Monday, September 14, 2009

spanish gypsies | history flamenco | Seville Blog

The Gypsies and the Passional Flamenco

Posted by seville | seville | Monday 14 September 2009 4:01 pm

Flamenco music is probably the only musical genre that best represents past history in a musical form when words were the vehicle to a culture’s survival along with the tradition of its people. In fact, it is precisely through the music and the songs of the nomads and the gypsies that during their migration throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean it has been possible to both enrich their culture and leave a trace. In this way, their music has a universal character which is uncommon in other genres.

spanish gypsy

These people, the gypsies, have a long tradition and were banished from their homeland, - Pakistan. From that moment – due to a series of conflicts, they began their nomadic life traveling throughout the world. They have passed through Egypt, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, until in the fifteenth century three stable groups were formed in the Balkans, Italy, France and Spain, where they have become sedentary.

It was in Andalusia, the Spanish region with a multiethnic secular tradition, where the gypsy race found the most suitable land for their integration. Here the Gypsies have adapted to the culture of the new territory, changed their names to Latin names, and mingled with the Spanish language to integrate into society. This process was very hard, difficult and lasted for many centuries.

At this stage, the gypsy culture and music mixed with the Arabic and Hebrew culture. The music therefore, became a vehicle of hidden rebellion. The singers were invited to the aristocrat’s halls as “troubadours” and they denounced the oppression to which they were subjected to in their own Caló texts. This was the period when Flamenco music was full of feelings, especially those of sadness and pride.

Over the time, both the flamenco and the Gypsy culture have spread, taking different forms. In recent years, the flamenco stylistic trends have tended to focus on the upper body (head and arms). But while the female dances are more tied to the upper body, masculine performances are mainly based on shoe movements.

A key figure in flamenco has been Paco de Lucia, who revolutionized the art of flamenco guitar, making it the primary tool of this genre. From 1955 there arose the “Andalusian gipsy Renaissance “, a movement headed by Antonio Mairena, with the aim of spreading the orthodoxy of the Andalusian Flamenco. In this time the ‘tablaos’ appeared on the local scene ; the raised wooden platforms where the artists give their performances.

The most famous gypsy singers are: Camarón, El Rellenor, Tomás el Nitro, Manuel Torre, Tomás Pavón, etc… But there are some well-known Andalusian singers: Silverio Franconetti (Andalusian gypsy song creator) and Antonio Chacón.

Flamenco is music, drama, emotion and history and it would be a mistake to place it in just one of these categories. Its characteristics are representative of its race, the Gypsy race, a people with a long history who have verbally transmited its legacy. Would you like to know the beautiful story of the origins of flamenco and the gypsy race? Rent the best apartments in Seville, and enjoy a show like no other, full of culture, history and passion.

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