Traditional Spanish Music and Dance
If any one thing symbolizes the fieriness and passion of Spanish culture, it is its traditional music and dance, although there is no one form. Both are as varied as the country's culinary repertoire, influenced by the varied cultures that settled the region. Yet, if there is one genre that symbolizes Spanish fervor, it is flamenco, the country's chief musical export.
Flamenco, which dates back to the 1500s, is a fusion of four distinct cultures: gypsy, Moorish, Jewish and native Andalusian. Flamenco was once played solely by the poor. The guitar is the chief instrument of the flamenco, and strumming a flamenco beat is not easy. The rhythm is multifarious and is usually accompanied by the clapping of hands known as palmas [source: Classical Guitar Illustrated History].
Flamenco music accompanies the flamenco dance, the best known of the gypsy dances. There are three types of flamenco dance: the alegrias, which is the dignified form; the high-energy farruca; and the humorous bulerias. Each is categorized by different beats [source: Classical Guitar Illustrated History].
The rumba catalana is similar to flamenco. Born in the Catalonian port city of Barcelona, and nurtured by that city's musicians who saw new forms of music come onto the docks, the rumba arrived from Cuba during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Catalonian performers took the Cuban rumba and molded it into their own unique style [source: National Geographic].
The Celtics of northern Europe also influenced Spanish music. The music of Galicia and Asturias, both regions in northern Spain, is marked by the gaita, or bagpipes, along with drums. The jota, from Aragon in northeastern Spain, are upbeat, joyous songs, accompanied by dancing, castanets and tambourines [source: National Geographic].
Fortunately for the rest of the world, Spain was able to export much of its food, music, fashion and other traditions to other countries. In return, each region has put its own distinctive spin on these gifts. Whoever said, "He who says Spain, says everything" could not have been more accurate.
More Great Links
- Central Washington University. "Elizabethan." (July 2011). http://www.cwu.edu/~robinsos/ppages/resources/Costume_History/elizabethan.htm
- Classical Guitar Illustrated History. "History of Flamenco." (July 2011). http://www.classicalguitarmidi.com/history/flamenco.html
- Cross, Ester and Wilbur. "Enchantment of the World: Spain. Children's Press. 1985,
- DonQuijote.org. "La Tomatina, Bunol (Valencia)." (July 2011). http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/fiestas/tomatina.asp
- DonQuijote.org. "Sants Inocentes." (July 2011). http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/fiestas/santos-inocentes.asp
- DonQuijote.org. "The Three Kings." (July 2011). http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/customs/kings.asp
- Ethnic Spicy Foods and More. "History of Spanish Food." (July 2011). http://www.ethnic-spicy-food-and-more.com/historyofspanishfood.html
- Fox News Latino. "The Michael Jordan of Bullfighting Returns Less Than a Year After He Was Gored, Nearly Died." July 23, 2011. (July 2011). http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/07/23/michael-jordan-bullfighting-returns-less-than-year-after-was-gored-nearly-died/?test=latestnews
- AFP. "Jose Tomas makes triumphant comeback to bullring in Spain." July 23, 2011. (July 2011). http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jtUcOlGfKyBuiYjTOCZeIoaidwew?docId=CNG.9f59001faaecb84c5db67bbb098e4e02.9d1
- James, Randy. "A Brief History of the Running of the Bulls." Time. July 7, 2009. (July 2011). http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1908948,00.html
- Marbella Guide. "Traditional Spanish Dress." July, 2010. (July 2011). http://www.marbella-guide.com/traditional-spanish-dress/
- Michigan State University. "Bizet's Carmen." (July 2011). https://www.msu.edu/~colmeiro/bizet.html
- National Geographic Music. "Spain." (July 2011). http://worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com/view/page.basic/country/content.country/spain_14
- National Jai-Alai Association. "History of Jai-Alai." (July 2011). http://www.national-jai-alai.com/history_of_jai-alai/index.php
- New Advent.org. "St. James the Greater." (July 2011). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08279b.htm
- Parrish, Marlene. "Spanish paradise: A little Mediterranean, a little Moorish, needlessly mysterious." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Aug. 10, 2000. (July 2011). http://www.post-gazette.com/food/20000810spanish1.asp
- Spanish Traditions. "Origin and evolution of the Mantilla." (July 2011). http://www.spaintraditions.es/origin-and-evolution-mantilla.html
- Spanish Traditions. "The ornamental combs of "La Peineta." (July 2011). http://www.spaintraditions.es/cultural/ornamental-combs-or-la-peineta.html
- Worth, Susannah. "Andalusian Dress and the Adalusian Image of Spain: 1759-1936. Dissertation." Ohio State University. 1990. (July 2011). http://etd.ohiolink.edu/send-pdf.cgi/Worth%20Susannah.pdf?osu1258491228