What follows is a listing of words and phrases associated with the art of flamenco. Although this glossary is by no means exhaustive, it is a relatively comprehensive list of the more common flamenco terms. The majority of the phrases listed at the bottom of the page are often used at informal flamenco parties and are intended to "spur along" the singers, dancers and guitarists who are performing.
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Aficionado -- an enthusiastic follower, fan or knowledgeable observer of flamenco. The word also means an amateur participant.
Afillá -- a type of flamenco voice which is hoarse and earthy.
Aire -- a description of the expressiveness, atmosphere or general character of a flamenco performance.
Alante -- the front of a stage.
Alboreas -- a song and dance form which is of pure gypsy origin. Traditionally, alboreas is sung only at weddings, being considered unlucky during other occasions. Thus, it is basically a gypsy wedding song performed to the compás of bulerias. The world "alba" means daybreak or dawn, which may signify that alboreas were originally sung at dawn or as a symbolic representation of the dawning of a new life.
Alegria or Alegrias -- a joyful song and dance form in compás of twelve beats normally played in the key of A Major. The origin of this dance is found in the jotas of Cadiz located in Southern Spain. It is based upon the traditional folk music of Aragon, brought to the Andalucian region by soldiers during the War of Independence in the early Nineteenth Century. The main characteristics of this flamenco style are the richness of its guitar accompaniment, the intricacy of the dance, the demands of its difficult rhythm and the lively sound. Alegrias is a descendent of the Soleares family. The words "alegria" (which is singular) and alegrias (which is plural) are commonly interchangeable and mean exactly the same thing.
Alegrias Por Rosas -- sometimes known simply as "rosas," this is an alegrias normally played in the key of E Major, which is typically somewhat slow and rather melancholy in melody.
Alzapua -- a playing technique which uses the right hand. The thumb is used to play down-and-up strokes across one or a group of strings in combination with apoyando single notes. It may be that this technique developed as an imitation of the manner in which the medieval Arabic 'ud (a form of lute) was played with a wooden plectrum.
Ambiente -- atmosphere or ambience.
Anacrusis -- one or more steps which may be heard immediately prior to the main accent of a phrase (such as in a four-step redoble).
Andalucia -- a regional area located in Southern Spain which consists of eight Provinces. Andalucia is generally accepted to be the traditional birthplace of the art of flamenco.
Anular -- the ring finger and a right-hand guitar notation symbol indicated by a lower case "a."
Apagado -- a muting technique on the guitar which may be accomplished with either hand and is used to cut the sound short. Apagado is also referred to as "parado," which means "stopped."
A Palo Seco -- an unaccompanied singing style, except for the rhythmic beating of an upright stick on the ground. Literally, the phrase means "dry stick."
Apoyando -- a guitar terms which means to play notes using the classical style "rest stroke." All picado passages are played apoyando.
Aro -- used to described the curved side of a guitar. It literally means "hoop."
Arpegio or Arpeggio -- a chord whose notes are played in succession as opposed to simultaneously...a chord broken up into a series of single notes.
Arrastre -- a guitar playing technique by which the ring finger is dragged up the strings from treble to bass.
Atrás -- the rear of a stage.
Bailaor -- the male dancer.
Bailaora -- the female dancer.
Baile --the dance.
Bamberas -- an Andalucian folk song of medieval tradition which may be Celtic in origin. The word "bamboleo" means "to swing." Bamberas is one of the more obscure flamenco song forms.
Boca -- the sound hole of a guitar. The literal meaning of the word is "mouth."
Bolero -- although not considered to be a component of flamenco, Bolero nonetheless played an important role in the evolution of some of the more familiar dance forms. The word comes from the verb "volar" which means "to fly."
Bout -- the body of the guitar.
Braceo -- movement of the arms during the dance, including the continuous movement of one or both arms passing from one position to another.
Buleria or Bulerias -- a high-spirited song and dance form which originated from Jerez de la Frontera in Southern Spain and is believed to have evolved as a faster version of Alegrias. This developed, as did Soleares, from a simple style. However, unlike Soleares, Bulerias has a fast and lively rhythm, full of fun and frivolity. In fact, it remains the fastest in all flamenco and considered by some to be the most difficult. Bulerias provides enormous scope for improvisation on the part of dancers, singers and guitarists, being very flexible in rhythm and open to sudden bursts of spontaneity and melodic variations. Bulerias is wild, frenzied and lively, while still containing the core of sorrow that is almost always present in any form of flamenco. It occupies a central position in any dance or guitar repertoire and is often reserved as the flamboyant final number in a performance. The word is a combination of "barullo," which means "noise," and "burla," which means "joke" or "jest."
Buleria Al Golphe -- a style of bulerias which highlights the "golpe" or "tap."
Buleria Por Solea -- a slower variation of bulerias.
Cabales -- Flamenco experts.
Cabeza -- the head of the guitar.
Cadenas -- footwork combination in triplets, beginning with the golpe of one foot followed by the heel of the opposite foot and then returning to the beginning foot.
Café Cantante -- a coffee house which features flamenco shows. These establishments originally began with flamenco cante but eventually evolve to encompass all forms of flamenco. The late 1800s is said to be the "golden age" of the Café Cantante.
Cajon -- a flamenco rhythm box...a percussion instrument similar in design to an empty wooden box which looks somewhat like a small tea chest with a round sound hole cut out of the rear face. A performer sits on the cajon and reaches down to beat on the front face.
Cales -- a gypsy word for gypsies.
Calo -- the Spanish gypsy language.
Campanas -- a musical section in zapateado which imitates the sound of bells.
Campanilleros -- traditionally, campanilleros are sung during religious processions which begin at dawn and are accompanied by the ringing of small bells. Though not strictly associated with flamenco, they are frequently sung and played by some artists as a part of their repertoire.
Caña, -- a form of flamenco which is closely related to soleares and may even have been its forerunner. Caña, is usually cante jondo in nature and generally accepted as one of the oldest flamenco forms. It is counted amongst the most pure and beautiful.
Cantaor -- a male singer.
Cantaora -- a female singer.
Cante -- the song or singing.
Cante Chico -- the third of the three general classifications of flamenco songs. It is lighthearted, festive, folkloric and somewhat frivolous in presentation. The name literally means "little song."
Cante Flamenco -- a flamenco song.
Cante Grande -- the first of the three general classifications of flamenco songs...the so-called basic songs which are considered to be the earliest forms of flamenco. By nature, this is a profound form which is also cante jondo. The name means "important song."
Cante Intermedio -- the second of the three general classifications of flamenco songs...an arbitrary "middle" classification between cante grande and cante chico. The name literally means "middle song."
Cante Jondo -- a deep song or style of singing which covers both the dark and the serious aspects of flamenco, often seeming harsh and primitive to the untrained ear. Jondo style songs are passionate and profound, usually delivered with much powerful emotion by the performer.
Cantinas -- a family of song forms from Cadiz which include alegrias, romeras, mirabras, rosas and caracoles. It is thought the word originally described medieval songs from Galicia in Northern Spain.
Capo -- abbreviation of "capotasto," a transposing device fixed across the strings of a guitar to raise the pitch. By tradition, its purpose is to pitch the instrument to a singer's voice.
Caracoles -- a song and dance form which is one of the group of songs known as "cantinas." The name literally means "snails" and it is lighthearted in nature. This song style was developed in Madrid during the Nineteenth Century and is rhythmically identical to alegrias.
Carceleras -- a type of tonás, originally sung by incarcerated gypsies held in the prisons of Andalucia. It is one of the oldest flamenco song forms describing the singer's loss of freedom and life in jail.
Caracoles -- one type of cantiñ which first appeared in Cadiz during the Mid-Nineteenth Century. Later, it became strongly asociated with Madrid although (like all flamenco music) it is essentially from Andalucia. Curro Cuchares and 'El Tato,' who worked in the bull-rings and were also good singers took this style to Madrid (Spain's capital city) where it became very popular.
Cartageneras -- a toque libre song form which is fandangos-based and takes it name from the area of origin...Cartagena. It is one of the songs known as cante de levante and is believed to have evolved from the tarantas.
Cejilla -- the Spanish word for capo. "Ceja" means "little eyebrow" and the traditional cejilla bears a curved top (which resembles an eyebrow) to accommodate the wooden tightening peg.
Chuflas -- when the foot lifts from behind or the side and strikes the floor with a golpe while the other foot simultaneously slides along the floor. Chuflas also refers to a song and dance form which is carefree in style, somewhat similar to tanguillos, with the emphasis on spontaneity and humor.
Colombianas -- a song and dance form with a style which was influenced by Colombian folk music and South American rhythms.
Compás -- beat, rhythm, meter and measure...the basic element of flamenco rhythm. Specifically, it is a recurring pattern of accented beats analogous to a bar of music which dictates the unique rhythmic structure of any given song form.
Contra Tiempo -- syncopated or counter rhythms produced by stamps of the feet. This may be accompanied by palmas executed by the indiviudal performer alone or in conjunction with others.
Copla -- a verse from a song. Copla is also used to describe the various sections of sevillanas and fandangos.
Cuadro -- a group of flamenco performers which includes dancers, singers and guitarists.
Danza Mora -- a flamenco style which was influenced by the Moors of North Africa as well as the Arabic style of music and dance. It literally means "Moorish Dance" and is normally played with the sixth string of the guitar tuned to the key of D.
Debla -- a toná with religious overtones.
Desplante -- dance steps which indicate an approaching break, as in "desplante por bulerias" which is performed after the "llamada". Desplante may range from several steps to numerous compás, depending upon the choreography involved, and is usually considered a climatic point in the performance.
Duende -- the soul force which is said to inspire the art of flamenco. It has also been described as the trance-like fixation or haunting feeling experienced while watching a flamenco performance. Essentially, duende is an inner spirit which is believed to be released as a result of the performer's intense emotional involvement with the music, song and dance.
Entrada -- the entrance of the dancer or the beginning of a performance.
Escobilla -- a dance step which resembles the sweeping motion of a broom which is executed as the ball of the foot brushes out along the floor in a forward and/or backward motion, thus making a soft brushing sound. Originally, escobillas referred to the small brushing steps which allowed female dancers to disply the beauty of their feet and arms. Today, escobilla also refers to an extended sequence of footwork combinations designed to demonstrate the proficiency of the dancer.
Falda -- a skirt.
Falseta -- a melodic variation which is played by the guitarist.
Falsete -- a high pitched voice.
Fandango -- an ancient Andalucian folk song and dance whose roots probably go back as far as the Arab invasion in 711 A.D. It is believed to have derived from the jota, a lively paired dance from Aragon located in Northern Spain. Almost every region of Andalucia has its own version of fandangos (including the city of Huelva which claims to be the form's original birthplace and one of Spain's flamenco capitals). There are two types of fandagos: fandango grande (great fandangos) and fandanguillos (little fandangos), the latter being more of a festive form.
Fandango Grande -- an abstract song form which evolved as a serious version of the original fandangos. It is sung without compás and may also be referred to as fandangos naturales.
Farruca -- a spectacular male dance in 4/4 time which was originally a song or chant from the Northern Region of Calicia. It is generally accepted that the Andalucian gypsies adopted the Farruca and then changed it to suit their own tastes. It is often considered to be one of the more modern forms of flamenco and usually played in the key of A Minor. Although the rhythm is strong and strictly defined, some passages begin slowly and gradually build up speed, particularly in the final stages of the dance. Originally performed only by males, women have also executed the dance with great effect (albeit dressed in a man's costume). The farruca is never sung in the pure flamenco idiom and, as a dance or guitar solo, is considered to be a very dramatic piece.
Flamenco -- the generic term which applies to the body of music, song and dance customarily associated with Andalucian gypsies. It originated in Southern Spain and has been described as the folk art of the poor. The word may also be used to define a flamenco performer or aficionado. It is generally believed that the roots of flamenco evolved from a combination of Indian, Arabic and Spanish cultures, with later influences from the Gregorian musical system of the Christians and possibly even the liturgal music of the Jews.
Flamenco Puro -- a term which is generally applied to mean "genuine" or "traditional" flamenco.
Floreo -- hand movements of dancers.
Garrotin -- a song and dance form which is sensuous and happy. Much like the farruca, it originated in Northern Spain and has slow sections with sudden stops and starts which frequently build to a furious pace.
Gitana -- Spanish name for a female gypsy.
Gitano -- Spanish name for a male gypsy.
Glissade -- to glide.
Golpe -- related to footwork...the full sole of the foot striking or stamping upon the floor. Golpe also refers to rhythmic acceleration.
Guajiras -- a song and dance form which is influenced by Cuban rhythms. Guajiras was brought to Spain in the Sixteenth Century by the returning Conquistadors. It is a rather impudent dance form normally played in the key of A Major. It is considered an uplifting flamenco and often features as a classy showpiece in the sole guitarist's repertoire.
Hondo -- deep and profound.
Jaberas -- a song form which is an offshoot of fandango grande. Jaberas is closely related to the malaguenas and is supposed to be a toque libre without compás and undanceable.
Jaleo -- utterances or shouts of approval and/or encouragement...recognition of the duende.
Jondo -- a variation of hondo which is most often associated with flamenco dance.
Juerga -- a flamenco party or "jam session," also defined as a festive binge of drinking and merrymaking.
Letra -- the lyrics of a song or a section of dance equivalent to a verse of a song.
Levante -- a geographical area which stretches from Almeria in Eastern Andalucia up to Valencia. This area gives its name to the so-called cantes de levante which include minera, taranta, murciana and cartagenera.
Livianas -- a song and dance form, the song having evolved from being a tona liviana (song without accompaniment or compás) to a style with guitar accompaniment performed to the compás of siguiriyas.
Llamada -- a "call" or "break"...a dance movement or series of steps which alert the guitarist to the fact that the dancer wishes to end a section or even an entire number.
Malagueñas -- a free form flamenco style which has no specific compás and is chiefly interpretive. malagueñas originated in Malaga (Southern Spain), hence the name. Malagueñas are danceable, lighthearted songs which evolved from the verdiales and possess a similar rhythm and form. Considered by some sources to be a descendant of the fandango family, Malagueñas became very popular in the cafe cantante circuit during the late Nineteenth Century and was not originally a form of dance.
Manton -- an embroidered silk shawl with long fringing. This item was originally known as "Manton de Manila" due to its origins in Manila.
Marcaje -- to mark time. This is also known as "marqueo."
Marcando -- movements of the dancer during the letra. It also means to mark time with the feet.
Martinete -- a toná originally sung by gypsies who worked in a forge. As a traditional song of blacksmiths, the Martinete is often accompanied by the sound of a hammer (or "martillo") striking the anvil.
Mastil -- guitar neck or handle.
Milonga -- a song form which originated in Argentina and is similar in some respects to the farruca. The song modulates from minor to major at certain times and its melody is reminiscent of the Argentinean tango.
Mineras -- one of a group of songs known as cantes de levante. Its name derives from "minero" (meaning "miner") and deals, not unexpectedly, with mining themes.
Mirabras -- one of the group of song and dance forms referred to as cantinas. It is in many ways identical to alegrias, but lacks the dynamic quality and grace.
Muñecas -- the gentle rotary motions of the wrists and fingers which is typical of the art of flamenco. These motions are also known as "flores."
Murcianas -- one of the group of song and dance forms known as cantes de levante.
Nuevo Flamenco -- name given during the 1980s to a younger generation of flamenco artists who were influenced by other contemporary and traditional forms of music...jazz in particular, but also rock and pop, as well as the South American mix of salsa and rumba. One of the most popular performers associated with this genre are the Gypsy Kings.
Palillos -- castanets also known as catanuelas...a small pair of wooden plates held together in one hand which are clicked in order provide rhymthmic accompaniment during a dance. Palillos are not used in pure flamenco.
Palmas -- the rhythmic hand clapping which is used to accompany flamenco song and dance.
Palmeros -- men who clap while the musicians play.
Pasada -- to pass, as in passing a partner during the course of a dance. "De Pecho" means to pass chest-to-chest. "De Espalda" means to pass back-to-back.
Paseo -- a walking step which connects two sections of a dance. The dancer may walk around striking arrogant poses without losing the timing in the steps. Paseo also refers to the opening ceremony at a bullfight.
Payo -- term used to describe a non-gypsy.
Pellizco -- small spontaneous gestures, mimicries or whimsical movements employed by a dancer to heighten the effect of a dance. Literally, "pellizco" means a "pinch, nip or small bit," and the phrase is used in the flamenco forum to describe actions which are spicy, saucy, juicy, flirtatious or light and humorous. A certain flip of the head or particular glint in the eye, for example.
Peteneras -- a cante which is outside of mainstream flamenco. The name derives from Andalucian folklore and is believed to be a corruption of the word "patenera," who originally sang the cante and came from Paterna de la Rivera (near Jerez de la Frontera). Playing of the petenera is considered by the superstitious to be unlucky. The general mood of this form is one of sadness due to its associated legend which tells of a beautiful young prostitute named Dolores who died a violent death at the hands of one of her lovers. Every year in July, the people in the village of Paterna pay homage to this form of cante and to Dolores by hosing a national Peteneras song competition.
Pena -- a flamenco club.
Picados -- the flamenco scales of a guitar or guitar playing technique by which the musician plays scale passages by alternating the index and middle fingers. Picados is normally executed apoyando (with rest strokes).
Pitos -- finger-snapping used to accompany flamenco song and dance. Pitos may be in either regular or counter time.
Planta -- the sole (or ball) of the foot.
Polo -- a form of flamenco song and dance which derives from the Soleares family. It has a distinct melodic line.
Ponta or Punta -- the toe of the foot. It also refers to striking the floor behind or in front of the standing leg with the tip of the toe, immediately rebounding to approximately the ankle of the standing leg. Thus, the point of the toe makes an audible sound on the floor.
Punteado -- a plucking technique.
Puro -- pure and unadulterated, meaning that the song, dance or guitar-playing must be genuine and come from within, lacking any conscious effort to make an impression. Puro signifies a complete and total committment to the art.
Quejío -- a flamenco lament or cry.
Rasgueo or Rasgueado -- a guitar strumming technique which employs the right hand. The word comes from "rascar," which means "to scratch."
Redoble -- a series of four or five beats compressed into one or two beats. Redobles are usually used in the dance to provide dynamic accents.
Redonda -- flamenco voice.
Remate -- the closing phase of a dance, as well as the closing phase of a falseta for flamenco guitar.
Romeras -- one of the group of song and dance forms known as cantinas. Romeras are almost identical to alegrias and, like the mirabras, were most likely artificially conceived and created to add variety to the repertoire of songs performed in the Cafe Cantante of the late Ninteenth Century.
Rond De Jambe -- circular movement of the leg during dance.
Rondena -- a song and dance form from the mountainous region of Ronda in Malaga. The name may derive from "rondar," which means "to patrol" or "to prowl around." It may be that the rondena was originally a song of young men serenading their loved ones from beneath windows. In its toque form, the rondena is believed to have originated with the bandits who practiced their trade in the mountains near Ronda.
Rondenas -- a free form style of flamenco which uses an alternative tuning for both the third and sixth strings of the guitar.
Rumbas -- a flamenco style song and dance form which has been influenced by New World rhythms and particularly the sugar and banana plantations of Cuba. The gypsy adaptation is known as Rumba Gitana or Rumba Flamenca. The dance is lively and festive...sometimes even tastefully seductive in nature. The guitarist employes the rhythmic slapping techniques taken from the South American style of playing and the strumming is characterized by damping the strings with the whole hand to provide for syncopation.
Salida -- exit of the dancer.
Serranas -- a song and dance form which has the same compás as siguiriyas, but played in the key of E instead of A. Thus, it has a different mood and texture although some of the same variations may be transposed. It is believed to have originated as a Nineteenth Century folk song whose story-type verses tell of life in the mountains among bandits and smugglers.
Sevillanas -- a song and dance form whose adopted as the regional dance of Seville. The Sevillanas originated from the Nineteenth Centry mode of classical dance known as Seguidillas Boleras, the boleras themselves having evolved from the dance from known as Seguidilla Manchegas, which was popularized in the Southern Castilian region of La Mancha. Sevillanas is a popular festive, folkloric dance throughout Andalucia and has evolved into a structured format consisting of a group of four short dances. Within each dance, there is a melodic theme which is sung or played three times and then ends with a sudden stop as the dancers strike a pose.
Siquiriyas or Seguidillas -- a song and dance form of profound cante jondo. The word may be a gypsy dialect variation of "Seguidilla," a classical Castilian folk dance. Siguiriyas is dark, mournful and desolate in character and considered the greatest test of a singer's ability.
Silencio -- any section in a performance when the guitar remains silent...when a dancer builds up speed in his or her footsteps, for example. It also traditionally refers to a section in alegrais which is played in a minor key at a much slower pace. In literal terms, "silencio" means "silence."
Soleá or Soleares -- a song and dance form which is often referred to as the "mother of flamenco" because other important forms (such as alegrias and bulerias) derive from it. The name comes from "soledad," which means "lonliness" or "solitude," and reflects the general mood of the song form. Soleá consists of twelve beats with accents on the third, sixth, eighth, tenth and twelfth.
Sol-Fa -- an ear-training and sight-reading method of designating the musical notes in a major scale. This system dates from the Eleventh Century and is the origin of referring to the notes as doh, re, mi, etc.
Sordas -- soft or muffled hand claps.
Tablao -- a low stage. It also means a nightclub or cafe which contains a stage for the performing of flamenco shows.
Tacaor or Tocaor -- a flamenco guitarist.
Tacon -- the heel of the foot. It also refers to the drop of the heel from the planta or golpe position. The heel makes an audible sound on the floor and does not leave the floor until another step is initiated.
Taconeo -- flamenco footwork, associated chiefly with the heel, involving rhythmic patterns.
Talon -- when the entire foot is lifted and the edge of the heel strikes the floor, immediately rebounding to approximatly the mid-calf of the standing leg. In this action, the heel makes an audible sound on the floor, although not as audible as that of the tacon.
Tambor -- a drum-like effect achieved by pulling downward on the sixth string of a guitar so that it rests against the fifth string on the treble side. This sound very similar to a snare drum when playing a rasgueado. The world literally means "drum."
Tango or Tangos -- a lively and infectious song and dance form. Although customarily performed in a light style, it possesses an inherent yet subtle tone of seriousness. Some sources believe this form has connections to the Argentinian Tango, while others maintain it is purely gypsy in origin, bearing distinct similarities to the tientos. Tangos is one of the most impressive and dynamic dance forms which, like the buleria, is nurtured and developed as a show piece usually reserved for the end of a given performance.
Tanguillos -- a style of flamenco song and dance with a light and impudent air which derives from the tango. It is thought to have been developed in Cadiz. The name means "little tango."
Tarab -- the Arabic evquivalent of flamenco's duende...a state of ecstacy brought about by the singing...said to be often accompanied by the breaking of jars on heads, the ripping of clothing and rolling about on the ground.
Tarantas -- a free song form style of flamenco which originated in the Province of Almeria but also associated with the neighboring Provinces of Jaen and Murcia. Taranta is the song of the miners, reflecting a sense of tragedy, deprivation and sorrow. The melodies are dark and often discordant with open chords which lend this form a distinctive Oriental character. It should be noted that in flamenco terms, "Oriental" is taken to mean "Arabic."
Tarantos -- a danceable form of flamenco which has a steady compás.
Tembleque -- rapidly alternating heelwork which is executed without body movement. It produces a "trembling" sound.
Temple -- the vocal warm-up at the beginning of a song which consists of repeated "ayes." This enable the singer to tune the voice to the guitar. It also allows the singer to absorb the mood and rhythm of the song.
Tientos -- a song and dance form sometimes referred to as the "Father of Flamenco." Its character is majestic and sensual. "Tiento" means "touch." There is much speculation regarding whether tientos came before tangos or vice versa.
Tocaor -- a male flamenco guitar player.
Tocaora -- a female flamenco guitar player.
Tonás -- widely believed to be the earliest known form of flamenco song and thus, the most basic. Included in this form are the martinetes (songs of the blacksmiths), carceleras (songs of the prisoners), debla (the origin of which is obscure) and perhaps an early form of siguiriyas. Tonás are essentially songs with a story which were originally neither played or danced. They were sung "a palo seco," meaning unaccompanied except for perhaps the rhythmic beating of a "palo" or stick upon the ground. In the case of the martinetes, the song would have been accompanied by the sound of a blacksmith's hammer striking an anvil. The word "tonda" means "tune" or "popular song."
Toque -- guitar playing. Toque can also mean flamenco interpretation on the guitar or a specific flamenco form.
Toque Compás -- guitar playing which involves fixed patterns of rhythmic beats.
Toque Libre -- guitar playing in a free form style of rhythm.
Tremolo -- a rapid fluttering or alternating of guitar tones which gives the illusion of two instruments playing together.
Vallancicos -- a genre of Spanish song which dates from the Fifteenth Century. It is poetic and musical, once sung without accompanying instruments. The vallancico was originally a folk song, often devotional or romantic in nature. In the Eighteenth Century, this form expanded into a dramatic cantata with arias and choruses and, by the Twentieth Century, the use of the term had been restricted to the Spanish Christmas carol. Although not true flamenco, it is not unusual to find vallanciocos on modern flamenco recordings.
Verdiales -- a song and dance form which is a lighthearted style of fandangos. Verdiales originated in Malaga and takes its name from a village called Los Verdiales. Considered to be folklore, this form is believed to be the oldest existing fandangos in Andalucia. Regional verdiales is accompanied by tambourines, violins and other instruments as well as the guitar. Flamenco verdiales is accompanied by the guitar only.
Vito -- a song and dance form which began as an old Andalucian folk song. The melody is quite distinctive but it is a style not much recorded by flamenco artists.
Vuelta -- to turn. "Vuelta Por Delante" means to turn to the front. "Vuelta Por Detras" means to turn to the back or go behind. "Vuelta Quebrada" is a broken turn, where the head remains at a 45 degree angle while the body moves. "Vuelta Normale" is a regular, upright turn, which can be either frontward or backward.
Zambra -- a song and dance form which originated as a festive dance associated with the gypsies of Granada and possibly first performed in the Sacromonte region. As such, it is one of the most typical and pure gypsy flamenco dances. The word "zambra" means "flute" and this lively dance form, which dates from the Fifteenth Century, was originally Moorish in nature. Zambra is closely related to both the tientos and the tangos, with a speed somewhere between the two.
Zapateados -- a form of dance which requires extremely fancy heelwork, including many sudden stops and starts accompanied by accelerating passages. The compás speeds up and then slows down, only to speed up once again. At times, the melody will match the footsteps and it is necessary for the dancer and guitarist to constantly be perfectly synchronized...needless to say, this form requires great skill from both performers. Zapateados is considered to be an ancient and virtuoso showcase for dancers. In short, it is an interplay of heel, toe and sole intended to produce elaborate sounding rhythms. The word "zapato" means shoe and the dance is derived from the tango.
Agua -- Water! It's so hot I need water!
Arriba! -- Hurrah!
Asi se baila -- That's dancing!
Asi se toca -- That's playing!
Asi se canta -- That's singing!
Balia bien! -- Good dancing!
Eso es -- That's it!
Hassa -- Great!
Olé! or Ale! -- an exclamation of approval or encouragement which may have derived from the Twelfth Century call of "hala" or possibly from the Arabic word "Allah!"
Toma que toma -- take it!
Vamos alla -- go there!
Vamo' ya! -- let's go!