Flamenco!

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EL_JALEO-SINGER

Here is a list of flamenco-related terms. Keep in mind this is all jargon, many native Spanish speakers might not even know the meaning of a lot of these!

Toque – Guitar playing
Cante – Singing
Baile – Dancing
Tocaor(a) – Guitar player
Cantaor(a) – Singer
Bailaor(a) – Dancer
Palmas – Clapping
¡Ole! – The interjection that the audience or the performers use after a powerful section. Feel free to say it if you go to a flamenco show!
Palo – It’s a type of song, which is usually associated with a time signature, a verse structure, and certain chords.
Compás – Time signature. Some of them are quite complex.

Some very important palos:

Soleá – A slow type of song in 12/8, usually in E Phrygian. Here’s an example.
Bulerías – A fast rhythm, in 12/8 (or 6/8), usually in A Phrygian. Here’s an explanation of the bulerías compás.
Alegrías – A mid-tempo type of song almost always sung and played in a major key. Here’s an example.
Seguiriyas – A slow, dark type of song, counted in 5, played in A Phrygian, and usually played kind of rubato. Here’s an example.
Tangos – A 4/4 rhythm, somehow similar to a rumba. Here’s an example.
Fandangos – A 3/4 danceable type of song, where the interludes are in Phrygian and the singing is done in a major key, ending with a powerful Andalusian cadence. A slow, rubato variation is usually referred to as fandangos naturales. Here is a beautiful example.

“Por” – The preposition por (for/by) is used in an unorthodox way in flamenco jargon. We don’t say we play a soleá, or we play alegrías, we say we play “por soleá, por alegrías, por bulerías,” etc.

Falseta – An instrumental guitar section that’s played between the verses.
Cierre – The closing of a phrase.
Por arriba / por medio – In the E or A position in the guitar, respectively. Flamenco guitarists often use a capo, so the actual key might not be E or A, but the shape of the chord still is.
Alzapúa – A guitar technique in which the thumb moves up and down really fast, hitting a string alternatively with the front and back of the nail. Here is an example.
Rasgueo – The characteristic flamenco guiter strumming, which can be done with the fingers or the wrist, depending on the type.
Trémolo – A guitar effect in which a note is played repeatedly very fast, creating the illusion of a “continuous”, flowing-like pitch. Here is a stunning example.
Picado – A single-note run played with the index and middle fingers of the right hand. Here is a lightning-fast example by the one and only Paco!

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