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What is Flamenco?

By: Travis Uriah

Flamenco is an incredibly fun form of dance and music that can help you to develop some great skills and that provides a great hobby and skill for you to develop. With flamenco you can learn to dance in a highly attractive way, get out of the house, meet new people, stay fit and healthy and generally have a great time. And what helps a lot is the fact that flamenco is highly popular at the moment and moreso perhaps than ever before. Flamenco is now enjoyed the world over and is taught in many different countries. Of course flamenco is originally Spanish, but so popular is it over in Japan for instance that they actually have more schools there than they do in Spain.

Another great thing about flamenco is that by using a flamenco metronome it is possible to enjoy practicing flamenco at home and to enjoy dancing to flamenco at parties with your friends and to entertain your guests.

Here we will look at what flamenco is in a little more detail.

What is Flamenco?

Essentially flamenco is a form of music and dance which has its origins in Andalusian music and particularly Andalusian Gypsies who would have dances to that style of music. Thus using classes and a flamenco metronome it is man possible practice musical playing skills as well as dance and performance making it a very diverse area that anyone can enjoy.

Flamenco has several principle aspects that make it up. These are cante, toque, dance and palmas and these make up the spectacle that is flamenco.

Not sure what any of that is? Well cante is singing, toque is guitar work, dance is of course dance and palmas means hand clapping. If you ever watch flamenco dancing then you will notice that clapping the hands plays a large part and is very noticeable. In flamenco you will also often use a cajón which is a box-shaped percussion instrument that has its origins in Peru. This is then played by slapping against the front of the box with the hands. This then provides a slightly different form of palmas.

Of course like many styles of dance and music, flamenco can also be identified by its rythms. By using a flamenco metronome you can listen to this rhythm and then join in by adding other layers over the top of this you can create your own flamenco music. The flamenco metronome will also provide the rhythm for you to dance to and this can help you to develop your skills or get others to join in at a party.

This flamenco metronome however does not work like a more Western European metronome in that it holds a steady beat. Rather it should vary and off multiple rythms. One of the notable aspects of flamenco is that it utilizes a lack of 'regular' rhythm – in other words different instruments and elements follow different metric rythms. Meanwhile though the flamenco metronome rhythm still leads the music and is crucial for flamenco to occur. Changes of chord or key for instance will usually coincide with the most notable down beats.

When you download the flamenco metronome app or purchase one you will notice the associated word 'compás' which means 'meter' or 'time signature'. This is what refers to the rythmic cyle or layout of a flamenco song and this is what the flamenco metronome is crucial for.

Rythms are highly varied just in Western music and can be 2/4, 4/4, ¾, 12 beat and more. The most common is the 12 beat cycle, though this is further broken down into three different kinds – the peteneras, the seguiriya and the soleá. A good flamenco metronome needs to be able to create any of these ryhtms.

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To get started learning flamenco dancing or learning the instruments it can help to use a flamenco metronome. Visit the links for a flamenco metronome you can download on your smartphone.

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