Understanding culture through the language of music: Andalucía the home of flamenco

Understanding culture through the language of music Andalucía the home of flamenco  - Image by vivalanuevatecnologia.wordpress.comMusic is one way we can understand a culture. Andalucia is the home of flamenco a genre that is filled with passion, radiance and impulsivity.

Flamenco mingles acoustic guitar playing, singing, chanting, dancing and handclapping. The flamenco dancer performs with fervor and even tortured expressions but always strives for grace and dignity.

The stereotyped polka-dot dresses, castanets and acoustic guitars have all become representational to Andalucía but these do not represent the authenticity and culture that has prevailed from Flamenco. Flamenco

The exact origins of Flamenco are somewhat unsolved, however it is known that it grew from the unique interaction of native Andalusian, Islamic Sephardic and gypsy cultures that existed in Andalusia prior to the Reconquest.

Flamenco then grew as a separate subculture, first displayed in the provinces of Seville, Cadiz and part of Malaga but soon broadened to the whole of Andalucía, mixing and altering local folk music forms. Flamenco popularized and spread to other regions in Spain which is why we can see flamenco all over Spain.

Flamenco can be seen in shows throughout Spain, it is performed in clubs, bars and even can be seen played spontaneously in the streets. In fact many local flamenco bars in Andalucía can be seen as a place in which the community joins together as they stamp their feet, clap the hands and shout, “Olé, olé!” to the cries of the singer and guitar as she or he tells her tale.

Flamenco is not just the music of the past; it has modernised itself transforming into today’s sounds. Spanish musicians today mix flamenco with such genres as: chill-out, hip-hop and club music.

Through this understanding of Flamenco we can begin to understand and make connections with the society of Andalucía itself. The community gathered around flamenco can be seen socializing in the many plazas of Andalucía and attending the many celebrations that go on throughout the year.

It is argued by some that to grasp the country and to understand the culture, language is the essential tool. However by discovering flamenco you may just discover the secrets of Spanish diversity and passion.

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