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Why 'por' bulerias?   You are logged in as Guest
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Posts: 387
Joined: May 14 2017

Why 'por' bulerias? 

My Spanish is pretty basic, so I'm failing to figure out why they sometimes introduce songs with 'por'.

I'm struggling to see what por means linguistically in this case?

Anyone help?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 3 2018 15:17:19



Posts: 1409
Joined: Nov. 21 2010

RE: Why 'por' bulerias? (in reply to mrstwinkle

When a cantaor (or a cantante) sings something which is not flamenco, but with the compás de bulería (or tangos), it is called "por" bulerías. Very common these days, when nobody wants to study el cante.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 3 2018 16:12:33

Posts: 11765
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Why 'por' bulerias? (in reply to mrstwinkle


ORIGINAL: mrstwinkle

My Spanish is pretty basic, so I'm failing to figure out why they sometimes introduce songs with 'por'.

I'm struggling to see what por means linguistically in this case?

Anyone help?

It usually depends on specific context and situation, however most often it means “by way of” or “through the (rhythm pattern of)”, or “via the (key of)”... etc. So, some examples:
Canta por....- A command to sing a certain style. “Canta por siguiriyas” means sing some letras in the style of siguiriyas. “Baila por tango” some tangos...etc.

.....Por bulerias.... that means a song or melody or variations used in some song form/key, will utilize the rhythm pattern of bulerias in this case, whereas it normally doesn’t. “Rondeña por bulerias” would be variations within Rondeña tuning (DADF#BE, key of C#), set to buleria compas. “Fandango por bulerias”, would be the sung coplas of fandangos naturales, same chords and melodies, but set over the RHYTHM of bulerias.

....Por Solea.... Same as above but to the slower rhythm of solea. “Bulerias por Solea”, means the melodies of bulerias (there are about 4 mainly) sung slower, to the tempo of solea. “Fandango por Solea”, again the song called fandango naturales, normally free of rhythm, is set to compas of Solea. Fandango can also be set to tango, Rumba, etc, but taste will dictate what is appropriate.

I must state now that the form called “Solea por Bulerias” is almost nonsensical in this case, as we see in practice what is done for this form is a mix of Buleria por Solea and other styles of Solea from jerez for example, but not limited to anyone style. I believe it evolved as a song form name simply to differentiate and distinguish from extremely slowed down dramatic versions of solea that are danced. In this case the term “Solea por bulerias” is really a description more of what is played on guitar and danced, and the singing is thought of as separate as it requires more specific labeling of each letra type. Literally, one could say the term is describing letras of Solea as sung POR BULERIAS, meaning at bulerias tempo....but when this is actually done we just call it “bulerias” anyway. Sorry for confusion, but I have actually heard some old time Spaniards incensed by the modern usage of the term to describe the form.

....por Taranta- this would be for guitar players to understand, the key will be in F#. “Tango por Taranta”, playing tangos, for singing dance or solo, in the key Taranta is normally played in. In this sense the “por” is used to describe the key, like “por medio, por Arriba, por Granaina, por Minera” etc....however more than just the rhythm is being used, the entire song form is implied by the first word, perhaps even dance or cante accompaniment. Saying something like “Fandango por Taranta” is almost redundant, as we already understand all the the cantes levantinos to be FANDANGO based forms anyway, so these terms become more important for guitarists to define the KEY, which establishes the “aire” or atmosphere, so all those songs don’t sound the same.

Certain rhythms are not interesting enough to be used to interpret all flamenco melodies, and somethings are taste based. For example you would not want to interpret “Siguiriyas por Sevillanas” would be ridiculous. Or “Solea de Serneta por Rumba”, would just be bad taste. Sometimes forms already contain a fusion of sorts....Serrana and Liviana for example is mountain song that has hints of relative major malaguena melodies, however is traditionally set to the compas of Siguiriyas. Caña and polo, also, special melody set to compas of Solea. Alborea typically gypsy wedding song often set to Solea or Bulerias compas, etc.

Hope it helps.


CD's and transcriptions available here:
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 3 2018 16:48:41

Posts: 1512
Joined: Nov. 13 2005
From: Limerick,Ireland

RE: Why 'por' bulerias? (in reply to Morante

Coplerias...I'm remember seeing a interview with Manuel Moneo, god rest him, and he said they (indicating the younger generation of so called artistas) need to play a game, put the various cante names into a hat, (Siguiriyas, Allegrias, Serranas, Cartegenera) draw them out and if you can't sing it, then you dont have a right to call yourself a cantaor flamenco.

Definitely would separate the wheat from the chaff.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 3 2018 16:49:10


Posts: 387
Joined: May 14 2017

RE: Why 'por' bulerias? (in reply to Ricardo

Really useful Ricardo - many thanks.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 4 2018 8:12:10
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