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Flamenco glossary

 

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Ensayo
Rehearsal

Entrada
Entry or beginning

Escobilla
The word escoba means broom. Escobilla can mean either: 1) Brushing steps 2) Footwork 3) A section of dance in Alegrías or Soleares, in which the dancer improvises around a repetitious musical phrase. 4. A dance step/turn executed with the train of a dress, which imitates the brushing motion of a broom.

Estudio
Study. Exercise.

Extremo
Little finger (pinky). Right hand guitar notation symbol - indicated by a lower case 'e'. Extremo means last. The 'e' symbol has become the standard today but it wasn't always so. In the flamenco guitar method by Ivor Mairants (1958), the right hand little finger was indicated with a lower case 'p'. This stood for 'pequeno' which means 'little' finger. The problem was that he also used the lowercase 'p' to indicate 'pulgar' for the right hand thumb. In Juan Serrano's series of Mel Bay books a lower case 's' is used to indicate the little finger and in Paco Peña's "Toques Flamencos" book (1976) a 'x' is used. Thank goodness for standards eh!

Falseta
A musical variation played on the guitar

Fandango grande
(SONG FORM. CANTE JONDO. TOQUE LIBRE) An abstract song form which evolved as a serious version of the original Fandangos and is sung without compás. This song form may also be referred to as Fandango naturales. Most of the toque libre are derived from Fandango Grande.

Fandangos
An ancient Andalucian folk song and dance with roots going back at least as far as the Arab invasion (711AD). It is believed to have derived from the JOTA, a lively paired dance from Aragon in the north. Almost every region of Andalucia has it's own version of fandangos. There are two types. FANDANGO GRANDE (great fandangos) and FANDANGUILLOS (little fandangos). For general performance, we are mainly interested in the more popular Fandanguillos such as FANDANGOS DE HUELVA and VERDIALES, the fandangos of Málaga.

Fandangos de Huelva
(Song and dance form) A popular regional species of Fandangos from the province of Heulva. A lively dance for couples reminiscent of Sevillanas. Like the Sevillanas, copla melodies follow a standard harmonic pattern set within a strict rhythmic structure. Fandangos de Huelva (plural) are also commonly referred to by their generic name, FANDANGUILLOS.

Fandanguillos
Little Fandangos. A 'group' name for the regional styles of festive Fandangos. These include Fandango de Huelva , Fandango de Lucena, Fandango de Almeria and so on. Verdiales , which could also be called Fandangos de Málaga by the same naming system, are also Fandaguillos by definition.

Farruca
(Song and dance form) A dramatic male dance in 4/4 time. Originally a song from the northern region of Galicia. Andalucian gypsies adopted it and changed it to suit their own tastes. The Farruca is usually played in the key of A minor. Although the rhythm is strong and strictly defined, some passages begin slowly and gradually build up speed, especially in the final stages. Although this form is considered a man's dance, women have also performed it to great effect (dressed in a man's costume of course). It seems a little strange to me that a dance sometimes referred to as La Farruca, a. very feminine sounding name, should have such a male aura about it. One would think that the masculine name 'El Farruco' would be more appropriate (and logical), but who am I to argue with tradition.

Federico Garcia Lorca
(1898-1936) Spanish lyric poet and dramatist. His work reflects the spirit of his native Andalusia and his own passionate response to life. Gypsy Ballads (1928) made him the most popular Spanish poet of his generation, while Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter (1935) and The Poet in New York (1940) evidenced his growing maturity of thought. His plays, notably the tragedies Blood Wedding (1933) and The House of Bernarda Alba (1936), ensure his continuing international reputation. Garcia Lorca was shot by Franco's soldiers at the outbreak of the Spanish civil war.

Feria
Fair

Fiesta
Party

Flamenco
What flamenco is

Flamenco history

Flamenco puro
Pure flamenco. (whatever that is) A confusing term which supposedly means genuine or traditional flamenco. On the other hand however, the concept of pure flamenco implies interpretations that are old, static and without change. Although it may suit the older aficionados who fondly reminisce about the good old days, the term nevertheless carries with it an unwelcome hint of snobbery. Paco De Lucia puts it like this;People tend to confuse the pure with the old. The old for me is the art in the museum, and the pure is what the artist feels at the time of playing. Flamenco has too much personality, character and emotive force to stay in the same form all its life. (Guitar International Magazine, April 1976)

Flamingo
A pretty pink bird which has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of Flamenco. Other common mis-pronunciations are 'flaminco' and 'flamengo'. Flamenco - origin of the word.

Free stroke
A guitar playing technique. Also known as a 'tirando' stroke. After plucking a string, the finger follows through to clear the adjacent lower string.

Fuertas
Hard, or loud.

 

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