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Get to know the flamenco forms
Alegrías
Bulerías
Cantiñas
Caña y Polo
Caracoles
Colombiana
Fandango
Granaína
Guajira
Jaleos
Malagueña
Martinete
Mirabrás
Romance
Rumba
Seguirilla
Sevillanas
Soleá
Tangos
Tanguillos
Taranto
Tientos
Verdiales
Zambra

Flamenco Forms
Seguirilla o Siguirilla
by Susana Navalón
Translated by Yasha Maccanico

(A phonetic distorsion of seguidilla, a diminuitive of seguida, an old dance form. It can be spelt in several ways: seguiriya (the most common), siguerilla, siguiriya,...) Together with the soleares, they are the top ranking component of flamenco. It is a very jondo (deep, solemn) cante (style of song), that is, it has very few lyrics and lots of wailing. It must be performed with plenty of feeling and temperament. It is an austere, strict, very stylised and ritualistic dance form, and it alternates the light marking of steps with zapateados (rhythmic combinations of sounds made by stepping with the toe, sole and heel of the foot). It is very well suited to being accompanied with castanets, the tailed gown or a shawl.

The first bailaor who made this style popular was Vicente Escudero and, later, Pilar López introduced the use of castanets.

Dance

It is one of the deepest and most solemn dance forms, as befits its cante. It is sober, rough, pathetic and ceremonial, and it does not allow space for easy adornment. It is performed with a slow, faltering meter. The fundamental step involves walking rhythmically, with the steps making blunt, loud and sharp impacts, with the bailaor (flamenco dancer) moving backward and forward on the same spot. Its solemnity is also expressed when it starts up with its opening, which usually takes the form of a long walk. It combines punteado (a kind of percussion using the feet) steps with desplantes (series of hard stepping movements that end, or climax, a series of steps, or section of the dance) which are, in this case, strong double-quick steps, and include the escobilla (part of the dance involving the zapateado (stepping movements with the toe,sole and heel of the foot that produce a rhythmic combination of sounds)) in the central section of the dance. It can be danced by men and women alike, and requires great temperament. The first bailaor dancing in this style, or at least the one who made it popular, was Vicente Escudero and, later, Pilar López introduced castanet-playing.
It follows a twelve-beat mixed or alternate meter. The measure is somewhat complex:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Nonetheless, flamenco artists teach beginners in this art in a simpler form, in five beats, using the following method:

Pan, pan, pan, morcilla, morcilla (and start again).

 

Guitar
The accompaniment is always played in the middle, with modal tones, although it sometimes features backing in major chords. These sections are known as “acabalados”, for their similarity to the cabal (the remate, emphatic end of movements, of the seguiriya).
Its basic keys:
LA – B flat
To find a different tone for the cantaor a bridge is needed, because it is always played in the same position, with the left hand. The only modulations during the singing are: LA major and B flat major, and when singing “el macho” (a bold and important variation that breaks the monotonous melody, using the authentic tonic chord as a support) a succession of D minor, C major, B flat major is played, finishing off in LA major.

It is a dramatic, powerful, sombre and desolating song form, which is considered one of the clearest exponents of the jonda essence of flamenco.

Singing

Musically, it is not related to the Castillian seguidilla. It is a form of singing that is dramatic, powerful, sombre and desolating, which is considered one of the most characteristic styles of the jonda essence of flamenco singing. It appeared in the late eighteenth century and its practice became more widespread at the start of the nineteenth century. Seguiriyas are derived from primitive tonás and have three main places of origin: Cadiz and Los Puertos, Jerez and Triana (Sevilla).
It is a four-verse cante (song), the first two and last of which are usually comprised of seven syllables, with ten syllables in the third one. Some have three verses, the first and third of which have six syllables, and the second, eleven. In this case, the second syllable is repeated when it is sung.

Get to know the flamenco forms
Alegrías
Bulerías
Cantiñas
Caña y Polo
Caracoles
Colombiana
Fandango
Granaína
Guajira
Jaleos
Malagueña
Martinete
Mirabrás
Romance
Rumba
Seguirilla
Sevillanas
Soleá
Tangos
Tanguillos
Taranto
Tientos
Verdiales
Zambra

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Related products

Jerez canta. Por Soleá y Seguidilla (Jerez sings. In soleá and seguidilla styles.)

Varios artistas

Price: US$ 18.39


El baile, el toque y el cante a compás por Seguirillas y Martinetes (Dancing, guitar playing and singing to the meter in seguirillas and martinete styles)

Escuela de Flamenco presentada por Cristina Hoyos (Flamenco school, presented by Cristina Hoyos)

Price: US$ 26.84


Paso a Paso.
Flamenco forms
1
Sevillanas
2
Alegrías
3
Soleá
4
Bulerías
5 Soleá por bulerías
6 Farruca
7 Tangos
8 Guajira
9 Tanguillo
10 Caracoles
11 Garrotín
12 Caña
13 Tientos

Didactic CDs
Sólo compás
Escuela de flamenco

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