There are many forms of music all around the world, each with its own origins and stories, and Flamenco, has a very interesting story, composition and dancing that has been kept alive through time in many ways, as tradition and inspiration for new music.
Flamenco is composed of three main distinct sounds, one coming from the guitar, the other a singing voice, and the last one, the dance. While it may seem like dancing is not an instrument whatsoever, in many ocassions it plays an important part in a composition due to the steps and castanets which provide rythm and a very characteristic sound of Flamenco.
The origins are not quite clear, while it is known that this type of music came from southern spain and it had many influences from different sounds.
Paco de Lucía
Francisco Gustavo Sánchez Gomes, better known as Paco de Lucía is one of history’s greatest guitarist and is also considered to be the best Flamenco guitarist. He was born on December 21 1947 from the province of Cádiz. He started playing at the very early age of 5 and since then he was one with the guitar.
He was also one of the first to blur the boundaries between Flamenco and other genres such as Jazz and Classical music. For this reason alone, Paco de Lucía displayed an incredible technique for being able to perform music in any of these genres and make it sound impecable. This was heard on his compositions with fast and well played picados and rasgueados while blending a little bit of Jazz.
Today, Flamenco can be heard in a variety of ways, one of which is a very interesting one. Rosalía is a new emerging artist from Spain that tries something new, which is mixing tradition with trap and pop, this carries flamenco to a whole new world and in fact it has been very successful for a wide audience. Rosalía’s sound is so distinct and different but yet so catchy and a groove to dance to that it hasn’t been easy for most people to say it’s bad.
Her singing comes as a strange surprise, it can go from spoken words as Reggaeton and Trap, but the suddenly sing as if Paco de Lucía himself were playing guitar, which is very strange at first. Of course some of her most complex compositions are not the most famous, artists know which songs are the ones for marketing and which ones are the real deal, that being said, Rosalía is an artist worth the listen as it is a very fresh new take on what flamenco’s influence can do.
On the other side of the musical spectrum there is rock, now Flamenco has been very present in Rock since Yes, for example, as Steve Howe always managed to bring his acoustic guitar to the progressive style that Yes embodied.
Steve Howe also played alongside Brian May in a very well known Queen song called Innuendo. This and meny others examples of Flamenco’s influence exist out there but naming each one would be an endless task. Needless to say, Flamenco is a music genre that achieved a very high prestige and deserves quite a bit of attention by any musician, even more if you want to be a guitarist.