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A

abanico: fan, rasgueado technique using a triplet pattern of up with the thumb, down with both the middle and ring fingers simultaneously and then back up with the thumb.

afillá: a type of hoarse, earthy flamenco voice

alante: stage front

alegrias: A joyful dance, in compas of 12 beats, from Cadiz. The main characteristics of this style are the richness of it’s guitar accompaniment, the intricacy of the dancing, the demands of the rhythm, and it’s lively sound.

Andalucia: Region from southern Spain; birthplace of Flamenco

anular: ring finger

arpegio: a chord whose notes are played in succession, not simultaneously

atrás: stage rear

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B

baile: the dance

bailaor / bailaora: dancer (male & female)

braceo: movement of the arms during the dance

bulerias: High-spirited song & dance from Jerez. This developed like Soleares from a simple style. However, unlike Soleares, it has a fast and lively rhythm – indeed, the fastest in all flamenco and provides enormous scope for improvisation on the part of dancers, singers and guitarists. It is wild, frenzied and lively, but nevertheless contains the germ of sorrow that is almost always present in flamenco.

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C

cabales: Flamenco experts

café cantante: coffee house with flamenco shows (originally starting with flamenco cante but eventually covering all flamenco forms)

cajon: percussive instrument similar to an empty wooden box

calo: language of the gypsies

caña: Caña in a flamenco “palo”, also very closely related to Soleares, is one of  the oldest forms of flamenco, and one of the most pure and beautiful.

cantaor / cantaora: flamenco singer (male / female)

cante: song cante chico: light song, more frivolous

cante jondo: deep song covering both the dark and serious aspect of Flamenco

cante grande: more profound song

carcelera: type of tonás sung by incarcerated gypsies

caracoles: This is one type of cantiñ which appeared in Cadiz in the mid-19th century. It became strongly associated with Madrid, although it is essentially from Andalucia, like all flamenco music. Curro Cuchares and El Tato’ who worked in the bull-rings and were also good singers took this style to Madrid where it became very popular. Later it was recreated in a masterly way by Antonio Chacon, who gave it its present brilliance and vitality.

cejilla: capo on a guitar

colombianas: flamenco style influenced by S.American rhythms

compás: beat, rhythm, measure, the characteristic rhythm of a form

copla: verse

cuadro: group of flamenco performers, including dancers singers, and guitarists

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D

danza mora: a style influenced by the Moors of N.Africa (stands for Moorish Dance); guitar 6th string tuned to D

debla: toná with religious overtones

desplante: signal given by a dancer, as in “desplante por bulerias”

duende: the soul force that inspires flamenco art

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E

entrada: entrance

estribillo: similar to the concept of “chorus” in western pop music. i.e verse/chorus…..

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F

falda: skirt

falseta: a melodic variation played by guitarist

fandango: a dance from Huelva; cante chico

farruca: A spectacular male dance, one of the more recent forms of flamenco. Its origin is perhaps in some chants from the North of Spain. As a dance or as a guitar solo, it is a very dramatic piece.

flamenco: music/dance from Andalucia in Southern Spain. Roots in Indian, Arabic, Spanish cultures.

floreo: movement of the hands in flamenco dance

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G

gitano: gypsy

golpe: beat, hit, also refers to the technique of tapping the top of the guitar to create additional percussion.

granaina: a libre song form from Granada that is typically in the key of E minor.

guajiras: a style influenced by Cuban rhythms

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H

hondo: deep, profound

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I

indice: index finger

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J

juerga: flamenco party or jam session

jaleo: utterances of approval, encouragement, also a song form from Extremadura similar to bulerias, but in more of a staight 6/8 feel.

jondo: deep, profound

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L

letra: lyrics of a song

llamada: “call” or “break”, dance movement signalling a change of section

ligado: slur, hammer-ons and pull-offs

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M

malagueñas: a free form flamenco style (no specific compas, interpretive, and usually not danced) from Malaga. Descendent of the Fandango family. manton: embroidered silk shawl with long fringes

marcando: movements of the dancer during the letra

martinete: toná sung by the gypsies in a forge; refers to hammer

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P

palillos: castanets

palmas: rhythmic hand clapping used to accompany flamenco song and dance

palmeros: people that clap while the musicians play

petenera: Cante that is derived from Andalucian folklore. The folklore behind this is that the word is a corruption of “Patenera” who sang the cante and came from Paterna de la Rivera. It is considered by the superstitious to be bad luck to perform.

phrygian: the 3rd Greek mode named after Phrygia, a kingdom in the west central part of the Anatolian Highland, part of modern Turkey. The Phrygian mode was once thought to possess the power to intoxicate those who happened to hear it. According to legend it was made illegal for this reason. Interesting that it winds up being the fundamental tonality of most flamenco music. The Phrygian mode in flamenco adds a raised 3rd degree of the scale in addition to its regular minor 3rd scale degree.

picado: scale technique on the guitar, usually alternating the index and middle fingers.

pitos: finger snapping used to accompany flamenco song and dance

planta: sole of the foot

polo: flamenco song form belonging to Soleares family

pulgar: thumb

punta: toe of the foot

punteado: plucking technique

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Q

quejío: lament

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R

rasgueado: guitar strumming technique

rondeñas: another free-form style; it uses an alternative tuning for both 3rd and 6th strings, DADF#BE, Similar tuning to the Elizabethan Lute, which is the same up an interval of a minor third

rumba: another flamenco style influenced by Latin rhythms. Typically an upbeat 4/4 rhythm. Gipsy Kings songs are mostly rumba as is Paco de Lucia’s famous “Entre Dos Aguas”

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S

salida: exit

serranas: same compas as siguiriyas, but played in E instead of A so has a different mood and texture, though some of the same variations can be transposed

sevillanas: a folk dance in 6/8 time from Sevilla that has been adopted by flamenco. Usually performed in sets of 4 each with its own verse. Guitarists performing it without a singer usually play each of the 4 sections in a different key.

siquiriyas / seguidillas: profound cante jondo, accent pattern is the same as solea but starting on the 8th beat.

soleá/ soleares: cante jondo called the mother of flamenco song. Consists of 12 beats with accents on the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th.

soleá por bulerias: literally soleá in bulerias, more specifically a medium tempo 12 beat rhythm that has similar melodic tendancies to that of soleá. Usually it is played in the key of A Phrygian.

subida:a section that speeds up gradually.

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T

tablao: club with stage for flamenco shows

tacaor: flamenco guitarist

tacon: heel of the foot

taconeo: footwork

tango: baile chico, flamenco song & dance, meduim tempo 4/4

tanguillo: flamenco song and dance dervied from the tango. It has a 6 over 4 feel.

tarantas: another free-form style in F# phrygian

tarantos: danced so it has a compas, and is related to the tarantas in key, etc.

tientos: cante jondo, derived from tango

tonás: unaccompanied flamenco song. prthaps the earliest known.

toque: guitar playing, literally to touch

toque libre: guitar playing with free form rhythm

tremolo: a guitar technique where the thumb plays an arpeggio accompaniment and the fingers play a repeated note. The pattern in flamenco is p,i,a,m,i. The famous classical guitar etude “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” utilizes this technique in its classical form. p,a,m,i.

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Z

zapateados: an older dance form similar to the rhythm of tanguillo.