History of Flamenco

Essay by RockNRollGrlAA90Junior High, 8th gradeA+, April 2004

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Flamenco is a major part of Spanish art, particularly southern Spanish. Flamenco isn't just a style of music from Spain but rather a way of life that many people take part in. The art of flamenco is the way for the people to show expression and all of their feelings.

There are several stories about when and from whom Flamenco originated. One story is when Felipe II's soldiers returned from their military duty's in the Netherlands, in the 14th century they heard some Andalucians singing and dancing and playing the guitar. Assuming that they must have picked it all up in Flanders, they named it Flemish music. Another name for Flemish is Flamenco, so that's what the soldiers named this kind of music.

Another story is when the Gypsies, Moors, and Jews were persecuted that followed the removal of the Moors in 1492. While together imprisoned, they brought together the gypsy singing with Andalusian folk music, and created Flamenco.

Flamenco consists of dancing, singing, guitar playing, and rhythmic patterns, like clapping. Sometimes castanets, are used to make the rhythmic tapping noises. The people dance to types of music such as seguiriyas, soleares, alegrias, malaguenas, fandangos, ronclena and others.