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Flamenco glossary

 

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Gallegadas
A traditional folk dance in the region of Galicia and Asturuis in the north of Spain. This is not considered flamenco. Sabicas decided to sneak this one into his guitar repertoire with the title Piropo A Galicia. Piropo means compliment or flattery. The dance is kept alive in local festivals of the region.

Garrotín
(Song and dance form) A sensuous and happy song and dance in 2/4 time. Like the Farruca, it originated in Northern Spain. Also like the Farruca, it has slow sensuous sections, sudden stops and starts, and sections which start slow and build up to a furious pace.

Gitana
Spanish name for female Gypsy

Gitano
Spanish name for male Gypsy

Golpador
Tapping plate. Protective plastic sheet attached to the face of the guitar.

Golpe
The tapping on the top of the guitar with the tip of the 'a' or 'am' fingers. In musical notation, the golpe is represented as a cross or a small square.

Granadinas
(SONG FORM. TOQUE LIBRE) The word implies 'something from Granada'. The name Granaínas, which is simply the Andalucian pronunciation of the same word, is also commonly used. Granadina is normally played in the B Phrygian mode, which is ideal for producing the rich, oriental sounding passages that characterize this introspective flamenco form. MEDIA Granadina means 'half Granadina' and relates to the style of cante. For the solo guitarist there is no difference.

Grande
Important

Guajiras
(Song and dance form) Originating in Cuba, the Guajiras was brought into Spain in the 16th century by the returning Conquistadors. This cheeky dance form is normally played in the key of A major and notated with alternating measures of 6/8 and 3/4. The 12 beat compás is identical to Bulerias, but much slower. Guajiras is one of the more uplifting flamenco forms and a classy showpiece in any solo guitarist's repertoire. The words Guajira (singular) and Guajiras (plural) are commonly interchangable and mean exactly the same thing.

Guitarra
Guitar

Gypsies
Gitano Gypsies played a major role in the development of flamenco. It's generally agreed that they originated in the area of Northern India and Pakistan. There are those who maintain that Gypsies reached Andalucia from Egypt after sailing along the coast of Africa. In their wanderings they traveled far and wide and made a home for themselves in many countries including the Middle East. Since there were no real records to prove or disprove their true origins, Egyptian Gypsies themselves came to believe they were descended from the Pharaohs.Traditionally, they worked as blacksmiths, horse traders, musicians, dancers and fortunetellers. Although they also worked at other jobs such as bar tending or helping out in the bullrings, Andalucian Gypsies generally lived a day at a time. Flamencosongs reflect centuries of hardship. Perhaps this might explain why some of the singing can sound more like a tortured primal scream than a song. Read the complete esssay.

Hueso
Bridge bone in the saddle of the guitar

Ida
Departure. To take leave. Dance steps that signify an approaching change from one rhythm to another as when a dancer moves out of Alegrías and enters into Bulerias.

Indice
Index finger. Right hand guitar notation symbol - indicated by a lower case 'i'.

Intermedio
middle

Jaberas
(SONG FORM) An offshoot of Fandango Grande, it is closely related to the Malagueñas. The Jaberas is supposed to be Toque Libre, without compás and un-danceable. As if to confuse the issue, Carmen Amaya claimed that her grandfather introduced the Jabera as a dance form. She called it a kind of Soleá. So be it! Why not throw one more contradiction into the bucket of flamenco mysteries.

Jaleos
Shouts of encouragement. A person doing this is called a JALEADOR (male) or JALEADORA (female). These players also provide rhythmic effects such as palmas (hand clapping) and pitos (finger snaps) and act as a sort of cheer squad for the up front performers.(HELL-AYE-OS)

Juerga
A festive binge of drinking and merrymaking.

Letra
The lyrics of a song. A section of a dance equivalent to a verse of a song.

Levante
This is a geographical area stretching from Almeria in eastern Andalucia up around to Valencia. This area gives its name to the so called Cantes de Levante (songs of the Levante). These are MINERA, TARANTA, MURCIANA and CARTAGENERA.

Ligado
In musical notation, this is the same as the Italian word 'Legato'. It means tie or bind together. A slur.

Livianas
(Song and dance form) This song evolved from being a Toná Liviana, a song without accompaniment or compás, to a style with guitar accompaniment performed to the compás of Siguiriyas.

Llamada
Call. This is a series of steps which alert the guitarist that the dancer wishes to end a section, or an entire number.

 

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