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Emil_Krasich

 

Posts: 17
Joined: Jan. 10 2014
From: Massachusetts

Form structuring- putting it all tog... 

Good day all,

Is there any sort of definitive guide towards structuring various flamenco forms? For example, how are they typically structured with how many bars of compas for each section? For example let's take a solea, alegria, or buleria (would love to see a list for all forms!):

* How many compas measures of intro?
* How many compas of rhythm (is that next?)?
* When should a falseta take place and for how long?
* Should a llamada follow a falseta and when?

Just trying to put this stuff together to sound right and count right for my own improvisations so any input is appreciated. Thank you in advance for any contributions and insight!

- Emil
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 8:35:38
 
athrane77

Posts: 785
Joined: Feb. 6 2011
From: Reykjavik

RE: Form structuring- putting it all... (in reply to Emil_Krasich

there are no such rules. just learn new stuff, falsetas, play with other people, listen to cante and you're question will be answered.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 10:47:32
 
mezzo

Posts: 1409
Joined: Feb. 18 2010
From: .fr

RE: Form structuring- putting it all... (in reply to Emil_Krasich

Of course there are rules! Otherwise it will be very difficult for people to jam together without reharsal.
But the structure you're asking about are more for baile (danse) I'd say.
When I talk with bailaoras, it sounds like a mathematical speech, a letra is exactly x compas cycle, then for my choregraphy, I need x others. One must use the calculator...

For what you ask : "Just trying to put this stuff together to sound right and count right for my own improvisations", you don't need such headache. Follow jof's advices.
The day you begin to accomp baile, then things get a little more structured. Unless the dancer is good enough to be able to improvise on your playing.
I'm not an expert in baile accomp, but some are here. Maybe they could give you a general structure, I dunno.

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"The most important part of Flamenco is not in knowing how to interpret it. The higher art is in knowing how to listen." (Luis Agujetas)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 11:31:28
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13676
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Form structuring- putting it all... (in reply to Emil_Krasich

quote:

ORIGINAL: Emil_Krasich

Good day all,

Is there any sort of definitive guide towards structuring various flamenco forms? For example, how are they typically structured with how many bars of compas for each section? For example let's take a solea, alegria, or buleria (would love to see a list for all forms!):

* How many compas measures of intro?
* How many compas of rhythm (is that next?)?
* When should a falseta take place and for how long?
* Should a llamada follow a falseta and when?

Just trying to put this stuff together to sound right and count right for my own improvisations so any input is appreciated. Thank you in advance for any contributions and insight!

- Emil


as discussed it's pretty open ended unless dealing with baile. But the truth is, these type of questions set off alarms to me that you have not yet studied enough from the maestros and are jumping in too soon with your own thing. I feel bad because my reaction is often taken as an insult and I don't mean it as such, but truth is, if you have to ask then you should NOT be "improvising" or "composing" your own stuff just yet. No need to trash your ideas, just put em on the back burner for a while until you know the proper way to employ them as per the models established by the maestros.


Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 15:15:04
 
Emil_Krasich

 

Posts: 17
Joined: Jan. 10 2014
From: Massachusetts

RE: Form structuring- putting it all... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

as discussed it's pretty open ended unless dealing with baile. But the truth is, these type of questions set off alarms to me that you have not yet studied enough from the maestros and are jumping in too soon with your own thing. I feel bad because my reaction is often taken as an insult and I don't mean it as such, but truth is, if you have to ask then you should NOT be "improvising" or "composing" your own stuff just yet. No need to trash your ideas, just put em on the back burner for a while until you know the proper way to employ them as per the models established by the maestros.


Ricardo


No offense taken at all and by all means I really appreciate honest responses like that. I do "steal" and "copy" but really do feel that I should try to come up with much more of my own material. Just want to make sure I'm not missing sections or anything like that. Great to know that form is pretty open ended and thank everyone for any contributions to this thread.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 15:30:00
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Form structuring- putting it all... (in reply to Emil_Krasich

One basic Algerias por baile structure but really it could be anything.
Falseta
Tiri tri tran quejillo type cante
Llamada
Letra 1
Letra 2
Falseta
Llamada
Silencio
Escobilla
Cambio por buleria
Buleria

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\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 15:53:26
 
athrane77

Posts: 785
Joined: Feb. 6 2011
From: Reykjavik

RE: Form structuring- putting it all... (in reply to Emil_Krasich

quote:

No offense taken at all and by all means I really appreciate honest responses like that. I do "steal" and "copy" but really do feel that I should try to come up with much more of my own material. Just want to make sure I'm not missing sections or anything like that. Great to know that form is pretty open ended and thank everyone for any contributions to this thread.

Then just do what you already do. It takes a few years until I've discovered that following so called "rules" can't improve my playing. Try to learn flamenco the "gitano-way". It's all about rhythm and rhythm is all about feeling. and you can feel everything better when you stop thinking about things which are allowed and things which are not. Of course there is a structure but like ricardo has said, the better way is to learn those things in an intuitive and non-intellectual manner. You'll notice after some time of learning that you already have done things which you don't understand but they are "correct" or better said "authentic".
I hope you understand what i mean, pretty hard to explain for me (with my bad english)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 18:03:56
 
Erik van Goch

 

Posts: 1787
Joined: Jul. 17 2012
From: Netherlands

RE: Form structuring- putting it all... (in reply to Emil_Krasich

It all depends on your level of expertise. I worked with local dutch dancers who panicked if you didn't play things exactly like they had in mind and who were not able to improvise at all. I've also worked with world class singers/dancers from spain who improvised on the spot.

Part of the final exam of flamenco students of Rotterdam Conservatory is an unprepared performance with a singer and a dancer you have never met before. You shake hands, are informed which pieces you are supposed to perform and from each piece you roughly agree the order of events.... introduction of the guitar, 2 coplas, falseta, copla, escobilla, finale something like that and their you go. It's up to the singer what copla he is going to sing, it's up to me to choose an intro/falseta/improvisation that fits the mood of the piece and it's up to the dancer to drop the escobillas... i try to fit the dancers input and my playing can inspire them to take different routes/length as well. If everybody speaks the language and knows when to lead and when to fallow one can do whatever feels fine (by matter of speaking). A llamada generally is used as a cue to tell the others something is going to end/change and most of the time you feel it coming way in front
The antenna to know when to play what, at which speed and for how long simply refines when you get more experienced and is part of the language called flamenco. No experienced dancer is going to interrupt your falseta because he is out of passes but you might indeed screw up the intended escobilla....or inspire/force them to improvise on the spot. One of the luxuries i had was that the artists i worked with generally were way better as i was and always willing/able to adapt to my level if i could not cope with their demanding material. In general the body language of the dancer will tell you when it's time to drop/end a falseata or when it's time to start singing and that moment is clear to everybody who speaks the language at that level. That's the luxury of being good, you can improvise, take your moments when possible and just have fun. Obviously there are also very complex performances that use large parts of extremely rehearsed material (like "fixed" escobillas with especially composed material) but that doesn't mean there is no room to challenge each other. The very best flamenco is based on mutual inspiration and the spirit of the moment which can occur both in improvised and rehearsed material. I knew a guitar player who was not able to make a singer sing simply because every time the moment was there "to many notes" were played... there simply was no que/invitation to the singer to join in. It's like an estafette.... at the right moment one has to pass the lead to the next person in line (or claim it yourself) and if everyone knows how to do that the when is no longer a question.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 19:55:04
 
manicfingers

 

Posts: 47
Joined: Nov. 19 2011
 

RE: Form structuring- putting it all... (in reply to athrane77

Exactly - you explained it well.

I wish, all those years ago when started learning flamenco rhythms and structures that:

1. The more you count and analyse, the more your conscious mind is activated, and the further you distance yourself from the groove and feeling - which is the source of the energy you will eventually project in your playing. (and the source of your enjoyment as a music listener).

2. The more you can absorb the groove and feeling directly, by clapping, tapping your foot / whatever, the less you need to count or use words to understand it. Just feel the pulsation of the palos and structures by feeling the gaps between the pulses. The tension and release of phrases, not numbers, nor section names.

The worst thing I ever did was to try to understand bulerias by counting in 12's, which many teacher's do. Here's how I would have liked to have learnt it:

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 22:44:48
 
pink

Posts: 570
Joined: Jan. 8 2013
 

RE: Form structuring- putting it all... (in reply to manicfingers

quote:

ORIGINAL: manicfingers

Exactly - you explained it well.

I wish, all those years ago when started learning flamenco rhythms and structures that:

1. The more you count and analyse, the more your conscious mind is activated, and the further you distance yourself from the groove and feeling - which is the source of the energy you will eventually project in your playing. (and the source of your enjoyment as a music listener).

2. The more you can absorb the groove and feeling directly, by clapping, tapping your foot / whatever, the less you need to count or use words to understand it. Just feel the pulsation of the palos and structures by feeling the gaps between the pulses. The tension and release of phrases, not numbers, nor section names.

The worst thing I ever did was to try to understand bulerias by counting in 12's, which many teacher's do. Here's how I would have liked to have learnt it:





Brilliant..... .you have given more here than you realise.
This makes total sense and explains the need for ''groove'' better than I've seen from many others.....no disrespect aimed elsewhere!!

Best

pink
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 23:28:20
 
wedge

Posts: 34
Joined: Jan. 6 2013
 

RE: Form structuring- putting it all... (in reply to Emil_Krasich

Thanks for posting the video - getting the feel of it more than counting certainly helps. I had the same "structure" question running through my head recently, too, because northern Michigan has a scarcity of flamenco cante and baile; so, I have to go "solo." Thanks to Chester, I ended up at a flamenco bar in San Francisco last Sunday to see a live performance: if I counted I got lost, but if I felt the groove I was able to start to grasp what was going on. I absolutely see the value of assisting vs. solo playing for this form.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 10 2014 23:53:21
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