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Beni2

 

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

I'm Back: Dissertation Blues 

Hello all,

This is Kevin. Used to love the foro. I got burnt out because I always tried to bring my academic interests and background into the conversations and that went wonderfully awry. Let's try this again. I have missed the foro but I spent quite a bit of time with anxiety and depression brought about in part because of the stress of pursuing an advanced degree but also divorce. My unsolicited advice...don't get divorced, unless she's an axe murderess (Woman...whooaa man!). Also, don't get anxiety or depression, which means don't watch the news and don't live in your head.

Anyway, gotta keep pushing forward. ABD, ALL BUT DISSERTATION. So close and yet so far. I have a few questions about foreigners and non-Spaniards doing flamenco. I wonder if you'd be so kind to copy, paste, and answer them. They are self-explanatory I believe but if you have questions, PM me. The questionnaire might evolve as responses require. This is the base.

One of the questions has to do with the first falseta of Paco's "Gloria" solea. I am embedding that falseta here.

For those who help (and those who don't) thank you.

Kevin

QUESTIONAIRE FORO

1) General
a) Name/age Kevin Romero 48
b) Brief Bio: Discovered flamenco when I needed an elective credit to finish a classical guitar degree. Albuquerque, NM is the Mecca of flamenco in the US with the longest running festival, the only bachelors and masters degree programs in dance, sponsorship of the university toward flamenco events and the festival, and a tablao built specifically for flamenco. That is not to say it is perfect, it is dance-centric. I took a class in order to complete that degree and it landed up being with a master musician from Jaen. To me, a great flamenco, but the most well-rounded, best musician/guitarist I have ever met. PC might not be the “top-dawg” in flamenco but I haven’t met anyone as well rounded as an improviser, composer, and musician across styles. I also studied with JV for a couple of years. My one regret, because I love cante so much, is never having been to Spain.
c) Questions about flamenco
d) How did you discover flamenco? See above
e) Are you a participant in flamenco in a community (weak/moderate/robust) of flamencos? Albuquerque, NM was the strongest community I participated in. Denver, Colorado was good for dance and was evolving when I was there. No institutional support though. San Diego has its moments and some good artists but very clique-ish and isolated. Not healthy in my opinion.
f) Do you also travel to Spain? I haven’t been.
g) Do you take online courses? My weakness is in cante accompaniment and that cannot be taught online. It has to be experienced because part of good accompaniment is the synergy, the playing off of each other and that requires sight and sound. You have to see the singer’s bodily gestures as well as listen to the voice. Occasionally I’ll take an online class but I have so much material that my larger problem is maintaining a productive practice regimen.
h) What other media do you use extensively (i.e. youtube, skype, book/CD)? I use youtube all the time and transcribe, notate, and note different variations on accompaniment and solo playing.
i) At what level do you consider yourself to be? Eternal beginner

2) Embodiment/Acculturation/Transculturation
a) Flamenco is an art and culture associated with gitanos and Andalusians. For those outside of Spain we try to “walk the walk and talk the talk.” How important is Andalusian Spanish to your experience? I make the argument that much can be learned through bodily gesture, and language need not be a barrier. However, I also think that flamenco is better embodied the more Andalusian flavor is adopted. Paco said many times that flamenco must smell of Andalucía.
i) Did you speak Spanish previously? Yes, horribly. It is the language of my family but unfortunately, they experienced enough racism and oppression that their generation did not pass it on. I have had to recuperate as much of it as possible. I speak Camanolusian (Castilian/’manito [New Mexican Spanish]/Andalusian).
ii) Does it affect lessons and understanding or can/does verbal communication get bypassed in favor of mimicry and bodily communication? Large amounts of culture are transmitted through language. As an ethnomusicologist my inclination is toward a middle-ground.
b) Aside from learning the Andalusian dialect and your bodily skill/art (i.e. toque, baile, cante), are there other cultural elements that you perceive as being important for embodying flamenco? This is a tough question. As an aficionado I prefer Spanish flamenco. I do believe there are artists across the world that do flamenco well. I never have the same feeling with them though. That is not an attack or critique because they are often great artists in theor own right. I just know that I feel differently when I walk into a theater where Spanish artists are performing, I feel differently. I think those that have consciously or subconsciously picked up a broad range of behaviors and knowledge are closer to “the real thing.”
i) How do you balance the preservation of flamenco as a primarily (gitano) Andaluz art and culture with your desire to develop your sello propio (personal seal)? It could be that I put too much emphasis on the gitano origins of flamenco. Although, I will say that I do make some controversial observations about how flamenco came together and the problems with studying its history. This is primarily a musical/musicological question though, so, I think you can’t be afraid. My second teacher had a box full of recordings of “throwaway” material. I promise it was more flamenco than he probably thought it was. That is when I learned, if you scrap your own compositions, save them for later, on paper or disc. As you grow, either the idea might be modifiable, or your attitude towards it might evolve. BE YOU!
ii) Do you feel that learning other aspects of Andalusian and/or gitano culture make you a better flamenco/a? If so, what elements (e.g. cooking, posture, dress, language use, etc)? This is also a tough question. If you erased all gitano involvement would flamenco be what it is? I want to say no. I don’t believe cooking is going to make you a better musician. However, I feel like lo Andalúz is like a spice that, when it’s missing, is noticed.
c) The term “flamenco” was used as a synonym for gitano before it came to describe an artistic-musical culture associated with them. Do you identify as flamenco? I don’t identify as flamenco because it seems too closely associated/synonymous with “gitano.” Out of respect, I don’t call myself that. However, I do say that I play flamenco, that I am a flamenco aficionado, and that much of my life is spent listening to, studying, and trying to be flamenco.
i) Does it ever give you pause? Yes
d) How many hours a day do you practice and what is your regimen like? Practice? While in graduate school, and with some personal issues? I wish. At the tail end of graduate school, I do have some time now; two hours a day until I am completely finished with the degree. Then hopefully six to eight…who knows.
e) Detail as much as possible. How often do you take lessons and how do you interpret/use new material in practice? I do transcribe a lot. Much of that work is transcription of material I already now in one key or palo to another key or palo.

3) History of Flamenco
a) How were you introduced to the history of flamenco? Don Pohren and Claus Schreiner
i) What is your take on it regarding the gitano and/or Andalusian roles in its creation and diffusion? Controversial, but if one is going to take a particular stance then one should utilize supporting evidence. For example, Antonio Mairena claimed that flamenco was a mix of cultural elements including hindu, Arabic, and Sephardic music and possibly Byzantine chant, among others. He never details what aspects or elements originate in each culture, however. Don’t want to address this here. I talk about this in the dissertation.
ii) Give an impromptu account of what you know of flamenco history detailing as much as you can. Again, I don’t want to reveal/share too much. However, I do look at how the Baroque guitar and the popular/folk guitar influenced flamenco guitar playing, including falsetas, paseos, rajeo, etc.
iii) Do you know more about your field’s history (i.e. baile, toque, cante) or is your knowledge general? I would say I now most about Spanish guitar history and how the flamenco guitar fits within that, but I have also learned a lot about the history of the gitano migration and the Moorish presence in Spain after the expulsion. So much to piece together. Flamenco is a lifelong process. So is music theory/analysis. So is historiography…
Onward!
b) Do you believe that historical knowledge in any way enhances your bodily/artistic knowledge? Yes. If so, how? However (in)significant, I have incorporated some of the music of Julián Arcas. Although he was not flamenco as that term is understood today, his soleá was a model for Montoya. I use some of his “falsetas” in my soleá.
c) If you are aware of the multiple cultures that have been said to contribute to flamenco’s aesthetics and character, can you name specific techniques, emotions, rhythms, and their perceived origins? This is a tough question as well. One argument I did not make concerning alzapua, just because I could not find a place for it, is that it might have its origins in oud playing. Pua translates as “plectrum” and the thumbwork of flamenco guitarists looks very much like the technique oud players use. As for emotion, some of the predecessors of the solea and siguiriya are seemingly Sephardic (endecha). Does that mean that the siguiriya is not gitano? Not necessarily, but as a historical matter it is useless to say flamenco is a mix of cultures but then not explore how the cultural elements came together.

4) Soleá/Lament
a) The siguiriya and soleá are considered cante jondo (deep song). They are genres of grief, despair, solitude (although the soleá allows for a broader range of emotions to be reflected in the lyrics).
i) How is this reflected in the cante? Vocal inflections
ii) Toque?
iii) Baile?
b) There is a debate about the historical suffering of the gitanos and their way of emoting. The debate centers on who can emote and why. Do you believe that anyone can tap the emotions required for the interpretation of the deep genres? In the toque? Baile? Cante?
i) How do you evoke the emotions for delivering your artistic self in the deep genres?
c) Are there certain letras (lyrics) that trigger grief, despair, or sadness for you? No, it is usually the vocal inflections that trigger an emotiona response for me, not the actual lyrics. Although, occasionally, a lyric will make me think.
i) Can you list one or two?
d) What about vocal techniques?
i) Are there any particular vocalizations that invoke these deep emotions? I don’t want to give away some of my original research but vocal inflection has a lot to do with emoting and the evocation of emtion in flamenco song.
ii) Can these same “sad” emotions be triggered in other lighter genres? Yes, through the vocal inflections and their melodic contours.

5) Guitar: practice, theory, and analysis
a) Do you believe music theory can be a helpful toolkit for composition, analysis, and interpretation? Theory, analysis, and practice are a triad. Absolutely useless, one without the other. I will leave this for the dissertation as well. It depends on how one understands and defines and conceptualizes theory.
b) Are you aware of the three tonalities in flamenco? Yes
c) Have you been exposed to the nuances in the definitions of tonality and modality? These concepts are highly problematic the way they are taught at the undergraduate level.
d) Can you define, describe, explain? I am looking for your answers.
e) Do you have a grasp of what hemiola is? Define it in your own words? Same as above
f) Do you know what a descending tetrachord is? What about the Andalusian Cadence? Same as above
g) If you have some experience with theory and analysis, can you share your analysis with performance notes of the first falseta from Paco de Lucía’s “Gloria al Niño Ricardo?”

6) Intertext
a) Intertextuality is the idea that texts or fragments of texts can be transposed and put to new uses. For example, in Shelley’s Frankenstein, epigraphs, quotations, and allusions are borrowed from multiple sources in the service of thickening the plot, character development, and framing the moral of the new novel. In flamenco, cierres, llamadas, falsetas, and other gestures can be strung together in new ways in new instances of accompaniment or solo. Can you think of instances where someone quotes someone else’s falseta? My favorite example of this is Paco quoting himself live por bulerias in 2010 I believe. He plays a bulerias in which he seamlessly moves between falsetas in Am, C# phrygian, and A phrygian. Many clichés in solea are quotations of or are built on Arcas solea. Quejio? Paso? Within a genre (same key)? Across tonalities? Across genres?
b) Alain Faucher takes some liberties with phrasing in his flamenco guitar transcriptions. Do you know of any instances in which someone uses his transcription verbatim including possible questionable phrasings? The guy who does Atrafana plays Faucher’s transcription of Gloria. In it, Faucher begins one of the falsetas on beat one. To me, it could be interpreted that way. It works, but I hear it as accentuating the compass beats (12-3-6-8-10).
c) One type of intertext that has a long history in Spanish vihuela/guitar is the intabulation, or arrangement of a multi-vocal work for guitar. Josquin’s Mille Regretz is arranged by Luys de Narváez, for example. Do you know falsetas in any palo that are more or less arrangements of the cante? I know in one of Worm’s books on tangos/tientos that there is a falseta por tientos of Enrique de Melchor that is an intabulation of the melody of “Le hablo con mi dios y le difo.”
d) Are you aware of some of the passages por soleá that are so common they are clichés? I am thinking of Herreros pedagogical materials here. He talks about clichés. There is a long history for these clichés and their function in strummed Spanish dance accompaniment.




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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2019 19:36:33
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11097
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

Hey, I missed hashing it out with you man. Very sorry for your personal troubles.

I would love to answer your questions, many of which are very personal and deep regarding my life personally and professionally, but jeez man at a glance it would take me like 40 hours to complete that questionnaire!!!! so I’ll leave it at “practice picados staccato with metronome all day”, and cante gitano is superior, however the greatest singers in history were payos. Also don’t be afraid to be foreign, simply strive to do your best and be respectful of others at different points in their journey. Don’t worry about emoting, just work on technique and knowledge and when you need to emote you will have the tools in place. History before physical recordings of oral tradition music is not so valuable to me.

Ps I can give you my analysis of solea using bs phrygian Roman numerals (I II III iv vdim VI vii)
Bars 1-2=are E phrygian (I)... bar 3 uses F lydian two beats then modulates via Eb lydian 3rd beat to resolve in D phrygian (II-II/vii-V(b9)/III... with second tier analysis being D phrygian:III-II-I(b9)

Next bar is all “I” still in D. Flat 5 in melody calls in next harmony next 2 bars Bb13 (V7/II) resolves to Ebmj7 (II)... last beat has b9 borrowed from parallel minor to pull stronger to Eb.

Next bar Eb lydian (II) resolve D phrygian (I7-b9) 4th inversion functioning Second tier as III (b9) in B phrygian. Third bar continues In B as c lydian (II) resolving to B (I) in 4th bar.

Final compas starts B (I), the 13th (g#) pulling up to Am(vii) ...second tier kicks in as Ephrygian: iv, to kick off the Andalusian cadence (iv-III-II-I) crammed into last two bars.

Cheers!

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2019 21:15:52
 
flyeogh

Posts: 472
Joined: Oct. 13 2004
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Also don’t be afraid to be foreign, simply strive to do your best and be respectful of others at different points in their journey.
Well said that man

Beni2 as Ricardo says that needs time and thought. But thanks and for sure I’m going to have a go.

Just a quick thought on non-spanish flamenco people. My first guitar was built by the man from Denmark (Anders), my first lesson from a Brazilean in London, many years ago a great lesson with a Scot (Jim Opher some may remember) in Glasgow where he played in a Russian restaurant, my current luthier is Argentine.
Don’t think being non-spanish stopped their enthusiasm and dedication towards flamenco.

On the other-hand of all my extensive Spanish family one plays bagpipes and none think much of flamenco!!

ps: When I have a lesson I wander to the station, saying "buenos días" to my neighbours, normally in Andalucian sunshine, I walk through the old streets of old Jerez, I pass through a traditional spanish internal patio fully tiled and full of plants, am greeted by a man who couldn't look more flamenco, and shown into a room with guitars, music, ……………

If that doesn't get me in the mood nothing will I always spare a thought for those who love flamenco but live isolated from it. Their dedication is something special.

_____________________________

nigel (el raton de Watford - now Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2019 7:50:28
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

Thanks guys.
I was hoping for more detailed and formal responses but I appreciate the concise responses nonetheless.

@Ricardo
quote:

Ps I can give you my analysis of solea using bs phrygian Roman numerals (I II III iv vdim VI vii)
Why do you think the use of Roman numerals is BS?
And why do you prefer this modal terminology (lydian)? Also, not sure what you mean by "tier."
My one response is that I believe theory is part of a triad, no pun intended (practice-theory-analysis). Without analytical explanation theory is useless, and theory must be tethered to practice. For the people that believe that theory sterilizes practice, three words: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven. All of them were aware of theoretical treatises of their times.

@flyeogh
quote:

I always spare a thought for those who love flamenco but live isolated from it. Their dedication is something special.

John Walsh has a really nice quote about being a soloist by circumstance.

I love Costa Rica, so I am gonna appropriate a beautiful greeting for my signature sign off. I also miss Florian (anyone know how that dude is?) so gonna appropriate the Australian term of endearment...

Pura Vida, mates!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2019 17:36:47
 
flyeogh

Posts: 472
Joined: Oct. 13 2004
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

quote:

I was hoping for more detailed and formal responses


Beni most of your questions were beyond me (certainly the latter sections). I guess I'm not the level you are looking for, and I already live in Spain. But I really enjoyed going through it.

I'd recommend having a go at filling it in, to anyone, no matter what level, just as a process that gets you thinking.

Anyway I'll send my attempt by PM just in case something is useful. You know I'm sure where the bin is

But it would be good though to see the feedback of people at Ricardo's level. And perhaps your response Beni?

_____________________________

nigel (el raton de Watford - now Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2019 18:17:12
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1235
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

Welcome back, Kevin! For us musicians depression is never far away. Gotta find something to look forward to.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2019 18:36:27
 
Escribano

Posts: 5899
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to flyeogh

quote:

saying "buenos días"


In Granada we just said "buena" :-)

_____________________________

Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2019 20:20:24
 
flyeogh

Posts: 472
Joined: Oct. 13 2004
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Escribano

quote:

In Granada we just said "buena" :-)


Here in Cadiz I often say "buenos" but the neighbours always say "buenos días" or ……….

"buenos" I think is considered a bit lazy. Bit like using "Mola" which is mainly used by the youngsters.

Anyway Simon when are you getting out here? You know it makes sense

_____________________________

nigel (el raton de Watford - now Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2019 20:30:57
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to flyeogh

quote:

Beni most of your questions were beyond me (certainly the latter sections). I guess I'm not the level you are looking for, and I already live in Spain. But I really enjoyed going through it.

I'd recommend having a go at filling it in, to anyone, no matter what level, just as a process that gets you thinking.

Anyway I'll send my attempt by PM just in case something is useful. You know I'm sure where the bin is


@Flyeogh: Thank you again. I have pasted my answers in. I did not answer everything because I don't want to lead anyone toward specific answers.

@Grisha: Thanks man. Depression sucked. Diet, exercise, family/friends, guitar, and STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA as much as possible are what worked for me, with guidance of course. A matter not to be taken lightly. Maybe some guitar lessons are in order too.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2019 23:03:01
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11097
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

quote:

Why do you think the use of Roman numerals is BS?
And why do you prefer this modal terminology (lydian)? Also, not sure what you mean by "tier."
My one response is that I believe theory is part of a triad, no pun intended (practice-theory-analysis). Without analytical explanation theory is useless, and theory must be tethered to practice. For the people that believe that theory sterilizes practice, three words: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven. All of them were aware of theoretical treatises of their times.


It’s “BS” to use them for this music, it is meant for tonal classical musical analysis, which this music is NOT. So it’s like forcing one discipline upon another IMO. Further, the concept of using Roman numerals is designed to reducing all music to the V-I or other such cadence. In flamenco forms like Solea, what happens is we are thinking that the equivalent to V-I has to be II-I...which is confusing. Secondary dominant functions become odd to read...V/iii is read “Five of three” meaning, in C major, a Bmajor chord functioning as the Dominant chord to the Eminor iii chord. Makes sense, but now we need to allow for the similar use of the II chord...so “two of seven” or II/vii, in por medio, is an Ab chord, acting as dominant to the G minor....but we know it’s really gonna be G major.

That leads to my use of the term “tier”. In classical, when you have modulations, you have to stack your analysis as such...the key you were just in above, secondary dominants and such, and directly underneath you say the new key with : then line up under the top analysis with the equivalent Roman numerals of the new key....then continue with Roman numeral “I” refering to the new key until it goes back or somewhere else, then you have to do that stacking of double analysis all over again each time it modulates. So I call that “second tier” analysis as you have to actually write both sets of chords. If you opt to do some funky thing with the Roman numerals, or avoid secondary dominant functions and do things like “bIII-II” for example, well you are defeating the purpose of the Roman numeral analysis and should just do away with it all together.

Another thing could be done is to make analysis as if Solea is phrygian dominant, ie, in Aminor but rename the Aug6 type chord function and allow for a special case “Spanish 6th” in place of the II-I cadence. Yet another stretch of imposing disciplines, but at least it might align with classical approach to analysis. Final complex option, is analysis of Solea as if it is E major, and so it’s all borrowed chords, tritone subs, etc....very messy but works as well.

Finally about the modal terminology. Again, we are mixing disciplines here so I am using the modal terms in the following manner.... If we were to have a song in C major say, a jazz student will recognize the related scale/melody to it’s chord has a specific mood or color. A ii-V-I cadence therefore becomes a mix of Dorian, to Mixolydian, to Ionian, all relating to C major. From that vantage point the jazz student may opt to switch out different modes for interesting colors....in effect re harmonizing the piece in the process. For example, D aeolian flat 5->G super locrian->C lydian, instead. So a flipped over way to see it is this....a melodic passage described as G Mixolydian, can also be looked at as a pull toward the resolution of C major....regardless if it actually goes there or not, because it is indistinguishable on it’s own from a melody occurring over top the dominant V chord in the key of C major.

In flamenco, a similar thing is done using the lydian mode over the II chord to suspend the resolution to the phrygian tonic we all know is coming eventually. It becomes a simple way to describe both melody and harmonic funtion in context. Of course it is not LITERALLY “lydian” as in the static mode concept, however it’s a quick way to describe the direction the flamenco player’s music might be headed in. In your example of Paco, “Eb lydian” is a clear indication that we are headed “por abajo” if you get my drift, a significant modulation away from “por Arriba”....even if it had never hit the D chord I think the DIRECTION the music is headed in becomes clear. I could just as easily do away with my modal terminology and say “paco now plays a melodic falseta “por abajo” over top of the Eb chord.” And the same information is conveyed. Hope that clears it up.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 3:13:41
 
Escribano

Posts: 5899
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to flyeogh

quote:

Anyway Simon when are you getting out here? You know it makes sense


I am waiting for my Irish passport so we can move to Italy for the next adventure I want to stay in Europe. Spain was an option but my wife is Mexican and not supportive of that. She hates bullfighting, the accent and treatment of stray animals. She also doesn't like flamenco, so Italy is the best we can agree on

_____________________________

Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 7:49:28
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11097
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Ricardo

For folks that don’t read music, the passage described is :22 to :48:



I think of flamenco guitar composition is more like a little dance choreography of the left hand, rather than how say a Bach or Mozart was thinking about composing. For that reason video is superior to score notation IMO. “Song form” as a concept is however relevant of course.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 10:07:27
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2836
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Escribano

quote:

I am waiting for my Irish passport so we can move to Italy for the next adventure I want to stay in Europe. Spain was an option but my wife is Mexican and not supportive of that. She hates bullfighting, the accent and treatment of stray animals. She also doesn't like flamenco, so Italy is the best we can agree on.


In my opinion Italy is a good choice, Simon. Except for the lack of flamenco, I think Italy is overall a better choice as a place to anchor one's self than Spain. Know any Italian? Anyway you can learn it, along with lots of history and culture. At least you will escape the Brexit chaos.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 12:10:28
 
Escribano

Posts: 5899
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

Know any Italian? Anyway you can learn it, along with lots of history and culture. At least you will escape the Brexit chaos.


Nope, but I am learning online. My wife speaks a lot more. I am moving because I don't like my country anymore since the Brexit vote. It is toxic.

_____________________________

Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 12:53:58

Piwin

Posts: 2209
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

1) General
a) Name/age Piwin, early 30s
b) Brief Bio: international mongrel who grew up mainly in France
c) Questions about flamenco
d) How did you discover flamenco? There were some rumberos in the Church I attended as a kid. Later in my teens I discovered Paco de Lucia’s CD “Luzia”. I only really got into it in my 20s while travelling to Spain to learn Spanish.
e) Are you a participant in flamenco in a community (weak/moderate/robust) of flamencos? Yes (robust).
f) Do you also travel to Spain? Yes.
g) Do you take online courses? I have taken a couple in the past but it’s not at all central to my learning of flamenco. I still have access to material that is only available online, which I use from time to time (recorded courses).
h) What other media do you use extensively (i.e. youtube, skype, book/CD)? Lots of youtube, basically zero skype, lots of CDs and a select few books (Granados series and Encuentro series are the two I still consult).
i) At what level do you consider yourself to be? “Advanced beginner” which just means beginner but I'm trying to flatter my ego by convincing myself that I don't suck as much as I did 8 years ago.

2) Embodiment/Acculturation/Transculturation
a) Flamenco is an art and culture associated with gitanos and Andalusians. For those outside of Spain we try to “walk the walk and talk the talk.” How important is Andalusian Spanish to your experience? Spanish is important. Some degree of understanding of the more common traits among various Andalusian dialects is also helpful, but I don’t think anyone can be expected to command all of them, not even the locals.
i) Did you speak Spanish previously? Not really. I started learning Spanish a few months before I got into flamenco.
ii) Does it affect lessons and understanding or can/does verbal communication get bypassed in favor of mimicry and bodily communication? At the beginning it did, but we made do with gestures and the like. Now it’s never much of a problem. From time to time I may have to ask the teacher to repeat or clarify something but that’s the extent of it. It’s more of a problem when it comes to understanding certain letra I’m unfamiliar with.
b) Aside from learning the Andalusian dialect and your bodily skill/art (i.e. toque, baile, cante), are there other cultural elements that you perceive as being important for embodying flamenco? I’m not particularly concerned with “embodying flamenco”.
i) How do you balance the preservation of flamenco as a primarily (gitano) Andaluz art and culture with your desire to develop your sello propio (personal seal)? I don’t.
ii) Do you feel that learning other aspects of Andalusian and/or gitano culture make you a better flamenco/a? If so, what elements (e.g. cooking, posture, dress, language use, etc)? I don’t consider myself “a flamenco” so…
c) The term “flamenco” was used as a synonym for gitano before it came to describe an artistic-musical culture associated with them. Do you identify as flamenco? No. I’m flamenco to people who say that I am. I’m not flamenco to people who say that I’m not. It’s their business, not mine.
i) Does it ever give you pause? No.
d) How many hours a day do you practice and what is your regimen like? Detail as much as possible. How often do you take lessons and how do you interpret/use new material in practice? My basic regimen is about 90min a day. Usually do it about 5 or 6 days a week. It’s about ½ technique and ½ working on a piece or working on accompaniment. I take lessons once a week and opportunities for playing live vary widely for me, being a complete amateur.

3) History of Flamenco
a) How were you introduced to the history of flamenco? Drunken juerga discussions, then books.
i) What is your take on it regarding the gitano and/or Andalusian roles in its creation and diffusion? Both played an important role. Whatever the historical truth to it is, there’s a certain narrative that is now part of the flamenco myth.
ii) Give an impromptu account of what you know of flamenco history detailing as much as you can. Sorry but this would take far too much time.
iii) Do you know more about your field’s history (i.e. baile, toque, cante) or is your knowledge general? I know more about my own field’s history (toque). I’m catching up with cante but lagging far behind with baile.
b) Do you believe that historical knowledge in any way enhances your bodily/artistic knowledge? If so, how? Yes. First it widens my repertoire. Second, I believe intellectual understanding can affect the way you approach the music. Granted that’s hard to quantify.
c) If you are aware of the multiple cultures that have been said to contribute to flamenco’s aesthetics and character, can you name specific techniques, emotions, rhythms, and their perceived origins? Pua techniques, including alzapua, are commonly thought to have been derived from Oud playing. I’ve heard it argued that zapateado was brought over from South America. As for emotions, I’m not sure how one could argue for any kind of cultural origin of an emotion. As for rhythm, having spent a while in the Balkans I’ve always suspected there was some historical relationship between the amalgamated compas (solea, siguiriya, etc.) and aksak rhythms, but it’s nothing more than a hunch. It’s just got that same “pushing forward, pulling backwards” kind of feel and would fit nicely with the theory of how gitanos migrated over to Spain from the East.

4) Soleá/Lament
a) The siguiriya and soleá are considered cante jondo (deep song). They are genres of grief, despair, solitude (although the soleá allows for a broader range of emotions to be reflected in the lyrics).
i) How is this reflected in the cante? First by putting everything you’ve got into it. I’ve heard a lot of people cry in my life. I think I’ve only heard actual wailing just once (my grandfather after his wife of almost 60 years passed away). Cante jondo is more akin to the wailing than to the crying and part of that is just sheer “investment” in the feeling. As far as technique, dunno, ranges from sheer volume to inflections.
ii) Toque? A good ataque, leaving enough space for the musical phrases to breathe and resonate
iii) Baile? By dancing annoyingly slow.
b) There is a debate about the historical suffering of the gitanos and their way of emoting. The debate centers on who can emote and why. Do you believe that anyone can tap the emotions required for the interpretation of the deep genres? In the toque? Baile? Cante? Yes.
i) How do you evoke the emotions for delivering your artistic self in the deep genres? There’s nothing quite like pulling a few butt hairs to get the emotions flowing.
c) Are there certain letras (lyrics) that trigger grief, despair, or sadness for you? Yes
i) Can you list one or two?
Las que se publican
no son grandes penas
las que se callan y se llevan por dentro
son las verdaderas

Para todos los desgraciados
han hecho un convento
y el primerito que lo habitara
sería mi cuerpo

d) What about vocal techniques? Sure.
i) Are there any particular vocalizations that invoke these deep emotions? A good ayéo does the job. Arabesques, melisma, etc. all seem to contribute.
ii) Can these same “sad” emotions be triggered in other lighter genres? Yes.

5) Guitar: practice, theory, and analysis
a) Do you believe music theory can be a helpful toolkit for composition, analysis, and interpretation? Yes.
b) Are you aware of the three tonalities in flamenco? Yes.
c) Have you been exposed to the nuances in the definitions of tonality and modality? Probably not since I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Every theoretical concept in music breaks down at some point or another, especially when taking a concept meant to describe music from one tradition and trying to apply it to music from another tradition.
d) Can you define, describe, explain? See above.
e) Do you have a grasp of what hemiola is? Define it in your own words? A fancy way of saying 3 over 2? In flamenco it seems to be used to differentiate the “ternary” part and the “binary” part of an amalgamated compas. Lots of people seem to use it as a synonym of “half-compas”.
f) Do you know what a descending tetrachord is? What about the Andalusian Cadence? Yes.
g) If you have some experience with theory and analysis, can you share your analysis with performance notes of the first falseta from Paco de Lucía’s “Gloria al Niño Ricardo?” Unfortunately I already read Ricardo’s answer so I’d be cheating. I would’ve provided a much more dumbed down version of it and thrown in several mistakes for the ride. ^^

6) Intertext
a) Intertextuality is the idea that texts or fragments of texts can be transposed and put to new uses. For example, in Shelley’s Frankenstein, epigraphs, quotations, and allusions are borrowed from multiple sources in the service of thickening the plot, character development, and framing the moral of the new novel. In flamenco, cierres, llamadas, falsetas, and other gestures can be strung together in new ways in new instances of accompaniment or solo. Can you think of instances where someone quotes someone else’s falseta? Quejio? Paso? Within a genre (same key)? Across tonalities? Across genres? Nunez quoting Escudero's Impetu in Trafalgar (stealing that one from Ricardo ^^, probably wouldn’t have noticed it if he hadn’t pointed it out). Cepero quoting “Dark Eyes” por bulerias. Samuelito quoting a solea escobilla in a buleria.
b) Alain Faucher takes some liberties with phrasing in his flamenco guitar transcriptions. Do you know of any instances in which someone uses his transcription verbatim including possible questionable phrasings? Pretty much everybody except professionals.
c) One type of intertext that has a long history in Spanish vihuela/guitar is the intabulation, or arrangement of a multi-vocal work for guitar. Josquin’s Mille Regretz is arranged by Luys de Narváez, for example. Do you know falsetas in any palo that are more or less arrangements of the cante? Dunno, falsetas por solea that include more or less direct quotes from the paseíllo de ayes in a polo or cana are a dime a dozen. Dunno if that qualifies as an "arrangement of the cante" though.
d) Are you aware of some of the passages por soleá that are so common they are clichés? Sure.

_____________________________

L'homme qui trouve douce sa patrie est encore un tendre débutant ; celui pour lequel tout sol est comme son sol natal est déjà fort ; mais celui-ci est parfait pour qui le monde entier est comme un pays étranger.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 16:25:47
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2611
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Escribano

quote:

ORIGINAL: Escribano

quote:

Know any Italian? Anyway you can learn it, along with lots of history and culture. At least you will escape the Brexit chaos.


Nope, but I am learning online. My wife speaks a lot more. I am moving because I don't like my country anymore since the Brexit vote. It is toxic.


We are experiencing a degree of toxicity here in the USA as well, but I haven‘t considered leaving. If I were half my present age I might.

I enjoyed trips of a week or two to Italy, but when we spent the summer of 2015 there I fell in love with the people and places we visited. On the other hand, I have fallen in love with more than one woman in rather less time, but never stayed married to one for longer than 20 years. Perhaps it is less stressful to divorce a country?

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 16:33:10
 
Mark2

Posts: 1471
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

Don't have time right now to answer all your questions, but given the time and energy you've expended in pursuit of flamenco, you really should make the trip to Spain. I'm sure you won't regret it. I went once, many years ago, and having a family and owning a business has prevented me from returning.

Right now I'm waiting for the results of a bid I submitted to an account I have had for ten years. It's very lucrative. If I win, I'll be tied up all summer for the next five years. Just like I have been for the last ten. If I lose, I'm going to Gerardo's class. I'm 60, and my only expectation is to enjoy the rest of the journey.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 16:38:43

Piwin

Posts: 2209
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Escribano

Sorry it's that bad Simon. Hope you can make it to Italy and enjoy that new phase in life.
Oh, and in my neighborhood the usual greeting is "que hay". Go figure...

_____________________________

L'homme qui trouve douce sa patrie est encore un tendre débutant ; celui pour lequel tout sol est comme son sol natal est déjà fort ; mais celui-ci est parfait pour qui le monde entier est comme un pays étranger.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 16:43:33
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Escribano

quote:

I could just as easily do away with my modal terminology and say “paco now plays a melodic falseta “por abajo” over top of the Eb chord.” And the same information is conveyed. Hope that clears it up.

Hi Ricardo...I can agree that we could just do away with all theory.

Flamencos generally don't have formal training in music theory although that is beginning to change. However, as I have said before, if one is going to use theory there are several considertions. The first is, as a practical matter, to ask what works. Any vocabulary is valid if it conveys or communicates musical practice. Second, an ethnomusicological inquiry into musical practice has to consider 1) its historical, cultural, and social evolution and 2) how to translate practice into a theoretical discourse that is sensitive to those three criteria. There are volumes written on translation studies but have not been really applied to music. Also, EM would take into account ethnotheory (the concepts the "locals" use), and balance the so-called "insider" and "outsider" conceptual frames.

That said, if it is BS to "impose" Roman numeral analysis onto flamenco because that system was designed for the analysis of Western music, then we could also conclude that it is "BS" to use modal theory because modal theory comes either from Greek, Gregorian (Via Boethius), or jazz, none of which are flamenco.

Another question about lydian...the modes in Western music are considered melodic, not harmonic, so, how do you deal with the F and Eb basses in the third measure?
Theory in the Western tradition was never meant to be a mental exercise isolated from actual practice. The great composers all were aware of theory which was passed down orally and in practice. They sometimes even followed theory rather than inspired it.

I have some other questions and responses I will address in order.

PV
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 17:50:04
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

@ Bill, Simon, and Richard: Hello gentlemen. If you go to Italy Simon, take me with you. The climate in the US is crazy. My father is on the right and helps keep me grounded (yes, there are decent humans on the right).
Italy sounds great but many parts of the world seem to be embracing nationalism especially along racial/ethnic lines.
Anyway, good luck on your travels.
quote:

Perhaps it is less stressful to divorce a country?

Richard, I would think so. But choosing a bounce-back country is probably more stressful.

PV
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 17:58:06
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

@Mark
No worries. When you can, it will be greatly appreciated.
Ahh...regrets. I acquired a great foundation by studying with two masters. However, I have always regretted not going to Spain and experiencing the totality of the culture. Something we shall have to remedy. I hope you do (and don't) get that account; whatever you hope for. That class sounds great.

@Piwin
Jackpot...thanks man. That information will be very useful. Except that one part about grief, lol. I'll have some more commentary. Still revising. Greatly appreciated.

PV
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 18:05:19
 
flyeogh

Posts: 472
Joined: Oct. 13 2004
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

Interesting the moving on to a new country but it is worth bearing in mind that most people who are expats in Spain and are British, have and will be maintained by a UK economy (pensions, property, wealth, even benefits). And I'm sure that applies to many nationalities in non-birth lands.

I live in Spain but if I had to depend on Spain for a job and/or support I'd be sunk. The poverty, corruption, state inefficiency, and lack of education is appalling. Yes nice to see a Gitano playing in a bar, or often outside one, but you wouldn't want to live his life I can assure you.

But back to Kevin's topic. I'd like to know if people had a pre-flamenco musical history, and even a pre-guitar musical history. Maybe best added to the Bio if anyone would care to oblige me .



_____________________________

nigel (el raton de Watford - now Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 18:15:25
 
Escribano

Posts: 5899
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

quote:

Italy sounds great but many parts of the world seem to be embracing nationalism especially along racial/ethnic lines


Granted, but I am hoping it is a phase in Italy as the average incumbency for a government there has been 18 months, whereas Brexit might be for a generation and also, I won't understand what they are actually saying there for many years

I detest nationalism, the idea that you are blindly loyal to the country of one's birth does not resonate with me. I have been to better places.

_____________________________

Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 18:56:27

Piwin

Posts: 2209
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to flyeogh

@fly I started out as a drummer when I was kid. Went through the three cycles of the French conservatory system (over about 8 or 9 years) as a percussionist but stopped there. The next step after the end of the 3rd cycle would've been to apply to one of the higher-education conservatories but I had other interests at the time (I was still underage and dumb and that's all the detail I'll give ^^). I dropped music pretty much altogether after that, until I discovered flamenco and got into that (I think it was maybe 6 years after I'd quit music). I picked up some guitar while accompanying music at the church I went to as a kid, mainly as a way to just do something because I was always bored out of my mind at church. The head honcho there managed to turn almost every single hymn into a rumba So when I started flamenco I was comfortable with chords and basic strumming patterns and the like but honestly not much more than that.

@Beni you mean the part about butt hairs? Yeah I had no good answer to that. In all seriousness I'm not at all at a level where I can bother with evoking "the emotions for delivering your artistic self in the deep genres". I'm just happy if I make it through a piece. I have noticed a disconnect though between what I feel while playing and what others perceive. The few times I've really felt "in the zone" I didn't get much of a reaction. Other times when I wasn't feeling it at all apparently some listeners heard some emotion in there that I hadn't noticed at all.

_____________________________

L'homme qui trouve douce sa patrie est encore un tendre débutant ; celui pour lequel tout sol est comme son sol natal est déjà fort ; mais celui-ci est parfait pour qui le monde entier est comme un pays étranger.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 19:06:24
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11097
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

I agree, using mode terminology from jazz is just as bs as Roman numerals applied to flamenco. In the end it all depends on whom I am conveying the idea to specifically.

quote:

Another question about lydian...the modes in Western music are considered melodic, not harmonic, so, how do you deal with the F and Eb basses in the third measure?


As I stated already, I’m using the “modal borrowing in tonal music” Jazz concept of isolating each harmonic island and substituted mode, rather than thinking “ii-V-I” as a single scale/mode/key, it’s actually THREE different scale/mode/keys... if that makes sense? Any way it’s more how Paco is thinking there, 3 or at least two different keys in that passage. I used III-II-I in D as harmonic analysis however, there really aren’t any chords until the D chord, and the bass notes are not real bass notes as in modal drones, it’s a simple melody he is playing with a second voice under it for color. And also the modes are implied as it’s not fully spelled out in either melody.... I am taking liberty to fill that info in since I understand flamenco cadence. A Jazz guy might view the entire measure as In F ; lydian or lydian Dominant and then F Mixolydian for last beat.... but I know that’s not correct because we don’t resolve the flamenco cadence III-I like that. So I’m filling in the gaps here : F lydian bridging old key (II of old key) to new key (III of new key) which is supposed to be Mixolydian, Eb lydian on II which is normal, resolving D phrygian. In other words, this passage is not exemplary of any of those modes or harmonic moves, however it might be exemplary of HOW to convincingly change keys within a flamenco form.

Ps to both Kevin and mark.... I’m planning on going back after 5 year hiatus, hope you guys seriously consider a meet up in person.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 19:15:23
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

quote:

Ps to both Kevin and mark.... I’m planning on going back after 5 year hiatus, hope you guys seriously consider a meet up in person.

When is it? Not sure about planning but I would love to finally go.

quote:

this passage is not exemplary of any of those modes or harmonic moves, however it might be exemplary of HOW to convincingly change keys within a flamenco form.

Disagree. Can't comment right now because I don't have all my files and some of this is part of the dissertation.
Here is my roman numeral analysis without notes; I'll add those when I can
Spoiler alert: The falseta expands I-V-I. Paco does this alot where there are non-functional harmonies that make things interesting. The V, however is not borrowed from major, it is borrowed from the relative phrygian.



I should note, as well, that I think that multiple approaches can help. This is one version. To keep it from getting cluttered I don't label the modal inflections and in other versions I use jazz nomenclature (e.g. E9b---F-Eb-D|D9b---B7-EM7|Eb-D---C-B|B-Am---phrygian inflection (Am)--E.
Eb--D--B--C is a substitution for the andalusian cadence in B e-D-B-C. By lowering the e to eb, Paco is able to exploit two phrygian gestures instead of one. D moves to Eb deceptively in minor but since it is the tonic here, he moves through the Bb7 to tonicize the EbM. The middle two staves are all expanding V even though you don't actually get to V until the last measure in the third system.

To me, you cant get there thinking modally. Paco knew his voice-leading very well. Flamencos have been borrowing from classical and are heirs to the Baroque. The classical and flamenco guitars do not split musically until the beginning of the 19th century and organologically when Torres starts building guitars that today we would call flamencos (see Brune post somewhere on the foro).

Anyway, thoughts, opinions, critiques, and beer are all welcome...my address is...

PV

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 20:24:47
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2611
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Escribano

quote:

ORIGINAL: Escribano
I detest nationalism, the idea that you are blindly loyal to the country of one's birth does not resonate with me. I have been to better places.


Nationalism has been a strong component of the American collective psyche since the 18th century. No doubt it arose from rebellion against the most powerful country in the world at the time. Every day I see inflammatory appeals to nationalism. Having lived abroad, having seen a bit of the world, and having participated in some of our nationalistic excesses myself, I am far more skeptical of nationalism than I was 60 years ago. It is one among our several besetting sins.

My family have now been in America for almost four centuries. We have lived through and participated in the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Texas War of Independence, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, WW I, WW II, Korea and Vietnam, plus a few sub rosa episodes of imperialism. My ex-wife's cousins were in on the start of the First Gulf War.

When I was a child, my grandparents told of their parents' involvement on both sides of the Civil War. My father's grandfather served in the Mississippi Artillery. He lived until 1913. In every one of the handful of photos I have of him, you can see the Confederate medals pinned to his coat. Both of my mother's grandfathers fought for the Union. My grandparents recited their fathers' stories of senseless slaughter, oppression, hardship and heroism. Down to my generation almost every member of the male line served in the military, or made a career in it like my father.

Only one of the next generation signed up. My nephew did a stint in the Air Force as a clinical psychologist. Some of the next generation (my brother's young adult grandchildren) have asked me in some detail about my few years of experience in the military, and about the service of my father and eight uncles in WW II. I don't think they have come away encouraged by me to participate. But I have no trouble imagining situations where a number of them would choose a side and fight.

Though I feel we are now within sight of the brink of crisis, our present situation pales beside past disasters...so far.

I'm in a reasonably secure financial position. At age 81 I don't think I'm likely to be called upon to risk my life again. I still communicate with friends and relatives on both sides of the abyss, while I strive to resist provocation.

I think I'll try to ride this one out.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 21:45:39
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2611
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to flyeogh

quote:

ORIGINAL: flyeogh

But back to Kevin's topic. I'd like to know if people had a pre-flamenco musical history, and even a pre-guitar musical history. Maybe best added to the Bio if anyone would care to oblige me .




In a thread about cultural appropriation outlined my checkered musical past. When I was nine years old they came around at school and asked whether we would like to play an instrument. I immediately chose trumpet, influenced by the lovely sounds of the Mexican teenager who lived across the alley from my grandmother, in a tiny South Texas town.

In high school I was fortunate to have as trumpet teacher the 1st trumpet of the National Symphony in Washington DC. I got pretty much into the classical music scene on the East Coast. My teacher objected to my playing jazz and a gig in a mambo band, but he put up with it if I didn't bring it up.

Third year at university my science major schedule made it impossible to continue in the University Symphony and Symphonic Band, so I started fooling around with guitar. In the late 1950s there was no classical guitar teacher in town who came near measuring up to my high school trumpet teacher. Nowadays in Austin we have Adam Holzman's world famous classical guitar studio at the University, and the world's largest and most active classical guitar society.

At university I met some friends who studied flamenco guitar with Eddie Freeman in Dallas. Clearly Eddie knew what he was up to: what his students played was what was on the LPs. My best friend invited me to accompany him to a lesson with Freeman. I told my friend that Freeman clearly knew his stuff, and was an effective teacher for many, but he and I wouldn't get along. Last weekend I took one of my guitars to Tom Blackshear in San Antonio, for him to finish a drawing of it. When I told him the Freeman story, he nodded and smiled in agreement. But I know several people who loved Freeman and still reminisce fondly about him.

Further reflecting my mongrelized musical experience, though Blackshear was a pro flamenco player for years, and is well know for his flamenco guitars, the one I bought from him is a classical.

So I learned what flamenco I know from hanging around Freeman's students, copping stuff off LPs, taking a few lessons from an old guy in Triana when I was 20-21, watching and listening to Perico El del Lunar at Zambra in Madrid, being blown away by Sabicas, Carlos Ramos and Mario Escudero in person, and the great resources of transcriptions, the Web and DVDs.

I still play classical and flamenco guitar, but about the only flamenco I have listened to just for kicks in the last 15 years or so has been cante.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2019 22:14:16
 
edguerin

 

Posts: 1513
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
 

[Deleted] 

Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Mar. 29 2019 6:57:08
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2019 6:56:31
 
edguerin

Posts: 1513
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: I'm Back: Dissertation Blues (in reply to Beni2

quote:

I was hoping for more detailed and formal responses but I appreciate the concise responses nonetheless.

I'm sure you're aware of M. Machin-Authenrieth's 2013 Thesis. As an ethnomusicologist he describes the quandaries and problems of online-questionaires and field research in forums.

I'd probably be happy to answer the questionaire if I knew more about your academic background and research. What is the exact theme of your dissertation?
Why not use an anonymous questionaire? What, exactly, is it's aim?

As it is, some of the questions feel as if my own long lasting efforts at understanding the background of flamenco, it's history and socio-cultural embedment might be "cannibalized" as it were.

_____________________________

Ed

El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2019 7:15:09
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