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transposing falsetas to different palos   You are logged in as Guest
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Gabewolf

 

Posts: 67
Joined: Feb. 12 2016
From: Cleveland, Ohio

transposing falsetas to different palos 

Hey guys, in a post entitled "what palo is this song?" someone was asking about some Lorca that was set to bulerias. Ricardo responded with this really interesting explanation:

quote:

Compas and palos are two different things....sort of like a 12 bar blues verses a bluesy song or one that swings that might not be a proper blues structure. One could say fandango has a compas in 3/4, like in huelva styles, however a singer can sing a fandango Copla to compas of solea, buleria, tango, rumba, tanguillo etc etc. Think of compas as a "treatment" of a melody not as part of the melody itself. That's why they use the adjective "por buleria" or "por bla ba" to describe the treatment of a song melody. And not just singing.... a guitar solo might be described the same way....for example "Rondeña" for guitar players is a special tuning and key, so "Rondeña por buleria" the falsetas will be set to compas of buleria.


And then I saw a really cool video of Moraito doing this type of thing in a master class. I was wondering if there was a limit to this, can you put solea falsetas into bulerias por arriba? Would you just need to add a pick up note on beat 12? What are the rules for this? What about something like alegrias that has a different scale? Can you just alter some of the notes? Sorry if this is a dumb/loaded question, I am fascinated by this concept and it makes me want to dig even deeper into flamenco than I already have!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 17 2017 23:43:19
 
kitarist

Posts: 999
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: transposing falsetas to differen... (in reply to Gabewolf

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gabewolf
Can you just alter some of the notes?


You do not alter the melody, but may have to alter some note durations to fit the melody into the new compas/treatment.

An analogy would be in argentine tango(*) - you can have the "La Cumparsita" melody (or any other but I assume you would be more likely to know what melody I am talking about with this one), which is a tango, fit into a milonga (different compas but still binary as is tango) or even fit into a tango vals (basically a fast waltz compas with the first beat stressed). No changes to pitch relationships at all, but some note durations are adjusted so the melodic phrasing still makes sense in the different compasses it is fit into.

(*) This is not theoretical - I have recordings in my tango database of this - the same La Cumparsita melody done as a tango, vals, and a milonga.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 18 2017 1:50:03
 
Leñador

Posts: 5229
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: transposing falsetas to differen... (in reply to Gabewolf

Not an expert but you have to use some judgement here. Some melodies don't sound good speed up and some don't sound good slowed down. I don't recommend transposing to a different key, IE major to phrygian unless you're super pro but from phrygian to phrygian shouldn't be a huge problem, IE Tarantos to Minera or something like that.
Likely at this point in your learning you need to just keep copying people until you really understand what you're dealing with.
Here's an example of a falseta I know in two palos, it's a "Jerezy" simple falseta so should be easier than most to dissect for the sake of understanding. Excuse the mis-steps, kind of posted in a hurry.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 18 2017 2:39:37
 
Piwin

Posts: 2862
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: transposing falsetas to differen... (in reply to Gabewolf

There is no limit but at a certain point you'd have to move away from the idea of transposing (which is technically just shifting music to a lower or higher pitch) and think almost in terms of composition.
One way of thinking about composing is to view it as just re-arranging pre-existing components. That bit you heard from that musician you liked, that beat you learned from a friend. How about that melody in C major you like but arrange it with the "minor" element? etc. etc. "Transposing" falsetas from one palo to another is just a very simplified version of this.

But it's flamenco, so you're not just trying to freely create something new, you're operating under certain constraints. You want it to sound like that palo. And to make it sound like that palo, there's no easy answer really.

This might be a flawed analogy but anyways, for what it's worth:
Imagine you have a newspaper clipping and you want to transpose it into a poetic form (more or less the compas). That's the "easy" part. At least, it's easy to know what the rules are. Say you want to turn it into a sonnet. You know the rhyme scheme, you know to use iambic pentameter for starters and you know you need a volta if you want it to be any good. So then you take the newspaper clipping, and you use all the tools you have in your linguistic toolkit to make it fit into the structure of a sonnet. You paraphrase, sum up, find synonyms, etc. etc.
Now imagine you want to transpose your newspaper clipping into a poetic genre (more or less the palo). Now that's the hard part. How do you turn a newspaper clipping into epic poetry? into an elegy or a fable? Here the rules are less clear and you have to rely much more on intuition. If you want to turn it into an elegy, you have to start by figuring out what defines an elegy. If you want to write an elegy in the form of a sonnet, getting the sonnet part down is easy. It's getting the elegy part down that is really difficult.

And so when "transposing" a falseta. Switch a falseta from a 4 beat tangos to a 12 beat alegrias. OK, I'll work on the rythm to make the phrasing fit with the strong beats in alegrias. I'll switch modes, etc. I'll look for synonyms for certain parts, etc. But then you've only transposed into the form, not into the genre. What you've got may fit into the alegrias compas, but it sure doesn't feel like alegrias. So how do you transform it into the genre? You start out by asking yourself what characteristics define the genre you're aiming for. What defines an alegrias? What are the tropes, what are the common techniques, and more importantly what is the underlying feeling it is meant to convey? And then you use every single tool in your musical toolkit to switch it over to that. Chances are the end result will sound very little like the falseta you started out with.

PS: this exercise is also very dependent on what you're trying to transform and how close/distant it is to what you want to make of it. Switching from seguiriya to alegrias is probably overall harder than say tangos to bulerias. For the same reason that it's easier to write that elegy in the form of a sonnet if your news clipping reads "mother of 4 dies in car crash" than if it reads "Brad and Jennifer's lavish wedding". In some cases, the original content might be so distant from the target that it may not even be worth even trying to transform it, other than a sheer technical exercice. There is no limit per se, just aesthetics.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 18 2017 6:16:55
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3101
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: transposing falsetas to differen... (in reply to Gabewolf

You can start with transposing and adapting falsetas from medio to arriba or the other way around in the same palo, then you can try major to phrygian (eg. Alegrias to Solea) or vice versa. Doesn't always work out, but you can play around with things.

quote:

can you put solea falsetas into bulerias por arriba?


About 20 years ago (maybe 25) I had lessons from an old guy who played Niño Ricardo style, and he showed me how in a falseta 1 compas 4 notes per beat in solea fits 2 compas 2 notes per beat in bulerias. You just have to change the solea cierre (10,11,12) to a bulerias one where you end melody on 6 and play rasgueado to end on 10.

Also he showed how you can then play the same falseta por Tangos 3 notes per beat.

Some things actually work when you do this, although not everything sounds right.

Most things don't work as straight "transposition", but starting from here you can play around with adapting things.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 18 2017 13:39:51
 
FredGuitarraOle

Posts: 887
Joined: Dec. 6 2012
From: Lisboa, Portugal

RE: transposing falsetas to differen... (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

About 20 years ago (maybe 25) I had lessons from an old guy who played Niño Ricardo style, and he showed me how in a falseta 1 compas 4 notes per beat in solea fits 2 compas 2 notes per beat in bulerias. You just have to change the solea cierre (10,11,12) to a bulerias one where you end melody on 6 and play rasgueado to end on 10.

Exactly, for example this Manolo Franco falseta por soleá fits perfectly into bulerías. Recorded in a hurry without practising, it's not very clean and a bit all over the place but you get the idea.

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 18 2017 21:12:53
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1799
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: transposing falsetas to differen... (in reply to Gabewolf

Just noticed this one. Compare letra 7 of Juana's tango (4:55)



¿Qué tiene el agua?
¿qué tiene el río?
no sé qué tiene tu cara
que a mí me quita el sentido

to Potito's intro & outro of this bulerias


Can't quite catch the different last line, perhaps this...

Qué tiene tu cara que perdo senti(d)o ???

Anyone heard any other recordings with this letra?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 20 2017 13:49:24
 
Leñador

Posts: 5229
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: transposing falsetas to differen... (in reply to Gabewolf

Very interesting! A tip of the hat to Juana maybe???
Kind of sounds like the first line might be “que tiene la fragua” especially because he says LA and agua should be EL but who knows..
Pretty sure the last line is “perdio sentio”

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 20 2017 17:46:51
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1799
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: transposing falsetas to differen... (in reply to Leñador

quote:

ORIGINAL: Leñador
A tip of the hat to Juana maybe???

Maybe. I searched on tomaflamenco's letra site and nothing came up, so I guess this isn't a super common letra.

(And off topic side note - I did notice tomaflamenco had all the letras to Camaron's Nuestro album )

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Ay compañerita de mi alma
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 20 2017 18:32:13
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