small village, where the atmosphere is feverishly religious. It is customary in many small towns to stage traditional medieval plays in the village plaza which depict the biblical events of each day of Holy Week. In these villages processions, on a minor scale, also take place, with the corresponding singing of Sactas. Generally the villages achieve a more truly religious atmosphere than the larger towns, as the towns and cities get caught up in competitions between churches (who has the prettiest, most richly-dressed



Virgin, the best processions,


and will attract milling crowds, many of whom are not the least religious and will detract from the religious intensity of Holy Week by their irteverent attitude and actions. Saetas are sung of the suffering, death, and majesty of Jesus Christ, and of the grief of the Virgin Mary. Jazmines de luna nueva le nacieron a la Cruz, y claveles,

a la tierra

White lights of a new moon shone like jasmine on the Cross, and



que echaron las manos buenas en la tumba de Jesus...

thrown by good hands on the tomb of Jesus...

Miralo por onde viene agobiao por er dold,

Look at him come bent with pain,

the ground,


chorreando por las sienes gotas de sangre y suor. Y su mare de penita

his brow dripping with

blood and sweat.

And his suffering mother with her heart broken.

destrosao er corazon.

Los judios te clavaron por decir que tt eras Dios, como me lo creo yo...

The Jews nailed you to the cross for saying that you were God; they did not wish to believe it, as I myself do...



he has a rope around his (throat,








una soga lleva en su gar[ganta, otra





y otra en sus manos santas; son tan fuertes ligaduras que hasta las piedras quebranta




and another around his saintly (hands; they are tied so tightly that they would crush rock...

And a simpdtica gypsy Saeta: De las flores més bonitas voy a jacé una corona pa ponérsela a Maria, hermosisima paloma...

I am going to make a crown of the prettiest flowers to put on Maria, beautiful dove...

SERRANAS.—Cante, baile, and toque grande. The Serranas are said to be a cante of the smugglers who plied their trade on the southern Mediterranean coast. When they had brought in a large haul they would hide in caves in the nearby mountains for long


of time;





its name



from the life of these smugglers and their compatriots, the bandoleros (bandits), in the Sierra (the word ’’serrana’’ means ’’mountaineer’’, people of the Sierra’). The Serranas have the same compds as the Siguiriyas, although they are not considered quite as jondo. They are often terminated by a macho, usually that of Maria Borrico, a cantaora of the roth century. Outstanding interpreters of the Serranas include Pepe Niifiez de la Matrona and el Pili. Yo crié en mi rebano una cordera, de tanto acariciarla se volvié fiera. 136

I brought up in my flock a lamb

who turned vicious from too much caressing.

' Y las mujeres, contra mds se acarician fieras se vuelven... No olvides nunca, que lo que mucho vale mucho se busca...

And women, the more they are pampered the move difficult they become... Never forget, that which has much value is much sought after...

SEVILLANAS.—Andalucian folklore. This gay rhythm, typical of Sevilla, was derived from the Seguidillas Manchegas, of Castille, in central Spain. The colorful dance, danced by couples, and the cante are performed by all of Sevilla during their annual week-long fair, considered the gaiest in Spain. It is a time when traditional dress is donned, work is ignored, and the Sevillanas are danced at all hours in the streets, bars, and wherever groups congregate. One group of guitarists traditionally set themselves up in a plaza of the typical neighborhood of Santa Cruz and offer their accompaniment to all, much to the delight of passing celebrants. Although the Sevillanas are not considered flamenco, in time they probably will be, as they definitely do play a part in the flamenco way of life. They are so widely played that the toque is already considered a chico element, although the cante and the baile are not. Un moreno garboso


ronda mi calle y dice que me quiere mds que a su mare. Esta es la via;

paces my street saying that he loves me more than his mother. But that’s life;

que aquel que mds

he who









the most

forgets the quickest.

En el rio de amores

In the river of love


a lady



y su amante en la orilla


and from the edge her lover

llora y la Nama;


jayy que te quiero! y como no me pagas

ayy how I love you! As you don’t return my love

de pena

I am


A mi me gusta pegarte sdlo por verte llorar.


cries to her:


I like to hit you just to see you cry. 137

¢Para qué quiero llorar si no tengo quien me oiga?

Why do I wish to cry if there is no one to hear me?

SIGUIRIYAS GITANAS.—Cante, baile, and toque grande. Many aficionados, myself included, agree that the Siguiriyas (and its twin, the Playeras) are the most moving, profoundly emotional element of flamenco. That is, when they are performed with true feeling and unfalsified emotion, for the Siguiriyas is a release of pentup hates, persecution, denied liberty and love, tenderness towards a companion -in-misery, and above all, of relentless, stalking death. I have seen and heard the Siguiriyas performed in a way that makes one’s insides tighten with a momentary glimpse of the world’s hopelessness and cruelty. Not often,

to be sure,



in a commercial



truth is,

the Siguiriyas are completely out of atmosphere in commercial surroundings (like the Lord’s Prayer in the local gin mill). Usually the singer toys with them in an unfeeling act, the guitarist is being busily virtuoso, and the dancer contrives to destroy whatever emotion remains. Favorite methods of abuse are ending the Siguiriyas with a fast Bulerias or a Tientos



the use

of castanets

in the dance.

The compds of the Siguiriyas is identical to that of the Playeras, Serranas, and the Livianas. It is an unusual compds, one of the most difficult of flamenco, but, contrary to a popular belief, it is definite and unvarying. There is a special type of traditional Sigwiriyas called the ’’Cabales’’, which were created by el Fillo, a singer of the early 19th century. These are done more rapidly than the Sigwiriyas, and with a slight variation in the accentuation. The compds of the two is identical. ’’Cabal’’ translates



The Siguiriyas are often ended with a macho. The most famous siguiriyeros of the past have been el Fillo, Silverio, Tomas el Nitri, Manuel Cagancho, and Manuel Torte. Cuando yo me muera, mira que te encargo que con la cinta de tu pelo negro me amarres las manos...

When I die I ask of you to tie my hands with the ribbon of your black hair...

This verse reflects a custom practiced in Andalucian villages of tying the hands of the dead person together when preparing him for

burial. 138



a la muerte,

mori es natura; lo que


es la cuenta

que a Dios voy a da.



I'm not afraid of dying, dying is natural; what bothers me is the huge list of [sins that I have to present to God.

Me asomé a la muraya, me respondio er viento: cpa qué das esos suspiros, si ya no hay remedio?

I climbed to the top of the wall, and the wind said to me: what is the use of sighing if there is no remedy?

Una noche e trueno

como tenia una sombra negra

One stormy night I felt death like a black shadow

ensima e@ mi.


La muerte llamo a voces, no quiere vent, que hasta la muerte tiene

I cry for death but it will not come; even death finds me unworthy.





e mi.

No pegarle a mi pare, soltarlo por Dios, que ese delito que ustedes [le acusan lo habia hecho yo.


Don’t hit my father, for God’s sake release him; that crime of which you accuse him I myself



The Cabales of el Fillo: Desde la Polverita hasta Santiago las fatiguitas de la muerte me arrodearon.

From the Polverita to Santiago the anguish of death survounded me.

SOLEARES (SOLEA).—Cante, baile, and toque grande. The word ’’soled’’ is a gypsy abbreviation of ’’soledad’’ ; the word *’soleares’’ is an improper gypsy pluralization of ’’soledad’’ (it should be ’’soledades’’). Thus both ’’soleares’’ and ''soled" signify the same thing, ’’loneliness’’, and can be used interchangeably. The Soleares have been described as the ’’mother of the Cante’’ because of the vast influence they have exerted in the art of flamenco. Actually the Soleares do not have the deepest roots, they themselves 139

| |

having descended from the Cawas and the Polos; but they have been the dominating cante of flamenco since their inception centuries ago. Today the Soleares are the most popularly performed component of serious flamenco. They are capable of being extremely jondo when properly done, on the level of the Siguiriyas, but, like the Siguiriyas, they regrettably fall prey far too frequently to the commercialism of present day flamenco. For instance, the Soleares have been beset with

light, even humorous verses for the cante, which would be far more ap-

propriate in the Tientos Canasteros or the Bulerias; this, in my opinion, signifies a lack of true understanding among many present day flamencos in their art, above all in the jondo cantes. Another indication of this lack of understanding is that the modern baile of the Soleares is nearly always ended with a fast Bulerias, which destroys completely whatever feeling may have been achieved. A baile such as the Soleares demands to be ended by the Soleares; slowly, majestically, climaxing the mood and the emotion that were built up throughout the dance. The Soleares, like many of flamenco’s components, have a basic twelve




compds, and/or



the twelfth








The verses of the Soleares are usually in a more philosophical vein (and therefore have less impact, and are less melancholy) than those of the Siguiriyas. Quisiera por ocasiones



to be crazy





I would and


not feel,

que el ser loco quita penas, penas que no tienen fin.

for being crazy takes away grief, grief that has no solution.

Aquer que fue poca cosa y que cosa llega a ser, quiere ser tan grande cosa que no hay cosa como él.

He who

Son las Soleares el lamento aciago de un alma que grita sus penas [mds hondas partida en pedazos... La


a mi cama

y no me quiso lleva; 140



was no one



wishes to be the biggest someone, bigger than all the rest. The Soleares are the miserable


of a broken soul

crying its deepest suffering... Death came to my bedside but did not wish to take me,

no estaba cumplio mi sino y al irse me eché a llora.

as my destiny was not complete; on its departure I began to weep.

Estoy viviendo en el mundo con la esperanza perdia; no es menester que me entierren, porque estoy enterrd en via.

I am living in the world devoid of hope; it is not necessary to bury me, as I am buried alive.

Cuando murié la Sarneta la escuela quedo serra porque se Ilevé la llave del cante por Soled.

When la Sarneta died her school was lost because she took with her the secret of the Soled.

This verse became popular after the death of a famous cantaora, Merced

la Sarneta.



refers to her style of Soled.

SOLEARIYA.—Cante, baile, and toque grande. Like the Media Granaina and the Medio Polo, the Soleariya was created by those who did not have the talent, or the inclination, to sing

the mother cante in its more difficult purity. The Soleariya (Solearilla) is almost identical to another form of the Soleares called the Soled Corta (Short Soled). Both of these forms consist of three line verses rather than the four line verse characteristic of the Soleares. They differ only in that the first line of a Soleariya verse is extremely brief, while the corresponding line of the Soled Corta is of normal length. The compds and accentuation of both of these forms are identical to the Soleares, although they are sometimes performed at a faster tempo.

Lo gitano va en la masa de la sangre 4 en las rayas de las manos.

That which is Gypsy is found in the surge of blood and in the grooves of hands.

Por tu vera paso de noche y de dia, buscando mi compaiera...

I pass by your side day and night searching for my mate without recognizing you...

Por ti

I pass the hours of the night

las horitas de la noche


me las paso sin dormir.

because of you.


The above three verses are characteristic of the Soleariya because of their short first line. The following verses are Soleds Cortas. 141

Tu calle ya no es tu calle, que es una calle cualquiera, camino de cualquier parte.

Your street is no longer your street; it is any street anywhere.

Voy como si fuera preso; detrés camina mi sombra,

I go as a prisoner; behind me my memories,







The two above verses are said to have been created in the last cen-

tury by a gypsy whose wife died during the birth of her first child. No

siento en el mundo






que tener tan mal sonio, siendo de tan buen metal.

than I, being of such good metal, having such a bad sound.

Le dijo el tiempo al querer: “esa soberbia que tienes yo te la castigaré.”’

Time said to Love: ”'T shall destroy this conceit that you have.””

Ay pobre corazén mio... por mds gorpes que le doy

Ay my poor heart... despite all of the bad times that I

nunca se da por vensio...

you never give up...

[give you

TANGUILLO.—Andalucian folklore. The Tanguillo (little Tango) is considered by many as Andalucian folklore, outside of flamenco, and by others as a chico component. It is a cross between the Tientos Canasteros (Tangos Flamencos) and the Rumba Gitana. Those who consider it as non-flamenco are justified, as the






usually sung in a popular hand, are more flamenco airy rhythm, an innocent Gitana), and a lack of any teros). The Tanguillo was








vein. The baile and the toque, on the other in nature. The Tanguillo has a mischievous, sensuality (unlike the provocative Rumba attempt at depth (unlike the Tientos Canasdeveloped in Cadiz from the Tientos Ca-




a la reja

que te tengo que decir, un recadito a la oreja. El recadito consiste que no te quiero ni ver 142



to your


I want to whisper something in your ear. The message is that I want to lose you from sight,

que los besos que me diste te los vengo a devolver... TARANTAS.—Cante

and that I’ve only come to return the kisses you gave me...

and togue intermedio, not danced.

The Tarantas are a cante created by the miners of the last century,

who set up camp

in the mountains

near Cartagena









in the


(Levante) to find very


of these

miners found more than backbreaking labor, hunger, and a premature Tarantas





they are despairing, void of hope, resigned. The



are similar to the Cartageneras,

this atmosphere; Mineras,



cianas in feeling and construction, and, like them, are a free cante, without a defined compds. They are a descendent of the Fandangos Grandes,

with a definite discordant Arabic influence.

Clamaba un minero asi en el fondo de una mina; jAyy en que soled me encuentro! y en mi compana un candil y yo la salia no encuentro.

A miner cried out in the bottom of a mine; ayy what loneliness I have! and although I have a lamp I cannot find my way out.

Dices que te llamas Laura, Laura de nombre, si no eres de los laureles, que los laureles son firmes.

You that but for

say that you Laura is your you're not of the laurels are

are Laura, name, the laurels, firm.

TARANTO.—Cante and toque intermedio, baile grande. The Taranto is the danceable form of the Tarantas. Tarantas, which have no set compds,

Unlike the

the Taranto has a steady, beating

compds similar to a slow Zambra. Its cante and toque are very similar to the Tarantas in construction. The dance of the Taranto is majestic and jondo, with great opportunities for expression due to its discordant Arabic beauty. Its baile is relatively new, having been danced for the first time less than ten years ago (I believe by Pilar Lopez). Most of its present day dance interpreters have a tendency to underestimate the emotional potentiality of the Taranto; they insist on dancing it too rapidly and commercially, much like they dance the Zambra, and they are consequently at odds with the somber mood set by the cante and the toque (this is, of course, the principal objection to all of the bailes grandes as danced today).

TEMPORERAS.—Cante and toque chico, not danced. A descendent of the Serranas, the Temporeras are a country cante that originated around the area of Cabra, near Cérdoba. They have the peculiarity of being sung by various people in a group taking turns, each singing a different verse. The originating voice calls ’’voy’’ (1 begin) ; when he ends, another singer calls ’’voy’’ and sings; this goes on until they have all sung, and finally the originating singer announces *’fuera’’ (out), and sings the last verse. The Temporeras, nearly disappeared, are very similar to the Fandanguillos. Las uvitas de tu parra

The grapes of your vine






to be


pero los pdmpanos dicen que viene el guarda, que viene...

but the vine leaves warn that the watchman is coming. is coming...

Los surcos de mi besana estan llenos de terrones, y tu cabeza, serrana, estd llena de ilusiones, pero de ilusiones vanas.

The furrows of my land are full of mounds, and your head, mountain girl, is full of illusions, but vain illusions.

This verse, Fandanguillo.

originally a Temporera,

is often sung presently as a

TIENTOS ANTIGUOS.—Cante and toque intermedio, baile grande. The Tientos Antiguos are very similar to a slow Tientos Canasteros, so much so that few flamencos presently distinguish between them. This has caused the Tientos Antiguos to nearly fall into disuse. The true Tientos Antiguos have a singular, intricate accentuation which gives them a personality and feeling quite unlike the Tientos Canasteros. When done properly they approach the true jondo, as can be observed in their excellent interpretation by Nifio de Almadén and Perico el del Lunar in the Westminster Anthology. The dance of the Tientos is majestic and sensuous. They are said to have been developed by the gypsies of the Puerto Santa Marfa-Cédiz region, the great cantaor el Marrutro generally credited with their early development. Qué pdjaro que canta en Corre y dile que su cante 144

serd aquel la verde oliva? que se calle, me lastima...

What bird would that be that sings in the green olive grove? Run and tell him to be quiet, as his song saddens me...

Yo no le critico a nadie que le domine el queré, porque a mi me esta dominando, me puedo valer.

I cannot criticize anyone

Te voy a meter en wn convento que tenga rejas de bronce, que la gente no te vea, nmi a la ropita te toque...

I am going to put you in a convent that has heavy bronze bars,

Tu serds mi prenda querida tii serds el pdjaro cugqui que alegre canta de madrugada; Ayy lo que yo te quiero, csin ti mi via pa que la quiero?

You will be my cherished belonging, the cucu bird


is dominated

by love,

because I myself am dominated beyond help.


that people


see you

nor touch your clothing...

that happily ayy


sings at dawn;

I love you,

without you why

would I want to [live?

TIENTOS CANASTEROS (TANGOS FLAMENCOS).—Cante, baile, and togue chico. _ The Tientos Canasteros are a gay, contagious example of the spirit of Cadiz.


are optimistic


full of life;



a few

glasses of wine, they are a true remedy for all ailments. The Tientos Canasteros are also called the Tangos Flamencos, perhaps because they were influenced to some extent by the Argentine Tangos. The word “canasteros’ translates ’’basket makers’’, which causes theorists to suppose an original connection between the Tientos Canasteros and the gypsy basket weavers of the province of Cadiz. Their verses are almost always gay, the dance lively and sensuous, and the guitar driving and thythmical. jCon el ay, caray, caray! Mirusté que fiestas va a haber en Cai. Luego, qué jambre se va a pasd... Ay, caray, caray, card...

With Just that And that Ay,

Las fiestas de mi tierra son de canela, y esté el Ayuntamiento

The fiestas of my land are of cinnamon, and the City Hall is to be congratulated.

de enhorabuena.

an ay, caray, caray! think of the fiestas Cddiz is going to have. afterwards, the hunger will come... caray, caray, card...

45 12

Cuatro casas tengo en Londres, que me las dejo mi tia, y rentan cuatro millones

I have four houses in London that my aunt left me, and they rent for four millions of

de dinero

every day.

tés los dias.

Si alguna vez vas por Cai


como se bailan por Alegrias.

If you are ever in Cadiz go to the Barrio Santa Maria, and there you will see how the gyp[sies dance the Alegrias.

Dolores, Dolores, ccon qué te lavas la cara que tanto te huele a flores?

Dolores, Dolores, what do you wash your face with that it smells so much of flowers?

Peinate tu con que mis peines quien con mis hasta los deos







y alli verds los gitanos

TIRANAS.—A forgotten.

mis peines son de azticar; peines se peine, se chupa.

yourself with my

as it is made


of sugar;

if you use my comb you will end up sucking your fin[gers.

cante very similar to the Malaguetas,

now completely

TONAS.—Cante grande ’’a palo seco’, neither played nor danced. Originally the Tonds (Tonadas) were songs relating stories and events, which were sung by wandering gypsies and minstrels from village to village. When the gypsies were driven off of the roads, they took the Tonds with them into blacksmiths’ forges, with the resultant development of the Martinetes of the forges, a form similar to the Tonds. The Deblas and the Carceleras are also off-spring of the Tonds. The original story-telling Tonds have nearly disappeared, although there are still a few wandering minstrels in Extremadura (near Portugal) and in central Spain who sing cantes thought to be very similar to the ancient Tonds. The flamenco Tonds have developed into a profound jondo cante, one of the most difficult of flamenco, interpreted well by very few cantaores. They are completely devoid of a compds, and are not accompanied. It is said, probably exaggeratedly, that there were at one time some thirty types of Tonds. Now only three are remembered: the Tonds Grande, 146




and the


del Cristo.

Ayy no te rebeles, gitana, yo tengo hecho juramento de pagarte con la muerte. Vinieron y me dijeron que tt habia hablao mal de mi, y mira mi buen pensamiento

Ayy do not fight it, gypsy girl, I have sworn to pay you with death. They came and told me that you have talked badly of me; and imagine my former opinion of

que no lo creia en ti.

that I didn’t think you capable of it.


This verse reflects a normally violent gypsy reaction. O pare de almas y ministro de [Cristo, tronco de nuestra iglesia santa y drbol del paraiso. This verse may impetuous act.

OO father

of souls


minister of (Christ, heart of our saintly church and tree of paradise.

reflect the contrition felt by the gypsy

after his

TRILLERAS.—Cante and toque chico, not danced. The Trilleras are a song of the country, traditionally of the wheat grinders. In Spain the ancient method of grinding wheat is still used, which consists of a man ,seated on a small platform resting on shining blades of steel, being pulled by two horses round and round over the wheat spread on the ground. While this monotonous process goes on hour after hour, the rider may divert himself singing the Trilleras to the compds of the beating hooves. His song is joyful and optimistic, and his verses‘are usually piropos (flatteries) to his horses, his girl, someone else’s girl, his village, the sun and the birds... De rosas y claveles y de alhelies se te llena la boca cuando te ries.

Your with and when

Ya los que de

The fingers of your hands are not like fingers, they are more like a bouquet of five carnations...

no se llaman. dedos de tus manos, se llaman claveles cinco en ramos...

Que mula, vamos a ver, a esa mula de punta le gusta el [grano,

mouth fills roses and carnations jasmine you laugh...

What a mule, geee, git up... that one up in front that likes grain [so much; 147

aligera ‘y no comas

Gee now

que viene el amo...

Here. comes

Esa yegua lumanca tiene un po[trito con una,pata blanca y un lucerito;

That spotted mare



and hurry, don’t eat any [more! the boss!...

has a

little colt

with one white hoof and a star on his forehead;




VERDIALES.—Cante and toque chico, group dance. The Verdiales are a gay, lively version of the Malaguenas, traditionally accompanied by guitars, tambourines, violins, and other crude instruments. They are the fair dance of Malaga, sung and danced by groups during all festive occasions, much like the Sevillanas in Sevilla. Their cante is deceptively difficult, considering that it is cante chico. They have only recently been extensively played as a guitar solo. Yo soy de la Trinid... Viva Mdlaga, mi tierra el huerto de los claveles, y el puente de Tetudn...!

I am from Trinidad... Long

live Malaga,



home of carnations and the bridge of Tetudn...!

La Trinidad is a neighborhood in Malaga. Quien te pudiera traer, pueblo de los Verdiales, metido en la faltriquera como un pliego de papel.

That I could carry you, city of the Verdiales, in my pocket like a folded piece of paper.

The ’’city of the Verdiales’’ refers to Malaga. VITO, el (Anda Jaleo).—Andalucian folklore. The Vito is an old Andalucian folksong which was revived by the poet Federico Garcia Lorca and adapted to flamenco. If it becomes recognized as flamenco, it will be a chico element. It has the compds of the Bulerias.

Yo me subi a por ver si la y sdlo divisé del coche que


un pino verde divisaba el polvo la levaba.

I climbed a green pine to see if I could spot her, and all I saw was the dust of the carriage that carried her [away.

Anda jaleo, jaleo; ya se acabé el alboroto y ahora empieza el tiroteo.

Anda jaleo, jaleo; that ends the hullabaloo and now starts the shooting.

En la calle de los Muros mataron a una paloma. Yo cortaré con mis manos las flores de su corona.

In the street of the Ramparts they killed a dove. With my hands I shall cut the flowers for her crown.

Anda jaleo, jaleo; ya se acabo el alboroto y ahora empieza el tiroteo.




that ends the hullabaloo and now starts the shooting.

The dove in this verse is thought to be the speaker’s sweetheart. ZAMBRA.—Cante, baile, and toque chico. The Zambra is similar rhythmically to the Tientos Canasteros, although it is usually performed in a slower, more sensual manner. It is a creation of the gypsies of Granada, who remain its major exponents. When performed properly in the atmosphere of a cave illuminated by firelight and shining copper, the Zambra can be a very exciting experience. The outstanding Zambra performer at present is generally agreed to be Teresa Maya. No te metas con la Adela, la Adela gasta cuchillo pa quien se meta con ella. Que nos miren desde el puente, y que la envidia nos siga, que queriéndonos tu y yo, . deja que la gente diga.

Don’t. provoke Adela for Adela has a knife for whomever meddles with her. Let them goggle us from the bridge with all of their envy;

as long as we love each other, who cares what people say.

Gitana si me quisieras yo te compraria en Grand la mejor cueva que hubiera.

Gitana if you should love me I would buy you in Granada the best cave ever.

Vente conmigo y haremos una chozita en el campo y en ella nos meteremos.

Come with me and we'll make a little hut-in the country and there we'll stay.


intermedio, toque chico, not sung.

The Zapateado is a virtuoso dance strictly for showing off footwork.

It was. originally.a man’s dance, but has been adopted by bailaoras in 149

recent years to the extent that it is now considered a necessary component of both the male and the female repertoire. For this dance the female usually dons tight-fitting men’s ranchwear (traje corto, boots, Cordobés











traje corto with a long slit skirt instead of pants, boots, Cordobés hat, tuffled shirt). In my opinion the development of the female Zapateado has contributed a great deal to the decadence of the feminine dance. The

bailaor can



Zapateado a






laora merely demonstrates the results of hours of practice. The Zapateado is danced by both the male and the female in a rigid attitude, grasping with both hands the bottom of their traje corto jacket throughout most of the dance. The guitarist plays a difficult accompanying role in the Zapateado, as he should follow to perfection the stops, starts, and accentuations of the intricate footwork. Usually the arrangement between the dancer and the guitarist is worked out in advance. Recently guitar solos have also been developed for the Zapateado by concert guitarists in their effort to increase the scope of the flamenco guitar. Rhythmically it is played in the compds of the Tanguillo, although with a more stern approach, and utilizing a different set of chords. The music itself was derived from the classical composition of the Spanish composer Sarasate, although personal improvisations are extensively used. The three most famous Zapateados (arrangements of footwork) are those of Sarasate, Estampio, and Monreal, although most Zapateados that you will see danced by good dancers will be their own arrangements, as again, flamenco is not an art of imitation. El Raspao, a dancer of the 19th century, and more recently the late Estampio, have been two legendary interpreters and developers of the Zapateado. ZORONGO






The Zorongo Gitano was created by the gypsy poet Federico Garcia Lorca, and has only recently been included in the flamenco repertoire. It consists of two distinct rhythmical sections. It verses are very gypsy and symbolic, and its major interpreters are gypsies. La luna es un pozo chico, las flores no valen


lo que valen son tus brazos cuando de noche me abrazan... 150

The moon is a litile well,





what is of value are your arms when at night they embrace me...

This verse is the theme of the Zorongo, carrying the compds of a slow, sensual Tientos Canasteros, and is repeated alternately after each of the following verses: Las manos de mi carifio te estan bordando una capa con agremdn de alhelies yy con esclavina de agua.

My loving hands are embroidering a cloak for you with the cape of jasmine and the collar of clear water.

Cuando fuiste novio mio, por la primavera blanca los cascos de tu caballo cuatro sollozos de plata.

When you were my sweetheart, during the white spring the hooves of your horse were like four silver sighs.

These are two verses of the many that are done to the compds of the Bulerias.




6 ehenn tiie SRRQHOS. cH Honea lang TWH, vloneinesbe, botmoqan bon AND Sie SOE Roh





b jiveesBrdehaet ae

t fash’ ot


May ane ee

NEN Nao Yo! AGT Aa HH SOME ltt Raa ai ug oak wieftonty, .2 neat, PAGS Ye resOpH 9)






inf Is










Lave ita sah


Le qanadstr




fies) Shae de :







beet aeatiole.




Hs) f


ia ae





netee eile, | Rythme




alt ntuty ane met aherprebiny edt


\ Pate,




of fie Live: legendas: and

pou ae: gluta’.

Head ot eectial ye ON, Rea post i dayetaed der hie nV

seed axethead)



yaa. foi’ ented S'S






ih Ade an Breet



6 ?






Bary erred


aay Yo" Saeise Oth We 4, Doe ace























whee 4

5 Sone

atold sh

foaechied ieiynany'n. spainly Sa piers

Fo ehdidot Say! OF ohob? sis’ ea Ft












tatehiwens, | ey qaerny, ti

ye eae eaaish) anhsdl ¥

pads imnel'y pita petted ast


cin Hbhoal



Teves: Aa i

bien h?”

senhoray ab

ve yy


The snow,By


1 O eaW nea





Sabah ies sal oe


5 a 2 & =

0 eq


pue ‘ozojdwo


is how

a dancer proper




from of





although In




castanets, San

as always,
















BREAKDOWN OF THE CANTE.—The following list includes the 59 cantes andaluces that can still be heard today, 52 of which are considered as cante flamenco,

and 7 of which are on the borderline between

flamenco and Andalucian folklore. With time these borderline cantes will most probably become a part of flamenco as they acquire more fla-

menco characteristics.

The cantes flamencos have been broken down into the major categories grande, intermedio, and chico. The cantes grandes are those cantes

of a profound


of extremely




of which stem from religious antecedents. The intermedios are less profound and less difficult to interpret, and have been mostly derived from a Celtic folkloric origin since strongly interlaced with Arabic and gypsy influences. The chicos are a gaier breed, easiest to interpret, of both folkloric and religious origins.



with guitar accompaniment

Cafias Livianas Medio Polo


Playeras Polos Serranas

without guitar accompaniment Carceleras Deblas


Siguiriyas Soleares Soleariyas (termed a@ palo seco, not danced):

Martinetes Tonas



all cantes intermedios have guitar accompaniment:

not danced:

Cartageneras Fandangos Grandes Granainas

Jaberas Malaguefias Media Granaina

Mineras Murcianas Tarantas 185

danceable : Peteneras

Tientos Antiguos

CANTE CHICO with guitar accompaniment Alboreas Alegrias Bulerias Cantifias Caracoles



Chuflas Mirabras Colombianas Romeras Fandanguillos _ Rondeifias Guajiras Rosas Jaleos Rumba Gitana

with or without guitar accompaniment Bamberas Caleseras

Marianas Nanas _—-

Tientos Canastero: Verdiales Zambra Zorongo Gitano.

(not danced):

Palmares Temporeras



ANDALUCIAN FOLKLORE (mistakenly considered as flamenco): — with guitar accompaniment (danceable): Garrotin Rods



with or without guitar accompaniment Campanilleros

(not danced):





in that each


baile, or danceable

Baile flamenco is unlike


does not have tradi-

tional characteristics that have to be adhered to. Each cante, on the other hand, has a definite structure and other characteristics that belong only to that cante,

as is true, to a lesser degree,

with each toque.

In the

Baile, the rhythm largely determines the’dance, and between bailes with

very similar rhythms’ and moods there willbe no distinguishable “dif-

ference in the dance. Therefore, all of the possible bailes. haye not been

listed, as were the cantes, as it would lend a deceptive scope to. the Baile.

Instead, only the bailes having a distinct compds and feeling .are listed, with a separate listing below of other very similar bailes which could




Caiias Polos

Rondefia (toque) BAILE



Farruca Guajiras Rumba Gitana Tanguillo

Tientos Canasteros Zambra Zorongo Gitano



Alboreds Bulerias Chuflas Danza Mora GROUP

Taranto Tientos Antiguos


Alegrias Peteneras BAILE

Serranas Siguiriyas


Fandanguillos Rods



The other dances not listed due to their close similarity to the above are as follows:

the Medio Polo and Soleariya, similar to the Polos and


that the Soleaves, Polos and

Soleares; The Playeras and the Livianas, similar to the Siguiriyas; the Romeras, Caracoles, Mirabrés, and Cantiias, similar to the Alegrias; and the Colombianas and Garrotin, similar to the Rumba Gitana. It be argued


are also similar,


are the Siguiriyas and the Serranas, and the Alegrias and the Rosas, but I believe that the inherent emotional qualities in each of these bailes should cause a distinction in the dancer’s interpretations. The aficionado

will notice that the Rosas,


and the Zapa-

teado, considered by many as bailes grandes, are listed under bailes intermedios due to what I consider a lack of adequate jondo qualities. On the other hand, I have elevated the Taranto and the Rondena (toque), both relatively new to the Baile, to the baile grande section because of their obvious jondo attributes. BREAKDOWN OF THE TOQUE.—The ques most used for solo playing:

following are the 27 to-




Soleares 1S7



Granainas y Media Rondefia (toque)

Granaina Malaguefias Peteneras Tarantas y Taranto Tientos Antiguos

TOQUE CHICO Alegrias Bulerfas Caracoles Colombianas Danza Mora

Fandanguillos — Sevillanas Zambra Farruca Tanguillo Zapateado Guajiras Tientos Canasteros Rosas Verdiales Zorongo Gitano Rumba Gitana

Besides the toques listed above, the really well-rounded guitarist has to be able to accompany all of the cantes and bailes listed elsewhere in this appendix,

with the exceptions of those denoted

’’without guitar’,

which are the five cantes ’’a palo seco’’. Nevertheless, if the guitarist learns to accompany the singing and dancing for those rhythms listed above (with the addition of the Fandangos Grandes), he will have a reasonably complete mastery of the flamenco guitar, and will be able to accompany those bailes and cantes most often performed. The

reader may

notice that the Sevillanas and




though considered Andalucian folklore, have been included in the toque chico. This is due to the strong flamenco characteristics that they have taken on in the Toque.








SINGERS The Top Ten.—The task of selecting today’s ten best viously a difficult one. They are necessarily cante grande nifying that they have the emotional and physical stuff interpret these most difficult of cantes. This selection will controversial, but one that most aficionados and cantaores include the following (in alphabetical order): SINGER



singers is obsingers, signecessary to certainly be agree should


Antonio Mairena Aurelio Sellés Canalejas de Puerto Real Fernanda de Utrera Juan Talegas Manolo Caracol

Sevilla Cadiz Puerto Real (Cadiz) Utrera (Sevilla) Dos Hermanas (Sevilla) Sevilla

Nifia de los Peines


Pepe Niifiez de la Matrona Pericén de CAdiz Rafael Romero ’’Gallina’’

Madrid Madrid Madrid

The following is another difficult list, which is a more general listing of today’s outstanding flamenco singers and the cantes in which they excel. Choosing their best cantes is not always an obvious choice, as many of these singers can sing a large number of cantes well. But almost without exception they have their favorites, which they specialize in and prefer to sing. I have limited the listed number of cantes to four in order to avoid undue lengthiness. In this listing are included cantaoves of all categories, listed alphabetically by first name, or nickname, as last names in flamenco are often not used. A study of the best cantes of each of these singers will give some indication as to the category (grande, intermedio, chico) that the singer 159

will generally fall into, although this is certainly not infallible. Few of the listed singers can be bracketed into any one category. Antonio Mairena Aurelio Sellés


Bernarda de Utrera















Bernardo el de los Lobitos Trilleras, Nanas, Marianas, Verdiales. Canalejas de Pto. Real Soleares, Fandangos Grandes, Alegrias, Siguiriyas. Chaqueta (el) Alegrias, Mirabrds, Soleares, Romeras. Culata (el) Soleares, Siguiriyas, Alegrias, Livianas. Soleares, Siguiriyas, Polos, Bulerias. Fernanda de Utrera Soleares, Alegrias, Cantinas, Serranas. Fosforito Fandangos Grandes, Soleares. Gordito de Triana Soleares, Siguiriyas, Martinetes, Playeras. Juan Talegas Alegrias, Soleares, Bulerias. Manolita de Jerez Manolito el de la Maria Soleares, Bulerias, Siguiriyas, Fandangos Grandes. Manolo Caracol Siguiriyas, Bulerias, Martinetes, Fandangos Grandes. Manolo






Manolo Manzanilla

Siguiriyas, Soleares,

Caias, Alegrias.

Manuel Vargas Mariquita Vargas Nifia de los Peines


Alegrias, Malaguenas,



Saetas, Siguiriyas, Soleares, Peteneras.

Nifio de Almadén








Paco de Algeciras Paquera (la) Pepe Niifiez de la Matrona Pepe Pinto Pepe Valencia Pepe Valencia (Sevilla) Pericén de Cadiz ' Perla de Cadiz

Pili (el) 160

Siguiriyas, Servanas, Bulerias,


Bulerias, Soleares.


Soleares, Siguiriyas, Martinetes, Serranas. Bulerias, Fandangos Grandes, Fandanguillos. Tarantas, Saetas,



Bulertas. Deblas.

Alegrias, Malaguenas,

Soleares, Siguiriyas.

Alegrias, Bulerias, Tientos Antiguos and Canasteros, Siguiriyas,





Porrina de Badajoz

Fandangos Grandes, Fandanguillos, Tientos Canasteros, Bulerias. Deblas, Soleares, Siguiriyas, Peteneras. Malagueiias, Martinetes, Granainas, Tarantas. Bulerias, Soleares, Alegrias, Siguiriyas. Bulerias, Siguiriyas, Soleares.

Rafael Romero Roque Jarrito Montoya Sallago (la) Terremoto de Jerez

DANCERS The dancers listed below cannot be judged solely by their stage performances. More important axe their spontaneous performances in private jwergas, where the full scope of their faculties comes to light. This is also true in the case of the singers and the guitarists, and has been taken into consideration in the difficult task of listing today’s outstanding artists. A listing of dancers is especially difficult, as the only way of judging their dance, other than by the reputation that they acquire (a relative thing), is by seeing their personal performances, as phonograph records, of course, give no indication whatsoever. Four of these dancers, Pastora Imperio, Vicente Escudero, La Quica, and Regla Ortega, are semi-retired and no longer dance with their full former excellence. Nevertheless, they are still outstanding performers,

all of whom



a great

deal to the Baile


menco. Two styles of dance are employed by the listed dancers. One, more jondo, makes a very limited use of studied techniques, and relies basically on a natural, emotional form of dancing. Extreme examples of this. style are los Pelaos. The more modern school strongly stresses studied techniques, resulting in a more technically exciting, although less naturally moving, form of dance. Examples of this style are Regla Ortega and Carmen Amaya. Most present day dancers combine both styles, some tending one way, some the other, but principally (sadly enough) towards the technical. _It is generally agreed that the following are today’s outstanding flamenco dancers (in alphabetical order): 16 13



Antonio El Farruco

Carmen Carmen



Faico Los Pelaos Manolo Vargas Paco Laberinto Escudero

Amaya Carrera

Carmen Rojas La Chunga La Chunguita La Quica


Maleni Loreto Marfa Albaicin Pastora Imperio Regla Ortega Rosita Duran Lola Flores, not listed because she is not a dancer,

nevertheless is

capable of excellent juerga dancing when she is so moved. The reader may notice that after my earlier criticism of La Chunga I have included her here. She has definitely cheapened herself in her commercial dancing (she is temporarily retired because of marriage), but I am told by respected sources that her juwerga dancing is still excellent. Luisa Maravilla, also included in the list, is the dancer described in the juerga on page 43, who performed in a profoundly moving manner that night. She captivated the most critical flamenco audience imaginable, the true test of a great dancer. It may be surprising that Antonio is listed, as he is usually considered a classical Spanish dancer. That he is, but he is also very flamenco, one of the most emotional ’’flamencos’’ dancing. Vicente Escudero has made many enemies with his blunt statements that he is the greatest living bailaor. Nevertheless, it is probably true. Regrettably, he is well in his sixties or early seventies, and he can no longer demonstrate his superiority as he did for many years. He is the strongest remaining advocate of the pure school of flamenco (apart from a few eccentricities that he has developed to strengthen his waning dance),



In citing flamenco’s outstanding guitarists I have divided them into what I consider to be two distinct, and yet hitherto unemphasized, styles of playing, which I term ’’jondo’’ and ’’concert’’. This division will undoubtedly cause controversy. It is not an easy task to place some of the ‘inbetween’ guitarists in either category. But I am confident that once the basis of this division is understood, it will hold up under the aficionados impartial inspection. The “’jondo’’ and the ’’concert’’ divisions are based on the following: (z) (2), (3)

guitar techniques employed. the feeling that is intended by the guitarist. the feeling that is transmitted to the public.

The ’’feelings’’ of (2) and (3) are not necessarily in accord, or even similar. It often happens that a ’’concert’’ style flamenco guitarist may truly feel, and believe that he is transmitting,

the duende to his public.

Regrettably, this authentic feeling that he has is too often lost before teaching the listeners, due to the complexities and intricacies of his style. That is to say, he is often emotionally defeated by his virtuosity. Ihave heard jondo guitarists who can say more with a significant:silence following a primitive falseta, or by the emphasis of a single, prolonged note in a simple ligado, than many virtuosos who are able to inject four times the number of notes into the same time span. Let us select two guitarists, Sabicas and Perico el del Lunar (Sabicas can be heard on his numerous records, Perico on the Westminster Anthology of Flamenco), not necessarily as a comparison of guitarists, but rather as a comparison of styles and emotional direction. First, let’s listen to Sabicas. We are immediately struck by his phenomenal technique ; thundering vasgweados, lightening picados and thumb


crystal clear arpegios





effects and ligados, a deluge of notes and more notes. He is in a class by himself, the greatest guitar technician in flamenco history, We are left breathless, awe-struck. How can he play so perfectly, have such inventive genius to create most of his complex material, weave in and atound the compds with such natural ease? Sabicas, the undisputed virtuoso of the flamenco guitar! . Then. we put on one of the Anthology records, with Perico el del 3

Lunar, guitarist, one of the few masters of the art of accompanying the Cante. Perico can accompany anything that is sung, and a few cantes that have been forgotten, He knows the Cante better than most cantaores, and probably better than any other guitarist with the illustrious exception of Manolo de Huelva. The record spins, and Perico plays an introduction, subdued, quiet, preparing the way for the singer. His style is simple and unassuming, effortless, and somehow ingenious. He has the talent of capturing the mood of each cante, and of influencing the singer to greater emotional depth. He remains in the background, and yet is unpretentiously in the foreground, inserting always the appropriate falseta to enhance the feeling of the cante. His falsetas are in excellent taste, simple and jondo. We are not left in awe, nor are we breathless. But we are left with a feeling that we have heard something important ; the combination of a guitar and a singer creating an unforgettable jondo flamenco, steeped in duende, The following are the outstanding flamenco guitarists who advocate the jondo style of playing. Many of these guitarists could, and occasionally do, play concert flamenco, but basically they are dedicated to the art of accompanying, with their conscious or unconscious objective being the uniting of flamenco’s components into one entity. In alphabetical order: Araceli Vargas. Diego del Gastor. Eduardo de la Malena. El Granaino. Luis Maravilla. Manolo de Badajoz (presently retired due to sickness). Manolo de Huelva (considered the world’s greatest flamenco guitarist). Melchor de Marchena. Nifio de Almerfa.

Paco Aguilera.

Perico el del Lunar. The following are outstanding flamenco guitarists who advocate the ’’concert’’ style of playing. They are well-rounded guitarists who are accomplished on the solo concert stage as well as in the art of ac164

companying, although they are dedicated basically to the furthering of guitar virtuosity. In alphabetical order: Carlos Ramos. Esteban de Sanlicar. Juanito Serrano. Justo de Badajoz. Manuel Moreno ’’Moraito’’. Mario Escudero. Nifio Ricardo. Pepe Martinez. Rafael Nogales. Ricardo Blasco. Sabicas (considered the world’s greatest flamenco technician).









Title: ’’Sevilla — Cuna del Cante Flamenco’’. Columbia CCLP 31008. This record is certainly one of the best and most versatile on the market, featuring singers Antonio Mairena, Juan Talegas, El Gordito de Triana, La Fernanda and La Bernarda de Utrera, La Perla de Cadiz, and Los Hermanos Toronjos, and the excellent guitar accompaniment of Paco Aguilera and Moraito Chico. This record is extremely interesting, and I believe worthwhile breaking down by bands. El Gordito de Triana sings the most magnificently moving Fandangos Grandes the listener can ever hope to hear. The Fandangos Trianeros are a very difficult and emotional style of the Fandangos Grandes, and El Gordito proves himself capable of converting them into a truly jondo cante. El Gordito, little-known outside of Triana, sings with a duende on this band that shows him to be one of flamenco’s top singers. Juan Talegas sings his specialty, the Soleares de Alcalé. Although he sings only one band, Talegas gives an idea of the profundity and perfection of his cante while again proving himself the old master of the Soleares. Antonio Mairena lends versatility to the record by singing two of his specialties, the Martinetes and the Saetas, performing brilliantly on both. Mairena proves himself a master of this difficult corner of flamenco in fulfilling his reputation as flamenco’s most complete cantaor, La Bernarda de Utrera sings a wildly superb Bulerias, accompanied excellently by Paco Aguilera and Moraito Chico in an example of outstanding coordination between the singer and the guitarists. La Bernarda is another of the top singers, with an unrestrained gypsy voice surging with a spirit and a duende not fully captured by phonograph tecords. And La Fernanda, how she sings! For my taste she is in a class by herself as a present day cantaora, equal in her specialties to the 766

legendary Nifia de los Peines. If La Fernanda and La Bernarda could be seen by the side of Juan Talegas at their occasional jwergas, even the most cynical listener would feel the pull of the duende.

La Perla de Cadiz is one of the top singers of the Bulerias and the cantes of Cadiz (Alegrias, Cantinas, etc.). My first opportunity to hear her came one woozy dawn while devouring churros and chocolate in a gypsy friend’s caseta during the feria de Sevilla. The dancer Faico, La Fernanda, La Bernarda, La Perla and various other gypsy artists came in after a night of merry-making and formed a spontaneous juerga, one of those unforgettable occasions that happen when least expected. The Bulerias was the theme; the three gypsy women sang alternately to the wild dancing and jaleo of Faico and the other gypsies. It was the type of spectacle not seen in theatres or night clubs and rarely outside of them, and which showed La Perla in a magnificent form not fully captured by this record. Los Hermanos Toronjo, featuring the soloist Paco, sing well their specialties, the Fandangos de Huelva and the Sevillanas. My only possible criticism of this record is that the Hermanos Toronjo, and the choral group singing a traditional Sevillanan Christmas song (Villancicos), should not have been included in a grouping of this caliber, although they are excellent artists within their own realm. Another band for Talegas, La Fernanda, El Gordito, and La Bernarda could have been easily fitted in in place of the three rather long bands of the Toronjos and the choral group, which would have raised the artistic quality of the record even further. Title: ’’Westminster Anthology of Cante Flamenco (1)’’. Three records:


5303, WL

5304, and WL


These records are certainly a valuable collection for all aficionados, consisting of 33 cantes sung by such masters as Pepe Ntfiez de la Matrona, Rafael Romero ’’Gallina’’, Nifio de Almadén, Pericén de Cadiz, R. Jarrito Montoya, Bernardo el de los Lobitos, Nifio de Malaga, and el Chaqueta, and containing a veritable lesson in guitar accompaniment by Perico el del Lunar. This diversified collection will give every aficionado an excellent ground-work towards an understanding of the Cante (x) Hispavox has released a nearly identical anthology, featuring most of the same singers singing the same cantes. A tri-lingual pamphlet explaining the cantes and the cantaores accompanies the Hispavox offering. 167

and the guitar accompaniment, besides a rare opportunity for an insight into the cante of these extraordinary cantaores. Regardless of what seem to be improvised recording techniques, all of the singers show up extremely well in their cantes except possibly el Chaqueta. He is simply better in person, having the type of voice not suited for records. To date these records make up the most complete collection of cantes that I have come across, and I believe are the only recorded opportunity outside of Spain to hear the outstanding cante of Pepe Niifiez de la Matrona, as well as that of Bernardo el de los Lobitos, el Nifio de Malaga, and el Chaqueta. Title: ’’Cantaores Famosos — Antologia del Cante Flamenco’’. Three records: Victor LALP 322, 323, 324. This anthology, consisting of over 30 cantes, offers some of the legendary singers of the past, as well as several of today’s outstanding cantaores and guitarists. The first two records, the most interesting, are composed of the following: CANTES

Cafias, Polos, Deblas, Martinetes, Granainas, Tarantas Bulerias por Soled Peteneras, Bamberas Siguiriyas Soled Media Granaina, Verdiales, CantinasSaetas Malaguenas Tientos Antiguos Malaguenas, Alegrias Fandangos de Huelva Serranas


R. Jarrito Montoya Luis Maravilla R. Jarrito Montoya Luis Maravilla R. Jarrito Montoya = Luis Maravilla Nijia de los Peines § Melchor de Marchena Niiia de los Peines Manolo de Badajoz Tomas Pavén Melchor de Marchena Manolo Caracol Paco Aguilera Jestis Perosanz Paquito Simén Jestis Perosanz Paquito Simén Jests Perosanz None Nifio de Almadén Melchor de Marchena Nifio de Almadén Melchor de Marchena Pericén de Cadiz Niiio Ricardo ? Cojo de Huelva Luis Maravilla Tomas de Antequera Manolo Bulerias

Pavén, Vallejo, Perosanz, and died only recently, were among the This anthology has been taken enabling us to hear the older singers 168


the Cojo de Huelva, all of whom most famous singers of their day. entirely from old 78 rpm records, during their most productive years,

although the recording techniques and the sound are of course not of today’s caliber. It is interesting to compare the styles of the guitarists,

from the unassuming jondo intricacies of Nifio Ricardo.

playing of Manolo Bulerias to the sloppy Luis Maravilla plays beautiful, emotional

accompaniments ; Manolo de Badajoz in his usual jondo style; Paco Aguilera in his extremely flamenco, hard-driving style; and Melchor de Marchena in his more complicated, still very jondo style (as differentiated from the beautifully simple style of Manolo Bulerfas), sparked by frequent moments of creative genius. For my taste, Melchor is one of the few truly outstanding flamenco guitar virtuosos of today who has managed to utilize his vast techniques and creative ability and still usually remain extremely jondo. Most guitarists of great technical ability, as we have seen, pass over the emotional line at some unknown, advanced stage of their development, and from that point on their playing becomes less jondo as the notes increase. This has not happened to Melchor. An interesting study of singing styles can also be made from these records. Such a talented legendary singer as Manuel Vallejo proves himself to be basically a ’’gritén’’ (shouter), apparently believing that shouting is the answer to emotional outlet. This style was in vogue for ™many years during the decadent period of flamenco, and was (is) one of the basic reasons for the continuance of the decay of the Cante. The great singers do not shout — they will build up to an emotional pitch during a cante when their voices become movingly strong, but they then subside into an unadorned calm. Aurelio Selles is the outstanding living example of the calm style of flamenco’s past greats (i. e. Antonio Chacén). His singing is charged with an emotion amplified by the very suggestiveness of his quiet style. On these records Roque Montoya Jatrito and the Nifio de Almadén demonstrate this calmness, and far ‘exceed Vallejo in emotional impact. Caracol, on the other hand, often shouts, but it somehow enhances his cante which is truly jondo in nature, making the listener feel that Caracol is ridding himself of swarms of inner demons. He is a rare exception. The Nifia de los Peines will be understood, and liked, only by those deeply involved in flamenco. She is much like the early, earthy jazz singers, who were little appreciated by any but other jazz singers and musicians. She is one of flamenco’s true creators of this century. Her strongest cantes are the cantes grandes, and she is therefore not represented at her best on these records. Little can be learned of the cante of the legendary Tomas Pavén, brother of 169

the Nifia de los Peines, as he sings only one short Siguiriyas. He was considered one of the great siguiriyeros (singers of Siguiriyas) of his time, although his specialty was the Soleares. Title:

’’The Fantastic Guitars of Sabicas and Escudero’. Decca DL 78795.

In this record of guitar duets the guitars, arrangements, imagination, talent, good taste, and compds of Sabicas and Escudero are truly fantastic’ within their style of playing (although forgivably commercial). Listen closely and you will hear amazing, original passages that are principally the results of (I am sure) the genius of Sabicas. What they do on this record has been done by no other duo, and I expect it will not be equalled in many a moon. Their good taste must be appreciated in not invading the sacred territory of the togue grande, as those toques must be mastered by a single, serious instrument; they would not lend themselves to guitar duets as do the toques chicos that constitute this record. Title:

*’Arte Clasico Flamenco’” — Ramén Montoya. Philharmonia Records Corp. PH 108.

This record will give the aficionado an idea of the toque of Ramon Montoya, creator of the modern style of concert flamenco guitar playing. Many of the falsefas on this record, original creations of Don Ramén, will be familiar to the listener, as they have become the basic of modern improvisation. It is said that records could never capture the magic of Ramén’s playing. He was at his best, as are all flamencos, in the atmosphere of a jwerga. And more than a soloist, Ramén was an accompanist of the Cante. I have had the opportunity to hear him, on old 78 rpm’s, accompany such past great cantaores as Antonio Chacén and Manuel Torre with a style and depth of expression far superior to this record of solos. Nevertheless, this record gives a fair sampling of the creative togue of Ramon Montoya. Title:

’’Queen of the Gypsies’

(DL 9816) and ’’Flamenco”’

(DL 9925) — Decca Carmen Amaya and her Company; Sabicas, guitarist. These two records are the best I have heard to give the listener the full effect, in faultless coordination, of the cante, baile, guitarra, and 170

jaleo. The ’’Queen of the Gypsies’’ stresses more serious aspects of flamenco, while ’’Flamenco”’ is on the lighter side. Carmen’s footwork is superb, and her singing gives a good example of the tremendous impact _that a primitive, untrained gypsy voice can carry. Sabicas’accompaniments and solos are, as always, outstanding, and he carries the compds in a way that makes the listener want to leap to his feet and dance. The general jaleo is the best that I have heard on a record. In summation, these records, besides being very enjoyable, will gave an excellent idea of the full scope of flamenco. With the addition of one or two top-notch cantaores, an even greater degree of excellence could have been attained. | Title:


History of Cante Flamenco’. Top Rank International.

Manolo Caracol, singer; Melchor de Marchena, guitarist. This two-record anthology, consisting of 26 cantes of extremely interesting in that the listener can study several forms of a particular cante (five Siguiriyas, three Bulerias, dangos, five Soleares, etc.), noting the differences made by menco’s best, and most well-versed, cantaores. It will be most listeners that Caracol is a cante grande singer, singing the jondo


less well the semi-serious



Caracol, is styles and three Fanone of flaobvious to beautifully

least well the

Fandangos de Huelva, a cante not worthy of him that he should not attempt. Melchor de Marchena does not seem to be playing in an atmosphere to his liking, as he is not in his top form, although he accompanies more than adequately and at times magnificently. This is probably due in part to Caracol’s unusual style of singing, in which he enters into some cantes at unexpected moments, sings along with several guitar introductions, purposely strays from the compds in several places, and in general makes life difficult for the guitarist. But, generally speaking, these records show Caracol singing his favorites, the cantes grandes, at his present best (he has had more power and control in the past), and show him to be a singer of great knowledge and emotional intensity. Title: ’*Danzas Flamencas’’. Decca DL 9758. José Greco and Company. As usual, the narcissistic Mr. Greco gives no reference or credit to the members of his company who make this record one of the better of those combining all of flamenco’s components. I recognize the excellent cantaores Rafael Romero (Canas, Peteneras, Zambra, Tientos Antiguos) and Manolita de Jerez (Alegrias, Bulerias, Fandangos Grandes, Soleaves, etc.), and I believe the guitarist Miguel Garcia, but the others I 171

cannot identify with any surety. Greco's footwork is good, and the singing, guitar and tastefulness are generally good throughout the record, as is the selection of bailes and cantes.

Apart from the mentioned records of special interest, almost any of the recordings of the outstanding flamenco artists mentioned in Appendix No. 2 are worthwhile having. If they are labeled flamenco, and are of these artists, it is reasonably sure that they are sincere efforts at good flamenco. There are exceptions. Listen to the record before buying. An undertaking of special interest should be noted here. A newlyorganized folkloric group is preparing a set of tapes designed to instruct the listener in the various cantes and their styles. These tapes will consist of short, informative talks about particular cantes and interpreters, profusely illustrated by singing to guitar accompaniment. The illustrations will be taken from contemporary and old records (some dating back as far as fifty years), and will give the listener the rare opportunity of hearing all of the living singers mentioned in Outstanding Performers, Appendix 2 (including their early recordings), as well as many greats of the past (Antonio Chacon, Manuel Torre, Tomas Pavon, el Nifio de Cabra, etc.). Unpublished material from live juergas will also be used, The guitar accompaniment will be by the greats of past and present, and will present an interesting study in itself. Tapes demonstrating various guitar styles and approaches, including both solo andno, ment, are also being planned. The group feels that only in this way can the public be indaisied, of the pure flamenco and, conversely, of the impurities that are running rampant in the flamenco of today. These tapes will offer the aficionado an unprecedented opportunity to improve his knowledge, and enjoyment, of flamenco. ‘Further information can be obtained from: Estudios Flamencos, Victor Pradera, 46 — Madrid.





Commercially, Madrid is the flamenco center of Spain (and the world), followed by Sevilla, Barcelona, Malaga, and Granada. Madrid offers. by far the best commercial flamenco, having numerous old-style Cafés Cantantes which offer many of the top personalities of flamenco. As has been seen in the course of this book, flamenco is not at its best in a commercial atmosphere. Nevertheless, some excellent moments

can be passed in these establishments. The main drawback is that the public. is composed basically of non-aficionados, and the atmosphere tarely warms up to an inspiring level. The artist needs encouragement — he has to feel the audience with him — or his performance will genetally be cold and automatic. If he feels that the public does not care, or does not understand,

his duende will not be ignited, and he will not

be able to perform to his fullest capabilities. This is irremediable, and we need not dwell upon it further; these establishments are certainly an important aspect of flamenco. Happily, in step with the present trend of renewed interest and purification of flamenco, many of these clubs have recognized the importance of presenting better flamenco, and are increasing their standards accordingly. In the following pages an evaluation of many of the world’s important commercial flamenco establishments is offered. I have rated the Spanish clubs ’’very good’’, ’’good’’, ’’fair’’, mediocre’, and “poor’’. The non-Spanish clubs have not been rated, as rating them would invite comparison between the Spanish and the non-Spanish clubs, and there can be no reasonable comparison. The Spanish clubs are in a position to present large cuadros studded with talent, which simply cannot be done practically outside of Spain.



La Zambra.—Madrid.

A small, for


intimate, listening

and expensive old-style Café Cantante strictly and







best pure flamenco of any club in the world. The show, as in nearly all Spanish flamenco clubs, is composed of two cuadros, one basically light, the other serious. The light cwadro has some 14 performers, who offer an enjoyable warm-up based on jaleo, gaiety, and a few sober moments, capable of several good numbers, and many more not so good numbers. At its best this cuadro features the singer el Culata, the dancer-singer Teresa Maya, and the guitarist Triguito. The second cuadro (composed of permanent artists under long-term contracts) is select, and their flamenco is likely to be the best, as a whole, to be found in a commercial establishment. This cwadro usually contains none less than singers Rafael Romero ’’Gallina’’, Pericébn de Cadiz, Manuel Vargas, and Juanito Barea, dancer Rosita Durdn, and guitarist Perico

el del Lunar or his son (also an excellent guitarist). My only criticism of this cwadro is that it is overly-dominated by the dancer Rosita Duran. During my last visit there she danced six times, which not only dampened the excellent effect that she would have left with two or three dances (it is a deadly mistake for a performer to saturate the public; it should always be left clamouring for more), but it limited the singers to minor accompanying roles, a sin with singers of this category. On a previous visit Rosita was sick, and the show was left to the four singers and the guitarist. They lined up five chairs and, sternly seated and taking turns, they gave by far the most impressive recital of cante and toque jondo that I have witnessed in a commercial establishment. Apart from the excellent flamenco, the atmosphere of the Zambra is a little cold. This is due in part to a public little initiated in this caliber of flamenco, and also to a ’’snob’’ atmosphere purposely cultivated by the management. Price: 175 pesetas ($2.90) minimum per person, including one drink. Rating: very good. Corral de la Moreria.—Madrid.

Imaginative owner Manuel del Rey, an excellent aficionado, has succeeded in giving the Corral de la Morerfa what I consider to be the warmest, most informally flamenco atmosphere of any high-class club 174

in Spain. As good as his decorative taste is his taste for good flamenco. He has launched various artists, including La Chunga, and his present principal cwadro includes another protégé, dancer Maria Albaicin, who can certainly become one of the great dancers if she does not succumb to over-commercialism. Together with Marfa in the principal cuadro are such excellent artists as the singers El Pili and Porrina de Badajoz, the dancers Fati and Diego Pelao, and the guitarist Antonio Arenas, The light cuadro is entertaining, and offers a few good numbers amid much jaleo. Price:





drink (or towards dinner). Rating:






El Duende.—Madrid. Small and intimate, the Duende is owned by the famous bailaora Pastora Imperio, and her equally as famous son-in-law Gitanillo de Triana, former torero. The Duende has first-rate entertainment with an interesting changeover of artists, which has included, in the past few months, Antonio Mairena, Paco Aguilera, Maleni Loreto, los Pelaos, and




is informal



tween those of the Corral and the Zambra. For not as varied, as consistently outstanding, or as of the Zambra, although the Duende is definitely co establishments in Spain. Price: 125 pesetas minimum at a table, 75 bar. Rating: good.


in be-

my taste, the show is well-presented as that one of the top flamenpesetas at a stand-up

Torres Bermejas.—Madrid. The Torres Bermejas does not meet the standards of the Zambra, Corral de la Moreria, or the Duende, although a sprinkling of good artists can be seen there, including the singer R. Jarrito Montoya, the dancer Juan Pelao, and often the singer El Culata. It is small and intimate, decorated in an interesting Arabic motif. Price: t00 pesetas ($1.65) minimum, including one drink, Rating: fair. La Bruja.—Madrid. La Bruja is besieged by the problem of most Cafés Cantantes — excellent artists perform far beneath their capabilities in an overly-commercial atmosphere. My last visit exposed La Fernanda and La Bernarda de Utrera, el Chaqueta, Candelas, the dancing sister of La Chun175

ga, and others offering their flamenco half-heartedly, in a mistaken

belief that an ignorant public thus prefers it. My argument is that the public that understands definitely does not prefer the commercial, and the public that does not understand can never be expected to if they are constantly confronted with it. Pure flamenco is colorful and varied enough for any audience without cute little tricks and gimmicks. La Bruja (the Witch) has a medieval dungeon motif, interesting if awkwardly laid out. Price: 100 pesetas minimum at a table, a far-away bar cheaper. Rating: good. Arco de Cuchilleros.—Madrid. The Arco de Cuchilleros is a fairly new Café Cantante ideally located in the picturesque old quarter of Madrid, between the Cuevas de Luis Candelas and Botin’s Restaurant. The Arco started out with an interesting mixture of boleros (traditional non-flamenco dance of Madrid). and flamenco, but soon dropped the boleros in favor of an all-flamenco program. The cuadro is young and full-of-hell, with animated palmas and jaleo and better-than-average flamenco. The show fell heavily with the main attractions: a so-so dancer from New York, a Fandango singer called Villanueva, and a tired Alejandro Vega and poor partner. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is intimate, and the décor attractive and fitting. Price: 125 pesetas minimum. Rating: mediocre. Cuevas

de Nemesio.—Madrid.

The Cuevas is an interesting spot featuring two cuadros of mostly young, beginning artists. They offer spirited, extremely commercial flamenco in a cave-type, casual atmosphere. Price: 125 pesetas minimum at a table, 75 pesetas at a stand-up bar. Rating: poor. El Guajivo.—Sevilla. Top performers occasionally relieve the popular flamenco atmosphere of this night club which otherwise harbours noisy crowds and mediocre flamenco. The singer Fosforito spends frequent hectic periods there, having to utilize a mike in order to be heard over the babbling throng, and El Farruco often copes half-heartedly with the crowd. The Fandanguillos of the Hermanos Toronjo and the sexy Rumba Gitana of Manoli Vargas fare better. El Guajiro is large and colorful, and tures ballroom dancing between flamenco shows. 176

Price: 75 pesetas ($1.25) minimum at table, 35 pesetas at a standup bar. Rating: mediocre. La Venta Real.—Sevilla.

The Venta Real is a historical venta on the highway to CAdiz recently reopened by the owners of El Duende of Madrid. The original idea was to interchange artists between the two Cafés Cantantes, but Sevilla has not supported the Venta as anticipated, and they have had










artists have appeared there as Antonio Mairena, Melchor de Marchena, Maleni Loreto, and others. The Venta Real undoubtedly has the best organized flamenco in Sevilla, as well as the most attentive audiences. The Venta is open from about April to November. Price: 75 pesetas per drink at a table, 50 pesetas at a stand-up bar. Rating: fair. La Bodega del Hotel Cristina.—Sevilla. An intimate atmosphere with interesting, if terribly commercial, flamenco. Carmen Carrera often highlights the show. Prices: 75 pesetas per drink at a table. Rating: mediocre. Patio Andaluz.—Sevilla. The Patio Andaluz is organized along the same lines as the Guajiro (night club, ballroom dancing), although they generally offer an inferior brand of flamenco. Under a new policy they are presently hiring better performers, but they still have a long ways to go. El Farruco, probably the most flamenco bailaor presently dancing, often saves the show. Price: 75 pesetas minimum at a table, 30 pesetas at a small bar. Rating: mediocre to poor. La Cueva.—Torremolinos


A fascinating setting combined with good artists has made La Cueva a high caliber establishment, a rarity outside of Madrid. The setting is a natural cave facing a compact, open-air bar, seating comfortably an audience of about 150. The talent was considerable the last time I was there, including La Fernanda de Utrera, El Chaqueta, Fosforito, Porrina de Badajoz and his excellent accompanist Pepe de Badajoz, La Chunguita, and a large supporting cwadro. As it has just opened this summer, it is hard to predict if La Cueva will continue in this high-class plan. With proper support it most likely will.

177 14

Price: 100 pesetas minimum, less at a stand-up bar. Rating: good. (Strictly summertime). La Bodega Andaluza.—Torremolinos (Malaga). The Bodega has a colorful, intimate atmosphere, featuring local flamencos sometimes suprisingly good and sometimes surprisingly bad. The atmosphere is warm, and the audience attentive. Price: 50 pesetas minimum at a table. Rating: mediocre. El Zoco.—Cérdoba. Regrettably, Cérdoba has only one Café Cantante. It is located in the ancient Jewish quarter near the residence of the famed painter of Cordobés women, Julio Romero de Torres. The place reeks of atmosphere, and one has the feeling that here will be found real flamenco. Nothing could be further from the truth. The performers are youngsters whom the management undoubtedly hires with the objective of minimizing costs, Their flamenco is commercial and cheap. Nevertheless, it is worth a visit to see the layout, but go early (11 p.m.) as, unlike other clubs in Spain that close late, the Zoco closes at I a.m. Price: 60 pesetas ($1) minimum at a table. Rating: poor. Bodega del Toro.—Barcelona. This establishment offers Barcelona’s best flamenco in a lively atmosphere. Price: about 75 pesetas minimum at a table, 50 pesetas at a standup bar. Rating: mediocre to fair. Barcelona. There are several places dedicated to flamenco in the Barrio Chino, an old typical neighborhood of Barcelona. The most notable of these are La Macarena and the Villa Rosa. Although in a colorful setting, the flamenco is usually mediocre, the prices reasonable if care is taken. The Gypsy Caves.—Granada. Beware. Local color, gypsy witchery, and flamboyant flamenco combine to relieve you of your bankroll. If you go, it is wise to join an organized tour from Granada at a pre-set price. The caves, and the spectacle, are extremely interesting and entertaining. It is worth the trip, but don’t expect much in the way of flamenco. The cave of Lola Medina, a dancer of considerable past fame, probably is the scene of the most authentic juergas. Rating: generally poor. 178



Outside of Spain the most enthusiastic flamenco cities of the world are probably San Francisco and Paris. Both of these cities have a flamenco attitude and philosophy: live today, worry about tomorrow manana (si Dios quiere), and above all, give us wine, women, song, good food, and exciting pursuits. Flamenco artists flourish in this atmosphere, as it is the closest thing to Andalucia outside of Spain. Besides, there is money to be had; not a large amount, but astronomical in comparison to their earnings in Spain. Paris has long been known for its attraction for flamenco artists. San Francisco is still a relative newcomer to the flamenco world, but is consistently attracting more and more flamencos with its European atmosphere and eager acceptance of the art of flamenco. The Casa Madrid.San


The Casa Madrid is a Café Cantante-type bar that features professional flamenco entertainment. The artists are mostly Spaniards who find themselves in America, highlighted by a changing selection of such well-known guitarists as Carlos Ramos, Sarasate, and Bernabé de Morén, La Bodega.—San Francisco. La Bodega is a colorful Spanish restaurant that serves recorded flamenco and classical background music along with their excellent wines and Paella. It is sparked by frequent spontaneous jwergas by local and visiting flamencos and, if not jwergas, there are usually guitarists playing informally at a corner table. It is strictly performing for pleasure, as there are no hired performers. La Bodega is a favorite stopping place for touring flamenco artists. The Spaghetti Factory

Cafe.—San Francisco.

This café offers the talents of many of San Francisco’s local aficionados in an interesting setting. Spirited but strictly amateur. The Casa Madrid.—Los


The Casa Madrid is under the same management as its sister bar in San Francisco. Many of the flamenco artists work in both bars, shuttling back and forth at intervals.

La Zambra.—New York City. A night spot dedicated to flamenco, the Zambra has among others, some of flamenco’s outstanding guitarists.


El Chico.—New York City. El Chico offers flamenco at its most commercial, name performers. The Chateau



with occasional


An intimate room set apart from the main flamenco singing and guitar-playing.

club generally offers

El Patio.—Mexico City. A night club with a varied floor show, the Patio has featured such outstanding










El Rincén de Goya.—Mexico


El Rincén is a club featuring local Spanish and Mexican flamenco artists in an interesting and entertaining setting. Usually mediocre talent. Gitanerias.—Mexico City. The Gitanerias offers flamenco shows and intermission Mexican folklore in a lively, gay, and entertaining atmosphere with... mediocre flamenco. PARIS. The following are the most noted flamenco clubs in Paris. I cannot comment on them, as I know them only by reputation. La Guitare.


La Puerta del Sol.


El Catalan.

EI Patio.

de Grenade.

Antonio’s Restaurant.—London.

Antonio’s offers what is probably the best flamenco in London. The Acapulco.—London. Despite the name, the Acapulco is reputed to have nightly flamenco. Troubador.—London.

Two nights of flamenco varied folk music. 180


are squeezed

into a schedule of






_ The impression may have been given in this book that pure flamenco is nearly impossible to find, especially for the aficionado not thoroughly versed in flamenco, Andalucia, and the Spanish language. This is not far from the truth, but there are ways for the adventurous.

Probably the best and least costly is that offered by a new folkloric group, which takes the aficionado to authentic juergas in towns and villages throughout Andalucia. Further information can be acquired from: Estudios Flamencos, Victor Pradera, 46 — Madrid. Good juwerga flamenco can also be sought in certain bars and ventas throughout Spain. --In many smaller towns and villages of Andalucia, it is possible to merely enter the local bar at almost any hour, ask for a few flamencos, and sit down and wait while they are being rounded up from their nearby houses. This is taking pot luck, but can be entertaining and usually cheap. Of course, you are leaving yourself open to gross deception unless you are well-versed in Spanish and know your way around, and the chances are the flamenco will leave much to be desired. Larger localities have bars and ventas which exist primarily for these jwergas, and a much better brand of flamenco is usually offered. These bars and ventas have private jwerga rooms, and many flamenco artists congregate in them hoping to be hired for private parties. Spain lives late, and these flamencos are available from around 11 p.m. until 6 or 7 a.m. The prices of these artists vary widely, depending on the category of the artist, his mood, his necessity for money, and his size-up of his prospective employer. These jwergas can be wonderful experiences or expensive disappointments. If the party contains knowledgeable aficionados who show great interest and knowing enthusiasm, the artists will most likely outdo themselves to please and prove their ability, which in turn will cause them to become emotionally involved. If a majority of the party consists of people solely out to have a good time, the flamencos will encourage this and they too will have a good time; 181

but the pure flamenco more than likely will not flow. I have had excellent experiences on such juergas, and I have also been horribly bored. Nothing can be guaranteed. A list of these bars and ventas, and a discussion of the prices, follows: MADRID.—Madrid has an early and a late bar dedicated to juergas. The early bar is the Villa Rosa, located on the Plaza Santa Ana, where flamenco artists congregate, and juergas are formed, from about II p.m. to 2.30 a.m. After that, the place to go is the Venta Manzanilla (owned by the cantaor Manolo Manzanilla), located on the highway to Barcelona (use side entrance). Some of Spain’s outstanding flamencos are for hire in these bars, including the legendary Manolo de Huelva, long considered the world’s greatest flamenco guitarist. Class A prices. (See price schedule that follows). SEVILLA.—A string of ventas just outside of Sevilla, on the highway to Cadiz, is the meeting place of Sevilla’s flamenco artists. The Venta Marcelino, open until about 4 a.m., has by far the best selection of artists, usually including the excellent cantaor Gordito de Triana, the guitarist Antonio Sanlicar, and others. The early morning hours can be spent in a “closed door’”’ bar in Triana (unless its doors are previously closed permanently). Ask the flamencos or a taxi driver for directions. Generally Class B prices. MALAGA.—The night clubs La Terraza and El Cajfiizo have flamencos available for jwergas until about 4 a.m. Before midnight they often congregate in the Bar Central on the main plaza (Constitucién) in Malaga. Generally Class C prices. CADIZ.—La Cueva del Pajaro Azul. A group of five or six artists congregate here who can provide enjoyable flamenco from about 11 p-m. on. Generally Class C prices. SAN FERNANDO (near Cadiz).—The famous Venta Vargas has a few mediocre artists available. Class C prices. JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA.—La Paijioleta is the only place in this historic flamenco city where flamenco can presently be found. rz p.m. to dawn. Generally Class C prices, and poor flamenco.



There is no way of giving an accurate idea of the cost of an all night jwerga, There are too many variables, as I have pointed out. Nevertheless, I believe that it is necessary for the reader to have some vague idea of the price, so he at least is in a bargaining position. I shall group the bars and ventas in price classes (A, B, C), broken down by the category of artist desired (famous or non-famous). GROUP A

ARTIST guitarist singer dancer

NON-FAMOUS 200-400 pesetas 300-500 pesetas 200-400 pesetas

FAMOUS 500-1000 pesetas 600-1200 pesetas rarely encountered



150-300 pesetas

400- 800 pesetas








200-300 pesetas

tarely encountered

guitarist singer dancer

50-150 pesetas 50-150 pesetas 50-150 pesetas

I50- 300 pesetas rarely encountered tarely encountered

I repeat that these prices are only approximations.


not feel

cheated if you are asked more, nor surprised if asked less. I have hired

one of the top singers for 100 pesetas. He felt like singing, and he knew that I could not pay a large amount. On the other hand, I have been asked for phenomenal amounts by performers who happened to feel expensive

that night,

but whom,

a few nights later, would

with a fraction of what they previously demanded. from the chart,

be content

As you can notice

dancers do not frequent these bars and ventas too con-

sistently; they mainly seem to harbour singers and guitarists, perhaps because there are less unemployed dancers. The terms ’’famous’’ and *’non-famous’’ are not meant to indicate necessarily that an artist is better or worse. It merely means that they have built up a name, perhaps only locally, by pure or commercial means,

and that they consider

themselves worth more money. It also has to be kept in mind that the price may go down for a one or two hour juerga, and up for an extended period of time. The prices given here would be for a juerga of perhaps three to five hours duration. Wine has to be bought for the juerga. It will be taken for granted that good sherry wine (preferably Tio Pepe or Agustin Blazquez) is desired unless otherwise specified, which will be costly as it is the main 183

income of the bar. The cost should be roughly as follows: Bar category A — 200-250 pesetas per bottle. Bar category B — 150-200 pesetas per bottle. Bar category C — 100-150 pesetas per bottle. You are not obligated to buy or table wine is cheaper, if you Also, the artists may not produce cant, although many of them are


such good wine. Manzanilla, montilla, don’t mind the condescending looks. properly without their favorite lubrinot so spoiled.






National and international contests of cante jondo, and flamenco in general, have been organized several times over the past 100 years, with the objective of discovering and comparing talent, and of furthering interest in flamenco. Although this seems an excellent idea, a maze of developments tend to water down the results of such contests, such as small, nonrepresentative turnouts, local favoritism, and private business interests. Small turnouts occur because professional artists have a tendency to avoid these contests. They realize that they have little to gain and much to lose, as they stake their professional prestige and standing against a comparatively small monetary prize and increase in prestige. They also realize that the contests are not always decided on the basis of artistic talent alone.

In view of this, professionals sometimes have to

be enticed into participating by offers of certain guarantees. Those who can profit the most from such contests are flamenco’s aficionados and beginning professionals. Aside from monetary prizes, the winners gain a certain amount of prestige and recognition, which leads to private juergas, recording offers, and night club and theatre dates, if the artists are so inclined. In the following pages we shall study the three most important seties of contests that have been offered to date, the Concurso Nacional de Cante Jondo, La Llave de Oro del Cante, and the Concurso Interna-

cional de Arte Flamenco.

CONCURSO The in 1922, and the gendary.





first National Contest of Cante Jondo, celebrated in Granada was organized by the poet Garcia Lorca, the composer Falla, painter Ignacio Zuloaga. That contest has become almost leThe Prize of Honor was won by an old gypsy, Diego Bermu185

dez ’'El Tenaza’’, an aficionado of Morén de la Frontera. He proved to be outstanding in many cantes, but his greatest achievement dumfounded the judges (all men of considerable knowledge of flamenco). He solemnly sang (so goes the legend) fifteen different styles of Siguiriyas, many of which were so ancient that they were unknown to the judges. The old man calmly accepted his prize money and humbly returned to his village, never to publicly appear again. A prize was also won by Manolo Caracol, then a boy entering his first contest. The outstanding guitarist of the contest was Manolo de Huelva, even then considered flamenco’s best guitarist. The next contest was given in Cérdoba in 1956, thanks to the efforts of the poet Ricardo Molina. This contest saw an impetuous young man in his middle twenties, Antonio Fernandez Diaz ’’Fosforito’’, win the Absolute Prize of Honor by ranking first in all categories (the cantes are broken down into categories, with a prize for each), a feat not overly spectacular due to the lack of first-rate competition. Fostorito smgs a showy flamenco, taken by some to be passionate. He has a good over-all knowledge of the Cante, although this knowledge does not run deep in particular cantes. Of course, he is still young. His voice, lacking a bit in resonance, is reminiscent of that of the great Pepe Nijfiez de la Matrona. The last contest also took place in Cordoba, in 1959. A group of gypsies from the Sevilla area, more accurately from Utrera and Dos Hermanas, dominated the contest. They were led by Juan Talegas, a time-honored gypsy well in his seventies, who was awarded the Prize of Honor for placing first in the two most coveted categories. The critics agree that had he wished, he could have won other honors, but for reasons of prudence and courtesy he abstained from competing in the other categories. Talegas is steeped in the tradition and knowledge of his art. He sings with a profound seriousness and formality which commands respect and emotional involvement as he explores the depths of the jondo. Next to Talegas, La Fernanda de Utrera was the singer who most impressed the judges and critics. She has a wild, uncultivated rajo voice that sends chills down one’s spine. It is impossible to resist her duende,


is without


great cantaores.





a cauldron


emotions bubbling over into song. She is also high on the list of fla~


The official list of the prize winners of the 1959 Concurso Nacional de Cante Jondo is as follows:


Siguiriyas y Martinetes: 1st prize (of Honor) to Juan Talegas, of Dos Hermanas (Sevilla), of 10,000 pesetas. 2nd and 3rd prizes were not filled. Polos y Soleares: 1st prize to Juan Talegas of 6,000 pesetas. 2nd prize to La Fernanda de Utrera of 3,000 pesetas. 3rd prize not filled. Canas y Serranas: 1st prize to Pedro Lavado Rodriguez, of Puente Genil (Cérdoba), of 6,000 pesetas. 2nd and 3rd prizes were not filled. Malaguenas y Tarantas: 1st prize not filled. 2nd prize to Jests Heredia Flores, of Ecija (Sevilla) of 2,500 pesetas. 3rd prize to Juan Gambero Martin, of Fuengirola (M4laga), of 1,500 pesetas. Bulerias y Tientos: Two ist prizes of 3,000 pesetas each to the sisters La Fernanda

and La Bernarda,

de Utrera (Sevilla). Two


prizes of 2,000 pesetas each to La Perla de Cadiz and to La Pepa de Utrera. 3rd prize of 1,500 pesetas to Maria Vargas Fernandez, of Sanlicar de Barrameda (Cadiz). Alegrias, Mirabrds y Romeras: ist prize of 3,000 pesetas to La Perla de Cadiz. 2nd prize of 2,000 pesetas to Francisco Jurado Regalén, of Cérdoba. 3rd prize of 1,500 pesetas to Juan Montoya Fernandez, of Utrera (Sevilla). Fandangos de Lucena, Verdiales y Granadinas: 1st prize of 2,500 pesetas to Antonio Ranchal Alvarez de Sotomayor, of Lucena (Cérdoba). 2nd prize of 1,500 pesetas to Ramén de los Llanos Cano, of Cérdoba. 3rd prize was not filled. You may wonder why certain prizes were not filled. This is because the judges will not grant a prize if none of the singers who participate meet the necessary standards. You will also notice by the prize money given that these contests are not money-making propositions (figure 60 pesetas to $1). They are truly ’’art for art’s sake’’ (although the prizes seem to increase considerably in value with each new contest). The contest is theoretically open to the general public only on the last of its three days duration, when the winners are presented in the local theater. This ruling is not necessarily enforced. It is thought that this contest will be held each year from now on in various host cities.


’’Oido al Cante’’,

by Gonzalez

Climent. 187




The first event of the Golden Key of the Cante took place exactly too years ago (1862), when Tomas el Nitri was presented with the key in Jerez de la Frontera. It is well known that el Nitri was one of the great cantaores of the past, but there are those who do not consider this first award a very decisive test, as Nitri had no competitors. According to Fernando


de Triana,

this contest


no more




in which the admirers of el Nitri presented him with a token

of their esteem. The second Golden Key was 1 presented to Manuel Vallejo in 1926. I understand that this contest had few competitors, and that Vallejo was not pressed to win. So as is obvious, the first two contests, celebrated some 64 years apart, did not indisputably achieve their objective: that of choosing flamenco’s best cantaor. 2 The third contest of the Golden Key of the Cante was held in May of this year (1962), in Cérdoba, just one century after Tomés el] Nitri was awarded the first key. The contestants in this contest were necessarily few, as the requirements for entry were stiff. Each participating cantaor was required to sing, authentically and well, the following cantes: the Tonds Grande and Chica, the Deblas, the Martinetes, two cantes of their choice, and three different styles of both the Soleares and the Siguiriyas, which had to be chosen from the following list of styles: Soleares of Merced la Serneta Joaquin el de la Paula Enrique el Mellizo Frijones de Jerez Juaniquin de Utrera Paquirri el Guanté Old style of Triana Old style of Utrera Old style of Alcalé

Siguiriyas Diego el Fillo Tomas el Nitri Manuel Cagancho Curro Dulce Diego el Marrurro Manuel Torre Paco la Luz Loco Mateo Silverio Franconetti Manuel


Francisco la Perla


I can assure you that there are not many cantaores who know this much cante, and there are fewer still who can accomplish it well. The deserving winner of the Golden Key, and the accompanying 100,000 pesetas (the largest prize ever given in a flamenco contest), was

Antonio Mairena. Only four other singers competed; Fosforito, Juanito Varea, el Chocolate, and Platerito de Alcala. : Why did so few competitors show up? What happened to flamenco’s other top cantaores? First of all, there were no secondary prizes, and when the word spread that Mairena had entered, many worthy singers decided not to risk it (the contest could have been made infinitely more interesting if other prizes had been offered). Secondly, many excellent singers, being specialists in certain cantes, are not able enough in all of the cantes required for the contest. Others, who definitely possess the knowledge, are old or in failing health, and their throats would likely not have withstood the strain of a three-day contest (Juan Talegas, Aurelio



de la Matrona,

Nifia’ de los Peines,



col, etc.). Mairena showed his superiority clearly over the other contestants. He is presently in his prime (middle forties). His knowledge of the Cante is profound, his style is pure, and his veice is strong, flexible, and sure. There was little doubt before the contest that Mairena is today’s top all-around cantaor, and. the Golden Key has helped solidify his position (although in my opinion there are other cantaores of lesser category who come through emotionally stronger in certain cantes). The guitar accompaniment was provided by two of flamenco’s most respected guitarists, Melchor de Marchena and Manuel Moreno ’’Moraito’’. Melchor, hampered by an injured finger, still showed himself to be far superior to Moraito, both as accompanist and soloist. Moraito often exasperated both the singers and the audience by his insistence on playing falseta after showy falseta while the singer sought an opening. His playing in this contest (he can play better than he showed) was unimaginative, overly-technical, and generally uninspired. The entire three nights of the contest were held in the open air, which detracted from the atmosphere considerably, and certainly made it more difficult for the singers and the guitarists. A microphone had to be used which, combined with being outside, produced the worst possible-conditions for serious flamenco. ‘As. an entertaining sideline to the contest other artists were hired, notably el Farruco, Carmen


and Paco Laberinto, dancers, and


the singer Manolo Mairena (brother of the Golden Key winner), all of whom performed admirably. As a further attraction, the delivery of the Key was coordinated with the opening night of the Ballet of Antonio, and was presented to Mairena by Antonio himself. A distinguished group of judges presided over the contest, including Juan Talegas and Aurelio Sellés, cantaores, José Mujioz Molleda and Mauricio Ohana, composers, Anselmo Gonzalez Climent, author, and Ricardo Molina Tenor, poet.






The I International Contest of the Art of Flamenco, held in Jerez de la Frontera in May of 1962, was in most ways disappointing. Besides bad management, obvious inconsistencies of the judges and the questionable merits of some of the winners left a doubtful impression on many of the aficionados present. Ironically, this contest had the earmarks of being of special interest, as it was the first attempt to judge all of flamenco’s components, the Cante, Baile, and Toque, in the same contest on an international scale. (As the reader will notice in this appendix, the other mentioned series of contests, the ’’National Contest of Cante Jondo’’, and the ’’Golden Key of the Cante’’, have been limited strictly to the judgement of the Cante). The rules, categories, and prizes of the contest were well thought out. There were separate prizes for professionals and amateurs. Each aspiring participant had to pass a preliminary test before being allowed officially to enter the contest, which theoretically weeded out the deadwood. There were separate groups of judges for the Cante, Baile, and the Toque, and a special group to judge only the verses of the cantes. Everything was thought of and provided for, and the contest was looked forward to by the flamenco world as a step in the right direction. It was a step all right... but the direction is disputable. A great deal of bad feelings were created by the mentioned inconsistency of the judges. Granted that they had a tough job; — but more than just normal human error, many of their decisions showed signs of ignorance and confusion. For instance, one singer was disqualified for singing the Martinetes to guitar accompaniment, another for mixing 190

cantes. This is as it should be, and set the pattern for serious, traditional interpretations. But then nothing was said to dancers who ended their Soleares with Bulerias, or to guitarists who did not have the vaguest notion of accompanying. One singer was disqualified for addressing the public, another was not. Several singers were disqualified for not presenting themselves on stage within a certain time after being called — others were given another chance. These and other inconsistencies did not pass unnoticed, and eventually an atmosphere of half-jovial, halfbitter resignation, on the part of both the artists and the public, replac-

ed the seriousness that had marked the beginning. I will say that judging by the obvious dissension between the judges, at least some of them were not in accord with the carryings-on. Unfortunately, a minority. THE CANTE The following is a as well as a discussion have been named after the particular category) GRouP A)

listing of the categories and the winners of each, of the merits of the winning artists (the prizes past greats who were famous for the cantes of :

Siguiriyas — Serranas —Martinetes Premio (prize) Manuel Torre of 50,000 pesetas for professionals awarded to Roque Montoya Jarrito, of San Roque (Cadiz). Premio Diego el Marrurro of 10,000 pesetas for aficionados awarded to Antonio Cruz Ortega, of Puerto Real (Cadiz).


Soleaves — Bulerias

Premio Isabelita de Jerez of 35,000 pesetas for professionals awarded

to Terremoto

de Jerez (Cadiz).

Premio Merced la Sarneta of 8,c00 pesetas for aficionados awarded to Luis Torre CAdiz, of Morén de la Frontera (Sevilla).




(of Chacén,




Premio Antonio Chacén of 35,000 pesetas for professionals awarded to Pepe de Algeciras (Cadiz). Premio Enrique el Mellizo of 6,000 pesetas for aficionados awarded to Manuel Avila Rodriguez, of Montefrio (Cadiz).

Group D)

Alegrias — Caracoles — Mirabrds Premio Paco La Luz of 20,000 pesetas for professionals awarded to Juan Acosta Jorge, of Jerez (Cadiz). Premio Juan Breva of 6,000 pesetas for aficionados. No prize money awarded. A trophy went to Manuel Castilla Jiménez,

Group E)

of Huelva.

Fandanguillos de Huelva Premio Pérez de Guzman of 20,000 pesetas for professionals awarded to Rocio Jurado, of Chipiona (Huelva). Premio José Cepero of 5,000 pesetas for aficionados awarded to Francisco Cerrej6n Camacho, of Huelva.

The winner of group A professionals, an




a wide


Roque of

Montoya Jarrito, is




at his command. Some years ago considered the rising boy wonder of flamenco, Jarrito has regrettably turned commercially smooth and polished. To his credit, he sang perhaps the finest Martinetes of the contest. His Siguiviyas and Serranas were only adequate. Jatrito has two basic flaws in his singing that detract from it considerably, and should have left him out of the money. One is his passion for singing a good deal of a cante in such a low voice that it cannot be heard beyond

the fifth row.

He does this not due to a lack of voice, but

as a means of better he comes on strong. ed good cante. The tes. He is theatrical

emphasizing the emotional parts of his cante, when This is an unnecessary theatrical trick not considerother is his completely false presentation of his canto the point of ridiculousness, and in the process




of his

is lost




of the Martinetes he minimized both of these te one hundred percent). Antonio Cruz Ortega, winner of group good knowledge of the Cante and excellent undoubtedly deserved his prize, although his complex,

in his


flaws, improving his canA aficionados, showed a control of his voice. He style of singing is overly

bottling up much of the emotion he seems to feel. If he could

simplify his virtuoso style I believe that his Cante would gain considerably. The winner of group B professionals, Terremoto de Jerez, was the local favorite, although his appeal was beginning to wear thin by the end of the contest. 192


sings three cantes well:

Soleares, Bule-

vias, and Siguiriyas. When he strayed from these cantes (with the Sevvanas and the Martinetes) he fell down badly, and for this reason he and his followers had to grudgingly content themselves with the group

B instead of the group A prize. Terremoto is also a polished performer — not quite as stickily smooth as Jarrito, but nevertheless overly smooth. He has a magnificent, rajo voice and great power, and an exceptional presentation of his cantes that appeals strongly to the crowd, as follows: he immediately impresses by seating himself in the old-time style during the introduction and build-up of his cante (one can almost picture Antonio Chacén, except that Terremoto does not use a cane to beat out the compds), and as he spins his web he seemingly becomes more and more involved in his cante until he approaches the tercio grande. At that point, unable to contain himself longer, he leaps to his feet and shouts out the climax of the cante at the ear-splitting top of his voice, his fleshy jowls bouncing, his arms gesticulating wildly. The crowd roars its approval, and I shall have to admit that the first time that it is viewed it is impressive. But each succeeding time he sang he went through the same steps, and finally the impact is lost when it dawns on the listener that this is just Terremoto’s formula, that his singing is mathematically emotional, not spontaneously so. Luis Torre Cadiz, winner of group B aficionados, sang well. His cante had merit, and he would have had a well-deserved prize in most contests. It has to be recognized, however, that one of flamenco’s truly great cantaores por Soleares and Bulerias, Manolito de Maria, was also entered, and was eliminated unaccountably after singing the outstanding Soleares of the contest, without so much as a chance to sing the Bulerias. An unfortunate incident that caused a great deal of resentment among knowledgeable aficionados. Pepe de Algeciras, winner of group C professionals, is a 16-yearold dark horse who stole the show. He showed a great knowledge of the Cante, for his age or any age, and sang with purity and authentic emotion all of the cantes of the first three groups. In the opinion of many he deserved the group A prize, given to Jarrito, and possibly the group B prize, awarded to Terremoto. Oddly enough, the prize that he was awarded should have been given to Juan Gambero Martin, of Fuengirola, the outstanding Malaguefas singer of the contest. Pepe had his voice under complete control, and he showed himself a master of the most difficult vocal manipulations. His style is straight193 u5

forward, without tricks, and truly traditional. He was the most complete cantaor of the contest (’’complete’’ including the term ’’authentic emotion’), and a great promise for the future. Juan Acosta Jorge, of Jerez, winner of group D professionals, appears a most likeable man, and is a good singer. But it is universally agreed that La Perla de Cadiz (1st prize in this category in Cérdoba in 1959, in tougher competition), who placed out of the money, is superior to him in the cantes of this category (Alegrias, Caracoles, Mirabrds). Rocio Jurado, winner of group E professionals, is an actress who dropped in from a nearby movie set to sing three Fandanguillos and pocket her prize money, much to the amazement of the participating professionals. She sang surprisingly well. THE Group A)


Alegrias — Soleares Premio



la Macarrona




of 15,000 Carrera,

pesetas for profesof Sevilla.

Premio La Malena of 5,000 pesetas for aficionados awarded to

GRouP B)





Bulerias — Farruca Premio Paco Laberinto of 15,000 pesetas for professionals divided between Paco Aguilera ’’el Mendaifio’’, of Barcelona, and Angeles Gomez Sanchez, of Jerez. Premio Fernanda Anttinez of 5,000 pesetas for aficionados awarded to Miguelito Cabezas Hidalgo, of Jerez.

GRouP Cc)

Zapateado Premio Juan el Estamp{o of 10,000 pesetas for professionals. No participants. Premio Ramirito of 5,000 pesetas for aficionados had no participants, but was awarded to a deserving Antonio Silva Giles, of Badajoz, for his overall performance in the contest.

Carmen Carrera, winner of group A professionals, is an excellent bailaora who looks to have stepped out of a Spanish tourist poster. Carmen in capable of dancing in a pure flamenco style, as she demon194

strated in this contest (although she did resort to castanets in the Soleaves), and also in a commercial style, which she employs for her night club dancing, much to the annoyance of her admirers. By chance, no other bailaores turned out for this group, and Carmen won the prize without competition. Nevertheless, there are few dancers today who could have bettered her showing. To the contrary, the winner of the group A aficionados prize, Pepita Garcia, is an almost embarrassing example of vulgarity and commercialism

in the Baile flamenco.


top of this, she simply

does not

know how to dance. Although the dancing in this category was generally bad, it is safe to say, without exaggeration, that all but one or two of the participants in this category outdanced Pepita. This was perhaps the most flamboyant injustice of the contest. Of the other prize winners, Antonio Silva Giles, of Badajoz, showed the greatest promise. The Bulerias was the most widely danced baile of the contest. It was danced with much gracia by the two oldest participants, La Chicharrona and La Pipa, both of Jerez. The best single dance of the contest was a Bulerias danced by a boy about eight-years-old. He showed himself to be the outstanding aficionado dancer of the contest, with a poise, grace, and style far superior to that of his rivals (no prize). THE GUITAR

Premio Javier Molina, for the best accompaniment of the Cante: 10,000 pesetas awarded to Paco Aguilera, of Barcelona, professional. 4,000 pesetas awarded to Paco de Algeciras, aficionado. Premio Paco Lucena, for the best accompaniment of the Baile: 10,000 pesetas awarded to Juan Moreno

’’Moraito Chico’’, of Jerez,


2,000 pesetas awarded to Parrilla, of Jerez, aficionado. 2,000 pesetas awarded to Merengue, of Jerez, aficionado. In my opinion, Paco de Algeciras, the 14-year-old brother of Pepe, winner of the group C cante, was the revelation of the guitarists, playing with a knowledge, feeling, technique, imagination, and sound that branded him as the most potentially great of the guitarists present. 195

Paco Aguilera played solidly, always correctly, but with a lack of creativity needed to set him apart. In his favor, the sound of his guitar was the most flamenco, and he accompanies well from long experience, without showing off or competing with the singer. His counter-rhythms in the Bulerias were exceptional. But in general his playing in this contest was stolid and unimaginative. The main fault of Moraito Chico was his muddy technique and sound, which dampened his oftentimes creatively brilliant falsetas and his undeniable duende. He gives the impression that he is sometimes technically unable to bring off his complicated style, but that will probably be corrected with time. Moraito Chico has a wide knowledge of accompanying, although he has a tendency to overplay (also the main fault of his older brother, Manuel Moreno ’’Moraito’’) to the sometimes distress of the cantaores. Parrilla,

in his late teens,


the impression

of being a specialist

in the Bulerias. He played a large number of excellent, old-time Bulerias falsetas which were a joy to hear. He was not as much at home outside of his preferred toque. El Merengue, another teenager from Jerez, played adequate allaround accompaniments. The other guitarists who participated, some five or six, ranged from bad to worse. Given the task of accompanying the Malaguenas, Soleares, or even the Fandanguillos, the results were generally fatal. Somehow they all made it to the finals, which detracted considerably from the showing of the singers, and from the show itself.

Jerez has announced plans to organize this contest every two years. Aficionados would like to see it shape up, as it could definitely further the cause of flamenco. Perhaps it will get over its growing pains and become a respected institution, but I fear that it will take a good while before the bad taste of this last contest is washed away.




Flamenco instructors have two basic methods of instruction: memory and cryptograph. Memory instruction means exactly what it says; it consists of memorizing the material given by the instructor, and practicing it until it can be done reasonably well. At the end of a long period of memory study the student will be familiar enough with flamenco to be able to begin


his own







perform passages from memory that he may have heard only two or three times. In the memory method the student will find that his memory will be improved considerably, as will his musical sense and his instinct of spontaneity. The cryptograph method is that which utilizes a simplified form of musical notation, and is sometimes employed to teach the Cante and the Toque. This method has the advantage that the lesson is written, and cannot be forgotten. It has the great disadvantage that it becomes a crutch. A flamenco artist cannot carry reams of musical notation about with him, and when he does not have it, he is lost. His memory does not develop properly, and his creative ability will remain nil. The student will find that after an initial easy period he will be hindered greatly in his advancement. I have observed, both as student and instructor, that the memory method gives by far the best results in the long run. As is true in any educational process, it is necessary to find an instructor who has knowledge, sincerity, and a desire and ability to teach. This is a difficult combination to find in flamenco circles, especially the latter, the ’’desire and ability to teach’. Most flamencos are participants, and become horribly bored as instructors.

You may note that I have ignored the technical proficiency of the instructor — it is knowledge, not technical brilliance, that has to be found. And within the realm of knowledge the type of flamenco knowl-

edge, the style of flamenco that the instructor emphasizes, is of utmost '


importance. Is he basically a jondo, popular, or concert artist? Some instructors can more or less carry off any of these styles, depending on the situation. It is up to the student to decide on, and demand, the type of flamenco on which he wishes to concentrate. I am hesitant to recommend, in print, instructors of flamenco. I know



will teach


or who will teach the gems of their not to others. Perhaps the best way flamenco circles who is available, suited to teach the style of flamenco on, it is trial and error.






knowledge to certain students and to find an instructor is by asking in and then determining who is best that you want to learn. From then

PRICES Guitar. In the United States individual guitar lessons will range from a reasonable $5 an hour to an exaggerated $10. I know of one instructor








is cheaper,


going rate being $2 to $3 an hour. But Spain is the place to learn. In the provinces lessons range from 30 to 75 pesetas ($.50 to $1.25) an hour for first-rate instruction, usually including an introduction to flamenco circles and juergas. In Madrid classes cost from 120 to 150 pesetas ($2 to $2.50) an hour, with a colder atmosphere and less jwergas involved (outside of Andalucia, very little flamenco is heard free of charge). Excellent guitarists and instructors can be found all over Andalucia, as well as in Madrid and Barcelona. Baile. Group classes in the States are from $3 to $5 per person per hour, individual lessons from $10 to $20 an hour. A guitar accompanist has to be paid apart. México City has cheaper individual rates (about $5 to $10 an hour). In Madrid the individual dance lesson, including the accompanist, should never exceed $5 an hour. Outside of Madrid, Sevilla has the only acceptable dance instruction to my knowledge, and cheaper rates. Cante. Flamenco singing lessons in Spain will run you about the same as the dance, if an instructor can be found; there is a general belief among cantaores that foreigners are not capable of learning, or singing, the Cante, which is, in most cases, true. Besides, they claim that the Cante cannot be taught, but has to be acquired little by little. It would take time, that is certain! The only singers that I know of who have taught singing in Spain are Rafael Romero ’’Gallina’’ and el Nifio de Almadén, both of whom reside in Madrid. ‘198



NO. 8


The choosing of a guitar is an important and complex business. It is desirable



a well-broken-in



a guitar


least 10-years-old. This is because with age the guitar, like the violin, gains certain qualities that new guitars cannot possess, such as complete dryness of the wood, a beautiful, deep mellowness of tone, a settling of the construction into its permanent state, and a definite knowledge that the guitar is, or is not, one of the great ones. Many prospective guitar buyers shy away from old guitars as they do from used automobiles. They condemn an old guitar, for instance, if it has cracks in the wood. This means nothing.

The cracks do not affect the guitar, or its tone, in

any way. My guitar, a 35-year-old Santos, has several cracks which open yecasionally with the weather. When the weather changes, they close. £ a crack becomes dangerously big, a stringed instrument repairman an easily patch it, with no loss whatsoever to the guitar. If the cracks ae merely seasonal, which is nearly always the case, they can be ignorel Conversely, the purchaser of a new guitar is always taking a risk. lew guitars are much more prone to damage, as the wood, and the gue that holds the wood in place, are not completely dry. Especially in edd, wet, wintry climates, such as New York, Chicago, London, etc., nw guitars may warp badly. This is due to the fact that the wood takes yars to be fully seasoned, more years than the guitar-maker usually alows, due to the great demand for guitars, and the scarcity of the wods used. When such guitars are subjected to excessive dry heat (kating in the home, or the sun), the wood of the guitar is dried out to rapidly, causing it to buckle or warp. This should be avoided at all ests, as a warped guitar — especially the neck or the top — is extreme-

ly difficult to repair. This type of damage may be avoided by placing adamp cloth in the case with the guitar, redampening as needed, and keping the guitar well away from a heat source. There are basic differences between the classical and the flamenco 199

guitars, The beginner, in quest of a flamenco guitar, will often confusedly buy a classical guitar. As a guide for the guitar seeker, the following is a list of the differences in the various components of classical and flamenco guitars: FLAMENCO



1. Woods: body of cypress (preferably Honduras cypress); top of high grade pine; neck of rosewood; finger board of ebony. 2. The tuning is traditionally done by wooden pegs (preferably ebony), although mechanical tuning is also used. 3.





shouldn’t exceed an approximate 3 a 3/4” aii. 4. Top dimensions approximately 19 1/4’’ long 14 1/4’ wide at widest part. 5. Low bridge, which should not normally exceed 1/4’’ in height. The bridge bone should also be low to the bridge. This causes the strings to lie much closer to the neck, which in turn necessitates a gradual inclination (cutting down) of the top of the neck as it approaches the mouth of the guitar. This inclination permits the strings to lie close to the neck and to the guitar proper without





1. Woods: body of rose-~ wood; top of high grade pine; neck of rosewood; finger board of ebony. 2. Mechanical tuning.

3. Side width up to wider than flamenco guitars. 4.




in all


5. A much higher bridg: than the flamenco guitar, with . high bridge bone, causing th strings to pass well over the nec and the guitar proper, alleviaing the necessity of inclining tk top of the neck.


is one of the more difficult techniques in flamenco guitar construction. 6. 32 1/2’’ approximate over-all length, not including head. 7. The wide type (media cana) frets are desirable.






8. White or transparent tapping plates are placed on the vulnerable areas of the flamenco guitar as protective coverings.



These differentiations are only applicable in quality guitars, which will usually start at about $100 on up in Spain. Cheaper guitars come in all sizes, and are neither classical nor flamenco. USED


Outstanding used flamenco guitars are hard to find at any price. The most eminent guitarreros (guitar-makers), in order of preference, have been: Santos Hernandez.—The most prodigious student of Manuel Ramirez. Santos consistently produced remarkable guitars until his death in 1942. Marcelo

Barbero.—A student of Santos Hernandez. Barbero was the top flamenco guitar constructor at the time of his death in 1955.

Domingo Esteso.—Another student of Ramirez. Esteso was second only to Santos until his death in 1936. Sobrinos de Esteso.—Two students and nephews of Domingo Esteso. They have carried on in his same shop in Madrid, and are presently the most consistent producers of outstanding flamenco guitars. Their first guitars date back to the year 1936. José Ramirez.—A nephew of Manuel Ramirez who, like Manuel, specializes in classical guitars, although he has some excellent flamenco guitars in circulation. Arcangel.—A student of Barbero, who has maintained Barbero’s shop in- Madrid and is presently one of the top flamenco guitar craftsmen. Miguel Rodriguez.A Cordoban constructor who has long achieved a small production of first-rate guitars.

Manuel Reyes.—A young Cordoban constructor who has some excellent guitars in circulation. Manuel Rodriguez.—A student of Arcangel who built guitars in Arcangel’s shop before moving to America. 201

Quality flamenco guitars of other constructors may occasionally be found, but these will be their exceptions, not their consistent produce. For that reason they have not been included here. You may wonder at the conspicuous absence of such legendary Spanish craftsmen as Manuel Torres (who built excellent guitars around the turn of the century),

and his illustrious student Manuel



of whose guitars is played, and praised, by Andrés Segovia. There are few Torres guitars left that are in playable condition. I have handled one, built around the year 1900, which was a smaller-sized (guitars have grown considerably in the past 100 years) classical guitar of excellent craftsmanship. But as there is little likelihood of your ever seeing a Torres guitar, classical or flamenco, there is little reason to add Torres to this list. Manuel Ramirez is not listed because he was dedicated to the classical



built very




Great care has to be taken when buying a guitar supposedly made by one of these famous guitarreros. It is not uncommon practice to find that the Santos that you buy is not a Santos at all, but a guitar of a less illustrious guitarrero with a false label. It is still likely to be a very good guitar, possibly a Sobrinos or a Domingo Esteso, so you are not being deceived treacherously. It is just one of those pardonable gitanerias (gypsy doings, not necessarily by gypsies), that supplements the vendor’s. pocketbook by 3,000 or 4,000 pesetas. Nonetheless, there are ways of parrying this type of practice. The guitar-makers usually used their individual decorative design around the mouth of the guitar. If you were familiar with the designs of Santos








less vulnerable.



these different craftsmen used slightly different techniques on the inner bracing of their guitars. Of course, a study of these points would be difficult and impractical. Perhaps the best rule of thumb is — if you like it, and have the money to spend, buy it. Also, if you have any trustworthy guitar-minded friends, by all means bring them along during the purchase. Be wary of the reconstructed guitar. The guitarreros find it good business to obtain old, smashed shells of famous-name guitars that still have legible labels, and build around these labels until the guitars are glistening masterpieces of reconstruction. They will then attempt to sell these as authentic guitars of such and such a master. ’’See the label’, they will insist. It cannot be denied that they have a certain logic, nor can guitar reconstruction be unconditionally condemned. It is just that 202

most of the guitar that you are paying through the nose for belongs to the reconstructor, not the original craftsman. In addition, you will be inheriting many of the risks of a new guitar, and few of the advantages of an old one. A note of special interest to used guitar seekers: a new folkloric group has available used guitars of the above makers for those who do not have the opportunity to track down their own on the Spanish mar-

ket. The group can be contacted by writing to: Victor Pradera, 46 — Madrid. NEW

Estudios Flamencos,


If you are interested in a new flamenco the present time are:

guitar, the best risks at

Sobrinos de Esteso, Gravina 7, Madrid.—The Sobrinos are presently considered the best constructors of flamenco guitars. They have a maximum yearly output of 50 guitars. Price: about $150. Arcangel Fernandez, Jestis y Marfa 26, Madrid.—Price: Miguel Rodriguez,

Alfaros 15, Cérdoba.—Price:

about $125.

about $125.

José Ramirez, Concepcién Jerénima 2, Madrid.—Although basically a classical guitarrero, Don José occasionally turns out first-rate flamenco guitars. Figure on a long wait. Price: about $150. Manuel Reyes,



17, Cérdoba.—Price:

about $100.

These are the world’s finest flamenco guitar-makers. First-class work and materials can be expected from all of them. Outside of Spain, new quality flamenco guitars can be acquired in the following cities:

Los Angeles, California.—A budding gwitarrero, Manuel Rodriguez, has recently set up shop in Los Angeles. Before moving there, he was one of the promising flamenco craftsmen in Spain. American Prices ($300-400). New

York.—Veldzquez craftsman.


a good

I cannot recommend

reputation him

as a flamenco



as I have never

come across one of his guitars. American prices. The above listed are those with whom I have had personal dealings, or whose reputation or guitars have reached my circumference. They 203

are considered the masters by the flamenco world, and their guitars are much in demand by new guitar seekers. The guitars ’’de la mala fama’’ (of bad fame) are those of Valencia (Spain). These are the cheaper variety, which are used by guitar strummers in general. They are suitable for flamenco beginners. Although they have a lowly reputation within Spain, the guitars of Valencia are usually superior to guitars of their same classification outside of Spain. The master of the Valencian guitarreros is Telésforo Julvé, whose cheap guitars are the best of that category in Spain, and who is also capable of building quality classical guitars. His flamenco models are mediocre. One such Valencian maker, Vicente Tatay, has opened a branch shop in New York, and is building highly-priced flamenco guitars for sale on the American market. I have played two, and remain relatively unimpressed. Tatay’s classical and cheap guitars are second only to Julve’s in quality (of the Valencian gwitarreros), while his flamenco models are superior to those of Julvé. Many visitor’s to Spain will notice a guitar shop in Madrid called the ’’Viuda de Santos Hernandez’’, which means the ’’Widow of Santos Hernandez’’, and may be misled into thinking that they are buying a guitar of the late master. His widow has maintained Santos’ old shop, and has hired gwitarreros who turn out fair guitars not in any way comparable to the Santos’ masterpieces. She herself will be the first to tell you this if you understand Spanish. American guitar factories also produce Spanish-type guitars, none of which are suitable for flamenco. For lack of anything better, the beginner can utilize one of these for practicing technique until he is prepared to move on to a higher category flamenco guitar. The imported German guitars on the American market are generally preferable to American models of the same price range. The Swedish "Goya’’ is suitable only for beginning flamenco. The Japanese and Italian models that I have seen are not yet worthy of consideration.


GE-OSS book

Many of these terms have been stated.



ARY meanings.




to this

a palo seco — without guitar accompaniment. See page 54. aficién — a strong enthusiasm for something (in this case, for flamenco). aficionados — enthusiasts. afill4 — refers to a type of singing voice. See page aguardiente

a strong

algo — something.








alivio — easing up, relief. alto — up, high. amigo — friend. anda, primos —






Andaluces — Andalucians. arpegio — a guitar-playing technique. See page 67. bailaor — male flamenco dancer. bailaora — female flamenco dancer. Baile — the flamenco dance. baile — a particular segment of the flamenco dance. bajo — down, low. banderillas — barbed sticks placed in the bull during a bullfight. bonito — pretty. brazos — arms. buenas tardes — good afternoon. burro —«donkey. cabales — see page 138. café — coffee, café. cal6é — an impure form of Romani,

and Spanish.

the gypsy


a mixture of Romani

cambio — change; a change in a cante. See page 54 cantaor — male flamenco singer. cantaora — female flamenco singer. Cante — flamenco singing. cante — a particular segment of flamenco singing. cantes




caramba — an exclamation, such as "holy cow’’, or holy smokes’’ caray — the same as caramba. caseta — a small dwelling; during provincial fairs casetas are constructed as temporary party quarters for individual families or groups chico — little,


chiquillas — chicks, girls. as churros — a traditional Spanish pastry, consisting of deep fried flour, salt, and water; often eaten with sugar. claro esta — it is clear. cola — tail, train of a dress compas



con — with. concurso — contest. conquistadores — conquerors. cofe — an exclamation, not socially acceptable.

copitas — shots. corto — short. cuadro — group. de — of, from. desplante — a break in a dance. Dios — God. duende — soul of flamenco, feeling for flamenco. eco gitano — literally ’’gypsy echo’’; another term for ''voz afilla’’. en fin — in summation. entrada — entrance, beginning. falseta — a melody played on the flamenco guitar. See page 66. feria — fair. Fiesta — spectacle of bullfighting. fiesta — party. finca — ranch. fino — a type of sherry (wine from Jerez de la Frontera). flamenco de verdad — pure flamenco. gitana (0) — gypsy female, male. gitanerias — gypsy doings. gracia —



grande — large, exceptional. guitarra — guitar. guitarrero — guitar-maker. guitarrista — guitarist. guardia


guardia civil — civil guard. gusto — pleasure. hombre — man. hondo — same as jondo. intermedio — intermediate. jaleo — hell-raising; also a component of jondo — deep, profound. Jota — a regional song-dance of northern leche — milk; also an exclamation (not ligados — a guitar-playing technique. See llanto — mourning, lament. macho — (1) real man (2) an ending to a




See page 76.

Spain. socially acceptable). page 68. cante. See page 54.

Manoletinas — a bullfight pass created by the bullfighter Manolete. manzanilla — a type of dry white wine. mafiana —



montilla — a type of dry white wine. mucho — much, a lot. natural — the most pure bullfight pass. nifia — young girl; also a term of endearment. no decir na — not saying anything, not getting through. no dice nd — he (she) says nothing, doesn’t get through. novillero — amateur bullfighter. novio (a) — fiance, bride-to-be. olé! — shout of approval. oye — listen. ozi! — an exclamation (mispronunciation of ’’Jesus’’). palmas — hand-clapping. payo — non-gypsy. peleén — fighter; the creative section of a cante. See page 54. picado — a guitar-playing technique. See page 67. piropos — flatteries, compliments. pitos — finger-snapping. planteo — the beginning section of a cante. See page 53.

por —




primo — cousin; a gypsy term expressing friendship. pulgar — thumb. que — what, how. quitapenas — sorrow (pain) killer. Tajo — raucous, hoarse. tasgueado — a guitar-playing technique. See page 67. rematando — finishing. remate — finish off, complete. See page 54. Romani — the gypsy language, a derivative of the Indian Sanskrit. salero —



full of life.

si — if. si Dios quiere — if God wishes. si — yes. sierra — mountain range. simpatico — winning, charming. temple




tercio — section or passage of a cante. tinto — red wine. Toque — flamenco guitar-playing. See page 66. toque — a particular segment of the Toque. traje — dress, suit. trémolo — a guitar-playing technique. See page 67. tumba — tomb. utrero — two-year-old fighting bull. valiente — valient, brave. venta — country inn. truth.

veremos — we'll see.







vino — wine. voz — voice. voz afilla — See page 48. voz natura — natural (unadorned) voice. zapateado — footwork in the dance.

See page 53.







CO, a natural sequel to THE ART OF FLAMENCO. Will contain biographies of the great flamenco artists of past and present, as well as anecdotes, illustrations, and other absorbing material about the












authority of being









by a recognized

in the field who has the double a flamenco guitarist and of being

advantage married


@ Spanish flamenco dancer and singer, this book combines a rare insight intg the concept of flamenco as well as into the art itself. It is by far the most complete

book on flamenco in any language, and the of any scope in the English language. Also, is designed for everyone, from the beginner to the

only it


most advanced aficionado. As such, THE ART OF FLAMENCO is a valuable addition to everyone’ s library.

Price: Spain Central



Outside Spain $4,50 Distribution and Mail

Lopez Romero



Madrid, Spain.