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How do you define a Solea?   You are logged in as Guest
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sean65

Posts: 414
Joined: Jan. 4 2010
From: London

How do you define a Solea? 

Hi Guys,

Excuse me if this does seem a naive question but I'm trying to understand what attributes define a Solea.

I was reading a google.books version of the Juan Martin method online yesterday evening and he states the fundamental importance of the Solea and as such starts each level of his course book with a study of a Solea as a means to introduce new technique's.

So what makes a Solea a Solea? Is it a recognizable harmonic sequence, a specific rhythm or both. I'm listening to as many Solea's as I can find but still haven't worked it out myself so any pointers would be appreciated.

Sean
  Report Abuse |  Date Jan. 11 2010 23:40:04
 
Ricardo

Posts: 8270
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: How do you define a Solea? (in reply to sean65

quote:

So what makes a Solea a Solea? Is it a recognizable harmonic sequence, a specific rhythm or both.


Both, and many many more details. In addition, the definition will change parameters depending on if you are talking about Cante (singing), toque (just guitar playing), or Baile (dance). It is a song form for starters, just like the Blues is a song form (12 bars, I,IV,V chords all dom7, blues scale melodies, swing, etc).

There are standards for the Solea form, or for any song form really, yet it allows for creativity and even improvisation, but you need to be aware how creative you can get before you are outside of the form. To be safe, stick to learning standards in the beginning until all the little pieces start to make sense as you put em together on your own.

Ricardo

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  Report Abuse |  Date Jan. 11 2010 23:49:56
 
NormanKliman

Posts: 1143
Joined: Sep. 1 2007
 

RE: How do you define a Solea? (in reply to sean65

Good idea to start with soleá, but part of focusing on it involves comparing it to other styles to see how it's different. In very basic terms, it might be helpful to think in terms of speed, rhythm and vibe. Here are some simplified guidelines (don't worry, it's actually much more complicated than this ):

soleá: slow 12-beat, dark
alegría: slow 12-beat, bright
bulería: fast 12-beat, dark or bright
siguiriya: unique 5-beat, dark or bright
tango: fast 4-beat, dark or bright
tiento: slow 4-beat, dark
Huelva: fast fandango
malagueña: slow fandango
Levante: slow fandango with flat V in melody

There are exceptions: the style Carapiera is a bright soleá, alegrías de Córdoba are darkish, some malagueñas have the flatted fifth degree in the melody, etc.

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  Report Abuse |  Date Jan. 12 2010 0:26:42
 
sean65

Posts: 414
Joined: Jan. 4 2010
From: London

RE: How do you define a Solea? (in reply to sean65

Thanks Ricardo,

That's what I was wondering. Like jazz uses a II V I and blues I IV V etc...Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself at this stage.

Thanks Norman,

That's a useful list. Would I be off track if I interpret

dark = minor, played emotively

bright = major, played with zest
  Report Abuse |  Date Jan. 12 2010 1:50:16
 
NormanKliman

Posts: 1143
Joined: Sep. 1 2007
 

RE: How do you define a Solea? (in reply to sean65

Hi Sean,

quote:

Would I be off track...


Yeah, a little or a lot, depending on the case and according to the terms you're using. The minor scale is used in flamenco, but something very similar to the Phrygian mode is more common for the dark sound. "Emotive" just means "characterized by or pertaining to emotion," and that pretty well describes all of flamenco. I guess "bright" would always involve the major scale and related harmonies, or at least a major third degree. "Zest" is like "emotive" in that it's a useful enough adjective for writers but pinpoints no specific quality of flamenco.

It sounds to me like you've got to keep listening. I'm not trying to discourage you (quite the contrary), but it takes a year or two for things to start to come together. Maybe five or six months if you choose the right material. So be patient, it'll pay off in the end! If it hits you right, you'll never get tired of flamenco.

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  Report Abuse |  Date Jan. 12 2010 2:27:29
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