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andresito

Posts: 377
Joined: Feb. 20 2007
From: New Holland

Flamenco originally came from India 

I have read of more than one person saying this.
A bit like saying 'Italian food originally came from China' or 'jazz originally came from Africa'??

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2009 18:05:25
 
JasonMcGuire

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Joined: Apr. 10 2007
 

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to andresito

It is commonly accepted that the origin of the gypsies was India. There are elements of that culture in flamenco dance and music. To say that it originally comes from India is however incorrect. If that were so, flamenco would have existed traditionally in other places besides Andalucia. The creation of flamenco is a rather complex story but it goes something like this........

Until the late eighteenth and nineteenth century, Flamenco dance, music and song was widely considered to belong to the Gypsies, whose customs, beliefs and way of life were disdained and even hated by Spanish society. During and for centuries after the famous expulsion of the Moors and Jews in 1492, the Gypsies were tortured, persecuted and even killed if they would not conform to the accepted standard of Spanish society. Nomadic by nature, many of the Gypsies never settled in one town for very long; they would stay in one location only as long as they were able to make money doing odd jobs, selling their wares, and many of them performing Flamenco for the curious Spaniards. Whole families would be involved, singing, dancing and entertaining the eager locals.

It is widely considered that many Gypsies (as well as Spaniards) were creating and developing the art of Flamenco during this time, blending popular Spanish songs and folklore, as well as gaining admirers for this "Gypsy" art. Ironically, it did not achieve mass popularity until non-Gypsies began to perform it; with their participation Flamenco achieved legitimacy as an art. It can also be said that Flamenco suddenly became commercial, with the obvious negative implications, as well as tremendously successful. When non-Gypsies began performing Flamenco in the cafes and theatres for the accepting public, its popularity soared and its development continued anew with the integration of the Andalucian personality and expression. Although the Gypsies did not achieve respect and honor for their contribution to the art form until many years later, they have always been considered among the best interpreters of the Flamenco arts. The art of Flamenco is an expression of life, a communication on the deepest and most profound level.

If it cannot be ranked among the great classical arts of the world, it is because the public has not been exposed to it in anything but a superficial level, based upon the stereotypical images constantly presented. Just as other arts evolve and change with the times, Flamenco in recent years has, for better or worse, incorporated sophisticated musical stylistic elements from other mediums. The purists will say that this change in the art has brought about the decline of Flamenco; others feel innovation and change brings renewed interest in an esoteric art. The truth is that Flamenco is an expressive art, an art of communication. The dialogue between a singer and guitarist, a dancer and a singer, a dancer and a guitarist or all three, and yes, even when there is a crowd onstage, is a highly evolved interaction when the artists are highly skilled, knowledgeable and show integrity for the art. Some of the most sophisticated interplay between musicians in the world happens when flamencos are interacting, improvising and generally burning a hole in each other's consciousness. This is the greatest thing that can happen in Flamenco. It is a spiritual communication. This communication can happen anywhere: in a rehearsal hall, a theatre performance, or a room full of noisy people. Individual and personal, this art takes the shape of the artist interpreting it quite a burden to carry! But the beauty of it is that the artist has the great opportunity to enter in and create. Forgetting their technique, effects and performing tricks, they can create in a few moments a small work of art, which is an expression of themselves, and give it away.

an article by Yaelisa

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2009 19:35:00
 
andresito

Posts: 377
Joined: Feb. 20 2007
From: New Holland

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to JasonMcGuire

Thanks JM

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2009 19:56:43
 
duwen

Posts: 68
Joined: Mar. 25 2009
 

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to andresito

That is VERY powerful telling of Flamenco Jason
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2009 9:31:17
 
edguerin

Posts: 1541
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to andresito

Thanks JM.
My two cents:
Certain rhythmic elements can still be found in Indian music today. Although it has nothing in common with the flamenco form there even is a pattern known as Sigiriya ...

A few years ago I had the chance to attend a performance where an Indian music/dance group performed with a flamenco group. It was really fascinating to see a Kathakali dancer dancing to soleares and listen to sitar and guitar improvising together ...

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El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2009 10:48:25
 
Escribano

Posts: 6103
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to edguerin

Pepe Habichuela & The Bollywood strings

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2009 11:25:13
 
at_leo_87

Posts: 3055
Joined: Aug. 30 2008
From: Boston, MA, U.S.A

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to Escribano

quote:

Pepe Habichuela & The Bollywood strings

this sounds very interesting. is there a cd available or anything.

to my uneducated ear, i hear strong similarities between flamenco and arabic music, and arabic music with indian music. is it because the gypsies from india travelled through the middle east to spain carrying along with them their influence?

that's a great article, jason. thanks for sharing!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2009 13:25:24
 
Arash

Posts: 4409
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From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to andresito




india+flamenco fusion

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2009 14:12:34
Guest

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2009 9:13:44
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to Guest

quote:

There is a documentary called "Latcho Drom" tracing the musical origins of flamenco .... the link is traced from India's Rajasthan province (where the nomadic ancestors of the Rom still live) and across the Caucasus via their historical migratory path into Andalusia.


really ? i thought that was just a general view at the gipsyes from around the world..even tho flamenco represented the gipsyes in spain i didnt think the documentary was about flamenco but about gipsy music and tradition in general

if flamenco comes from india then so does every gipsy music in every country in Europe..

the gipsyes come from india the music comes more from theyr sourroundings Imo
india had absoluteley nothing to do with flamenco otherwise flamenco would have been in many other countries first before it got to spain

as theres no way to travel from india to spain in a caravan without pasing a few other countries along the way

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2009 9:57:05
Guest

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2009 15:22:21
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to Guest

DUDEee .... dont get upset or defencive i am just conversing with you , u know, joined the conversation..threw in my opinion..nothing against you, until now i didnt even read who wrote the last thing just replied to it.

maybe it is an english thing...


u right i didnt read up that much on the gipsyes ..i know enough about the people whos music "i practice" , i lived around them for 14 years

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2009 19:07:58
 
gato

Posts: 322
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RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to andresito

All I've got to say about the flamenco origin thing is.....it's here now, and it's almost everywhere! Otherwise you get the origional people and have them tell you where it came from......
Gary
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2009 19:44:08
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to andresito

A question on english language... shouldnt it be gypsies because its the plural form of gypsy? And why it is "Gipsy Kings"??

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2009 1:57:32
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to XXX

Hi Deniz,

I've seen the word printed as Gipsy, Gypsy and even Gypsie in English books and magazines.

You are right though, the plural ending would always be ies in conventional English, though I have seen the word Gipsys in print also.

cheers,

Ron

PS: That guitarist from "Indialucia" (Arash's post) plays some of the nicest picado I've ever heard!
Really bright, crisp, stacatto and flowing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2009 4:29:14
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3299
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to JasonMcGuire

quote:

It is commonly accepted that the origin of the gypsies was India.


that's what i thought, having read a history of the gypsies, including the earliest written reference to gypsies being when the king of persia hired several thousand entertainers, musicians, jugglers, acrobats, etc., from rajastan....

but just this morning i read this in Gerald Howson's "Flamencos of Cadiz Bay":

"When I was in Cadiz, all the Spanish gitanos, like gypsies everywhere else, believed they descended from the ancient Egyptians. This was the once unchangeable article of faith that had been handed down from generation to generation since long before they had arrived in Europe. In the 1960's, however, a number of anthropologists claimed they came from India, and supported this by arguments based on physical characteristics, language, and on what was known about the history of their migrations. Moreover, there is a people in North India so similar to the gypsies that they must surely belong to the same race. The gypsies were accordingly convinced, and since then have agreed that they must have come from India.

Several years ago, I noticed in the Egyptian Hall of the British Museum of London some bas-reliefs on the wall of the tomb of Urinenptah, a priestly official of the Sun Temple who had lived at the time of the Old Kingdom, c. 2400 B.C. They show scenes from daily life, arranged in horizontal panels rahter in the style of a comic strip, and two represent a fiesta in his palace. In the lower panel, four women in long dresses, and with arms arched above their heads, dance. To their right, two young men, standing very straight, clap out the rhythm. The upper panel shows, sitting behind the dancers, a blind harpist, tow singers and a flautist. Apart from the flautist, it would need few alterations for this scene to depict a flamenco tablao of today. IN fact, even the flautist need not be eliminated, for in recent years some 'progressive' flamenco groups have taken to adding a flauta and a tambor (a kind of bongop drum) to the guitar when accompanying the faster cantes and bailes.

In his book, Los Gitanos, el flamenco y los flamencos, Rafael Lafuente wrote in 1955 that the historical truth about the gypsies is to be found in their own vague tradition, now generally discredited. He believes they are descended from the six thousand Egyptians taken prisoner when the Persian King Cambyses defeated the last Egyptian Pharoah in 525 B.C. It is possible that, perhaps after the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great in 330 B.C., their descendents, freed from slavery, moved into India where, thoroughly "indianized", they began their westward migrations 700 years later, arriving in Armenia, as we know from the oldest written record of them extant, in the sixth century A.D."

interesting.... but given that flamenco has only really come into being in the last couple of hundred years, and that it came into being in Spain, not that important really where they came from before that....
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2009 14:50:40
 
andresito

Posts: 377
Joined: Feb. 20 2007
From: New Holland

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

It is commonly accepted that the origin of the gypsies was India. There are elements of that culture in flamenco dance and music. To say that it originally comes from India is however incorrect. If that were so, flamenco would have existed traditionally in other places besides Andalucia.


quote:

ORIGINAL: mark indigo
... flamenco has only really come into being in the last couple of hundred years, and that it came into being in Spain...

So, to imply that flamenco was born in India (or it 'originally came from India') and was transported fully formed from India to southern Spain would obviously be incorrect, as Jason M notes.
I have heard and read that there were several elements that helped form flamenco, being Jewish, Christian, Moorish and Gypsy peoples, persecuted by the authorities after the reconquest of Spain and the Inquisition, who shared the Andalusian folkloric music which had its own roots in Greek religious chants, arabic moslem songs, jewish psalms and the popular songs of the Spanish Moors, with the Gypsies adding their passion, tragedy, natural rhythm and Indian reminiscences.
It's this musical alchemy which interests me and makes me question why one would oversimplify it (and inaccurately) by saying 'flamenco originally came from India'.

I know that Marco Polo brought noodles from China to Italy and they became spaghetti, but there is also a lot to Italian cuisine that doesn't owe much to China, just as the African work songs and field chants of slaves in southern USA evolved into the blues, which with the addition of European brass instruments evolved into early jazz, and has been revolutionised several times since.
The thing that interests me also is how most great music (aside from conservatory or classical music) has its roots in persecution and oppression or harsh social situations - maybe as Bob Marley reputedly said "Music is the best drug - when it hit, you feel no pain".

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2009 15:39:30
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to andresito

Yes. Gitanos originally came from India. No doubt about it. Sansi people are still living there as a minority.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sansi_people

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 22 2020 12:49:51
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3299
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RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to devilhand

quote:

Yes. Gitanos originally came from India. No doubt about it. Sansi people are still living there as a minority.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sansi_people


that wikipedia page says the Sansi are nomadic, doesn't mention Gypsies/Roma/Gitanos...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 22 2020 21:55:33
 
gerundino63

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From: The Netherlands

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to devilhand

This is the documentary Latcho Drom, that tells the story of the Gipsy’s by their music, travelling trough the ages to the south of europe.
Beautiful!


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 22 2020 22:35:50
 
Steelhead

 

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RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to gerundino63

The Latcho Drom scene in Rajasthan is very problematic. It shows Langas, members of a Muslim musician caste there, performing and then walking around in the desert as if they are nomadic, which they are not. They live in towns and villages and sing at weddings etc. The film would have done better to show Kalbelyas, who are strikingly similar to nomadic Rom in their attire, behavior, itinerant lifestyle, and traditional occupations, including song and dance. (The documentary "Cobra Gypsies" on YouTube is quite vivid.) English-speaking ppl refer to them as "Gypsies." However, proving direct relation to that particular caste is problematic. Other evidence would relate Roma ppl to the Dom caste (flapped d/r, like Rom). They are low-caste farmers and leather workers, occasional musicians (mostly drummers) tho not celebrated for that.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2020 13:24:44
 
Steelhead

 

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RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to Steelhead

Another thing re India -- it's very hard to argue for genuine continuities, since several centuries elapsed between the departure from India and the arrival in Spain. But, speaking as an India-specialist ethnomusicologist, some affinities can be striking. Especially, in general, Phrygian-mode singing, with similar ornamentation and intonation, without guitar; diatonic, no neutral intervals (unlike Arab and Turkish singing); it can sound a lot like North Indian rag Bhairavi. A few years ago I was in India, then briefly back in the US and thence to Spain, and I was walking in Morón and someone was belting out a siguiriyas-style temple from some cafe, and sleep-deprived, I was totally disoriented, like "Wait, what continent am I in?"

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2020 13:44:59
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12573
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From: Washington DC

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to Steelhead

quote:

no neutral intervals (unlike Arab and Turkish singing); it can sound a lot like North Indian rag Bhairavi.


Not sure what you mean by “neutral” interval.

I checked it out, sounds like Aeolian melodies as the start. Though they don’t stand on the second interval very long, it leaves the impression of minor Aeolian. Plus they next emphasize a lot the minor 3rd, 5th, and 6th (the characteristic aeolian sound against the drone). There can be a flat 5th passing note which sounds pretty funky, and then they finally conclude by passing through flat second. So although it resolves passing through flat 2, the bulk of the vibe of the raga is Aeolian, not phrygian. The significant difference is siguiriayas emphasizes the 4th and the major 3rd for a large part of the melodies, and of course toggles between tonic and flat second. Basically the closer raga to siguiriyas would be the one that is close to phrygian DOMINANT....but in the end it will be more about the intervals that are emphasized.



Perhaps other interpreters emphasize the minor phrygian sound more, but the idea sounds like it mixes those modes, and for sure we need the phrygian dominant sound to match flamenco.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2020 14:21:25
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

but just this morning i read this in Gerald Howson's "Flamencos of Cadiz Bay"

A person from UK will always give a biased opinion about India. No wonder Gerald Howson is from UK too.

quote:

"When I was in Cadiz, all the Spanish gitanos, like gypsies everywhere else, believed they descended from the ancient Egyptians. This was the once unchangeable article of faith that had been handed down from generation to generation since long before they had arrived in Europe.

Genetically a lot has happened since then. I think most modern gitanos are mixed race people. That's why some of them feel more attached to the Moors or generally to North Africa etc. But the fact is gypsy people from India are the ones who had the major influence on flamenco we know today.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2020 14:28:58
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to Steelhead

quote:

A few years ago I was in India, then briefly back in the US and thence to Spain, and I was walking in Morón and someone was belting out a siguiriyas-style temple from some cafe, and sleep-deprived, I was totally disoriented, like "Wait, what continent am I in?"

A similar thing is still happening to me. I had a neighbor - a Punjab pakistani. One day I heard him start singing ayee ayee. At that time I didn't know what flamenco is. He also had no clue about gypsy, flamenco and all this stuff. Today whenever I hear quejio ayee I always remember his singing. Too bad I lost contact with him. Otherwise I would ask him what he was singing about and open a discussion about flamenco.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2020 14:40:58
 
Steelhead

 

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RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to andresito

Ricardo, I'm not familiar which you are referring to. Anyhow, rag Bhairavi is mostly Phrygian, though with raised second degree in ascent, or omitted. Some flat 5 and other notes as accidentals. By "neutral interval" I mean, for example, the third degree in maqam Rast, halfway between minor and major positions. Here's a vid of some gringo playing rag Bhairavi.


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Steelhead
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2020 16:06:29
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12573
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to Steelhead

quote:

Anyhow, rag Bhairavi is mostly Phrygian, though with raised second degree in ascent, or omitted.


Exactly why it would be incorrect to equate the raga to “phrygian” nor what happens in siguiriyas. The omission of the second degree altogether, or deliberate avoidance of it, is especially “Not flamenco”. Anyway the example I looked up with the indian girl singing is quite different take on it (if it is indeed the same raga) than your gringo sitar guy who does a significant amount of flat second emphasis. However the section at 1:40 onward is Harmonic minor (based on same tonic, not talking about phrygian dominant), and the natural second is emphasized at 2:02. This is clearly the point of the raga, to move into that other territory for significant time. He eventually hits the flat 2nd again...but overall he still emphasizes the minor 3 and minor 6th A LOT, as the girl singer did.

Now this guy makes it sound more “phrygian” somehow, again, assuming this is the same raga. He even hits the major 3rd at 1:37 unlike the previous examples.



Oh, and when equating modal intervals to western tonal sounds the term “micro intervals” is what we use, as those are the notes between the equal tempered chromatic pitches.
quote:

Ricardo, I'm not familiar which you are referring to.


To be clear...in the video I posted of the indian girl singing, and also the sitar player you posted, if we pretend the same pitch for comparison on A/E drone in A:

The melodies often go ACDEFE...often the C is emphasized and I hear often CBCBA....then again ACDEF...they do EFGF a lot...and OCCASIONALLY, descend from C ...CBbA.....but I don’t notice much emphasis of the Bb.

The sitar guy has the section I pointed out in the higher octave EFG#AG#FE, then goes (EF) G#ABCB-B-B-B and he rides on the B natural before coming back down. One could argue this a “key change” to E phrygian dominant...except they use a drone sound that keeps the ear grounded on A.

In stark contrast to the stuff above, the sitar guy I posted above plays a lot of Bb, lots of C-G Bb-F-A... power chords actually. Then the spot I pointed out a striking A-D, A-C#, G-C, F-C...etc...a very A phrygian sound overall. But maybe this guy is “progressive” or something? Wish I knew more about it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2020 16:44:46
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3299
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RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to devilhand

quote:

A person from UK will always give a biased opinion about India.


I don't know why you would say this, or what it is based on.

I don't think anything I have said in this thread constitutes a "biased opinion about India"

Looks like you have a biased opinion about people from the UK though.

And you are dismissing whatever I have posted that you don't agree with based on my nationality.

Trying to use national stereotyping to "prove" anything is intellectually lazy, and also offensive.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2020 18:18:04
 
Steelhead

 

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RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to andresito

Niladri Kumar certainly does some "progressive" dyads there around 1:15. Bhairavi can be played in a "straight" manner, with raised second degree as the only non-Phrygian note, or with lots of non-Phrygian notes. In the 'straight' manner it can sound a bit like siguiriyas etc but obviously I am not pushing the similarity too far. In theory (which is explicit) the rag is Phrygian, with the natural second degree as an "accidental" that is resolved by the eventually subsequent flat second.

The problem with the term "micro-intervals", and the reason many scholars prefer "neutral intervals," is that it implies that intervals smaller than a minor second are used, which they aren't e.g., in Arab, Turkish, or Persian music. Hence the neutral third scale degree (let's say E-half-flat, from tonic C) is there, but would never be used in conjunction with E natural or E flat.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2020 19:13:00
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Flamenco originally came from India (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

And you are dismissing whatever I have posted that you don't agree with based on my nationality.

Based on your citation. Everyone here on the foro will tell this is a fairytale. Now generally discredit anyway.

quote:

In his book, Los Gitanos, el flamenco y los flamencos, Rafael Lafuente wrote in 1955 that the historical truth about the gypsies is to be found in their own vague tradition, now generally discredited. He believes they are descended from the six thousand Egyptians taken prisoner when the Persian King Cambyses defeated the last Egyptian Pharoah in 525 B.C. It is possible that, perhaps after the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great in 330 B.C., their descendents, freed from slavery, moved into India where, thoroughly "indianized", they began their westward migrations 700 years later, arriving in Armenia, as we know from the oldest written record of them extant, in the sixth century A.D."


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2020 21:52:48
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