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
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.
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
cuadro: group of flamenco performers, including dancers singers, and guitarists
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
estribillo: similar to the concept of “chorus” in western pop music. i.e verse/chorus…..
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
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
hondo: deep, profound
indice: index finger
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
letra: lyrics of a song
llamada: “call” or “break”, dance movement signalling a change of section
ligado: slur, hammer-ons and pull-offs
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
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
punta: toe of the foot
punteado: plucking technique
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”
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.
tablao: club with stage for flamenco shows
tacaor: flamenco guitarist
tacon: heel of the foot
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.
zapateados: an older dance form similar to the rhythm of tanguillo.