What is Flamenco?

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:50 am

Rasqeo wrote:Wow, that's a pretty incredible statement regarding Paco de Lucia. I assume you wanted to be controversial.
If you read the thread, you'll see I was the third person to diss him and no-one had yet stood up for him. You assume wrong.
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Cloth Ears
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by Cloth Ears » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:36 am

Hey Rasqeo, Andrew has some 'Manitas de Platas stuff' so cut him some slack. *cannot stop laughing*

Having said that I am guessing the reason is that the stuff never got played and thus the cassettes are not chewed.

Regarding Paco: he was clearly brilliant whatever anybody's opinion is. Without him we would not have the whole raft of modern flamenco guitar players, who are all a huge inspiration. All of them cite him as a major influence, as he cited Sabicas, Montoya, Ricardo...
Last edited by Cloth Ears on Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rasqeo
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by Rasqeo » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:13 am

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Rasqeo wrote:Wow, that's a pretty incredible statement regarding Paco de Lucia. I assume you wanted to be controversial.
If you read the thread, you'll see I was the third person to diss him and no-one had yet stood up for him. You assume wrong.
Ah okay, you were being ironic. Now I feel stupid.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:26 am

The question 'What is Flamenco?' sounds like 'what is Jazz? or 'What is Blues?' or 'What is classical music?' - it's many things and defies any fixed definition. It is certainly a lived culture (though classical guitarist would oftend tend to see it rather as folklore or subculture), and it is also a musical and dramatical language that is subject to change as much as any language and culture is subject to change.

The author of the original post seems to have quite a peaceful life if he can afford to hate the things he mentioned to hate... what a luxury!
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

JohnW400
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by JohnW400 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:06 pm

Even if you don't like Paco you have to give him props for exposing a lot of non classical, non flamenco guitarists to this music by way of his trio recordings with John Mc Laughlin, Al Dimeola and even Laryy Coryell.

The LP 'Friday Night in San Francisco Live' was huge as far as guitar playing is concerned.

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:25 pm

Putting to one side the OP's hilarious Argentinian references - Flamenco is the musical cry from the heart of the poor, down-trodden peasant gypsies of Andalucia. In my mind it has some parallels, at least in its motivation, with the original blues.

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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:04 pm

Denian Arcoleo wrote:Putting to one side the OP's hilarious Argentinian references - Flamenco is the musical cry from the heart of the poor, down-trodden peasant gypsies of Andalucia. In my mind it has some parallels, at least in its motivation, with the original blues.
this ... and more! fully agree...
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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guitarrista
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by guitarrista » Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:43 pm

Rasqeo wrote:
Andrew Fryer wrote:FWIW, I always hated Paco de Lucía. Carnegie Hall Flamenco is how I branded his superficial flash.
Wow, that's a pretty incredible statement regarding Paco de Lucia. I assume you wanted to be controversial. Well done, mission accomplished.
I found it really at odds with my views on PDL, but to each his own. The thing is, Paco's 'flashes' were not superficial at all, they were just the expression of someone with no real technical limitations who did feel what he was playing to express. The guy was incredibly humble and warm as well. I don't know, in my view people like that do not really care to impress others; others being impressed is a mere consequence.
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guitarrista
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by guitarrista » Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:54 pm

What is flamenco?

Here's how Lola Fernández starts her introduction to her book "Flamenco Music Theory":
Flamenco is a unique and genuine art form that finds its expression in music - both vocal and instrumental - in literature, and in dance. Although each of these expressions possesses its own particular creative and aesthetic qualities, neither the dancing, the literature, nor the overall flamenco movement would have any meaning apart from the music. In other words, flamenco is not only music, but it is, above all else, music.

The rhythm, melody, harmony and form of flamenco have their own peculiar characteristics: tonality, modality, microtonalism, alternating rhythms, "elastic" meter, unresolved dissonances, diversity of form... all of which constitute a unique and original musical language".
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Rick Beauregard
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by Rick Beauregard » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:03 pm

It's interesting how we try to take every expressive genre and "elevate" it by comparison with "serious" music. Heavy metal rock is compared to virtuosity, jazz improv is compared to classical icons, is hip hop really music at all? But these expressions have their constituencies who hear something different that is expressive to them. You or I may not get it. Bach was not understood by many of his contemporaries. This was one of Segovia's least attractive qualities, denigrating flamenco as something more common or low brow than serious music. Just goes back to human tribal, "us and them" tendencies.
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Maria Anisimova
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by Maria Anisimova » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:38 pm

I suppose I have to apologize to all those who feel offended by my original post and to thank all those who took pains to reply. Now I realize that what I imagined was really this "tourist" "polished" Flamenco. So the real Flamenco is in this movie. Deep down I suspected it, but the shock was too great for me. It's just not "my cup of tea", like soul or blues, though they are great things. But we don't all have to have the same preferences, do we?
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Write_Rich
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by Write_Rich » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:08 pm

When I listen to Flamenco I often hear a sort of Middle Eastern sound in the vocals and music played - I suspect there is a decent Middle Eastern influence in Flamenco if you dig deep enough. I'm a classical guitarist so I am a little rough on my theory and history when it comes to Flamenco so correct me if I am wrong.

Personally I have a high appreciation for Flamenco as an art form and I feel classical guitarists would do well studying Flamenco guitar techniques especially right hand technique and improvisation. I personally like Paco de Lucía - he was my introduction to Flamenco and other artists such as Sabicas, Tomatito, Paco Pena, Montoya etc etc..
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John Ross
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by John Ross » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:20 pm

Matilda wrote:But we don't all have to have the same preferences, do we?
Absolutely not, the world would be a grey place indeed. But you needn't just give up on flamenco, not yet (or on soul or blues, come to that). Once you get past the "strangeness" barrier (which is only a matter of exposing yourself to it for a few or a few dozen hours), flamenco is one of the jolliest and most gregarious of genres - even in its most tragic or dramatic forms, even when you think the singer's mother must have just died in a particularly appalling way, you the audience are supposed to appreciate it in like-minded company, preferably with a few glasses of something uplifting, in other words, it is, basically, party music.

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guitarrista
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by guitarrista » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:24 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote: ..denigrating flamenco as something more common or low brow than serious music. Just goes back to human tribal, "us and them" tendencies.
I think this was more specifically to do with classism - the prejudice or discrimination on the basis of social class. This was very prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th century (earlier, of course, probably even more so) and has several manifestations regarding different art forms. The basic form of it regarding art that I have seen is a historical disregard and put down of specific genres of music/dance when these originate from the masses as opposed to from the ''high classes". And later on, when the art form becomes too prevalent - a blatant revisionism of its origin to 'clean it up' - erase the common-folk creators and substitute a more noble origin.

One prominent example is Argentine tango, where several ugly origin myths persist - the "born in bordellos", or the "vertical rape" characterization - these are expressions of a desire to denigrate and diminish, as well as make dirty and disgusting, what was created by common immigrants living in large tenement housing and by black slaves. It took exporting tango to Paris in the 1910s and it being taken up by aristocracy to give it an air of acceptability. Of course, once it got really popular, the common racism of the times was the reason to try and write-out the slaves' contribution to tango out of it, while simultaneously appropriating their cultural expressions; first through mocking - all of these threads running together.

Another is flamenco. Segovia here, I am sure as a man of his time rather than because he was Segovia, had the same prejudices - how can something beautiful and respected come out of the 'dirty gypsy lowlifes'.

As an example of the same phenomenon in literature, one might argue that persistent myths about Shakespeare not writing his works but them being written by some mysterious high nobility is just another manifestation of the same classism. Surely a common man could not have written something admired by all...
Last edited by guitarrista on Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is Flamenco?

Post by Maria Anisimova » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:33 pm

"even when you think the singer's mother must have just died in a particularly appalling way"
The above phrase perfectly sums up my impression. Probably it takes some getting used to. I'll have to take a totally different (for me) approach, taking into account everything you all have said here.
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