A - Flamenco Dictionary

A - Flamenco Dictionary
a compás
Song or dance that is performed faithfully following the rhythm or cadence of the corresponding style.
a palo seco
Song performed without accompaniment of the guitar "a capella".
"Malagueña" guitar playing executed to the rhythmic theme of the "fandango". Its tonality is modal and is usually played "por arriba" (E/F). Its etymology has two possible origins, one being the possible accompaniment of this song with a mandolin, and the other the proliferation of banditry in the mountain ranges of Ronda and Córdoba where the "abandolao" style is indigenous.
Type of wood that is used in making the harmonic lid of guitars. This part needs to be made of a material that provides a high level of vibrations.
Name given to guitarists from the eastern part of Andalusia that execute the tremolo badly and instead of five notes, the player is only capable of playing three. In the west this is known as "caballito".
acento (accent)
Musical note within a rhythm that is executed with more force. With this method it is even possible to differentiate two types or styles of song that adhere to exactly the same tempos, as in the case of the "fandango" and "soleá".
acompañamiento (accompaniment)
The work of a guitarist in following the song or dance. Normally a good accompaniment guitarist knows both aspects of flamenco as well as the singer or the dancer who they accompany at that moment. It is almost a law of customs that after the third part the singer needs a melodic variation played by the guitarist - "falseta de desahogo" - in which to pause and the dancer doesn't need phrases of more than three rhythms.
acorde (chord)
A conjunction of musical notes executed in harmony, producing a sound similar to another musical note. In the flamenco guitar the basic chords are A, G, F and E, although from these notes an extensive range of others are generated by means of the exercise of transport. The majority of guitarists also call the "acorde", "postura".
An enthusiast of the art of flamenco. Also a performer of any of its aspects who doesn't practice as a professional.
Rough husky voice, rasp and rough that receives this name due to the famous singer El Fillo who had the same type of voice.
afinador (tuner)
An electronic apparatus that measures with precision the tuning of each of the guitar strings. Although it saves a lot of work, many guitarists find it inconvenient since its precision makes the strings rub in the same place and break sooner.
afinar (to tune)
Operation of tensing the strings so that each of them acquires the sound that it should have. The guitar should be tuned every time that it is used. Especially on rainy days since the humidity makes the wood move and slackens the strings. When the strings are replaced by new ones, the best way for them to be tuned is by pulling them hard on the 12th fret and then tightening them again with the tuning peg.
Label which applies to songs and dances from Andalusian folklore and other musical styles that are performed with flamenco intonations and rhythm.
To perform songs and dances which are not flamenco with tones and rhythms which are considered flamenco
("gaché, gachó, gachonal..."). Words used by gypsies to refer to those people who aren't of their same race and whose songs do not have the sound of gypsy influence.
Sounds that are produced by musical notes being executed on the first three strings, also called "primas". These sounds are also known as "femeninos".
Song or dance from a region, for example the "fandangos" are called "aires de Huelva". Also refers to the feeling of certain dance and song styles.
al aire
It is said that a guitar is played "al aire" when the capo isn't used. In this case, the musical notes that are executed coincide with those of the score. The concert guitarist should always play "al aire" although afterwards this measure is not commonly produced.
Guitar playing that is executed with a "bulería" rhythm by "soleá" but sustained on major and not modal tones in order to adapt them to the requirements of the nuptial song.
Guitar playing of three by four or six by eight, on major tones. Depending on the variety played, the rhythmic base is played "por arriba" (E/B) or low (A/E) or in C/G, although they can be played on chords of the same tonic scale.