Guitar : Flamenco




Flamenco (Spanish pronunciation: [flaˈmeŋko]) is an artformnative to the Spanish regions of Andalusia, Extremadura and Murcia. It includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance) and jaleo (vocalizations) and palmas (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping)). Flamenco uses the Flamenco mode (which can also be described as the modern Phrygian mode (modo frigio), or a harmonic version of that scale with a major 3rd degree), in addition to the major and minor scales commonly used in modern Western music.

The Phrygian mode occurs in palos such as soleá, most bulerías, siguiriyas, tangos andtientos. Descending E Phrygian scale in flamenco music, with common alterations in parentheses A typical chord sequence, usually called the "Andalusian cadence" may be viewed as in a modified Phrygian: in E the sequence is Am–G–F–E. According to Manolo Sanlúcar E is here the tonic, F has the harmonic function ofdominant while Am and G assume the functions of subdominant and mediant respectively. 


Guitarists tend to use only two basic inversions or "chord shapes" for the tonic chord (music), the open 1st inversion Eand the open 3rd inversion A, though they often transpose these by using a capo. Modern guitarists such as Ramón Montoya, have introduced other positions: Montoya himself started to use other chords for the tonic in the modern Dorian sections of several palos; F♯ for tarantas, B for granaínas and A♭ for the minera. Montoya also created a newpalo as a solo for guitar, the rondeña in C♯ with scordatura. Later guitarists have further extended the repertoire of tonalities, chord positions and scordatura.

There are also palos in major mode; most cantiñas and alegrías, guajiras, some bulerías and tonás, and the cabales (a major type of siguiriyas). The minor mode is restricted to the Farruca, the milongas (among cantes de ida y vuelta), and some styles of tangos, bulerías, etc. In general traditional palos in major and minor mode are limited harmonically to two-chord (tonic–dominant) or three-chord (tonic–subdominant–dominant) progressions. (Rossy 1998:92) However modern guitarists have introduced chord substitution, transition chords, and even modulation.

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