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devilhand

 

Posts: 140
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

The structure of palos 

Could anyone please tell me the structure of palos? Do they have the same structure or does each palo have its own structure?

We know the structure of pop/rock songs:
Intro-Verse1-Prechorus-Chorus-Verse2-Prechorus-Chorus-Bridge-(Solo)-Chorus-Outro

Some songs use the same chords for intro, outro and verse. Some have only 3 or 4 chords played throughout the song except for bridge.

If all palos have the same structure, then I would say accompanying cante is not as difficult as it seems.
Flamenco forms sound to me they are simple 2-4 chord songs due to the lack of melody. From what I have observed so far, if you know the structure of any palo and the main chord progressions, the rest must be simple. You can throw some falseta here and there and the job is done.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2019 16:05:03
 
Piwin

Posts: 2434
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: The structure of palos (in reply to devilhand

Some things vary more than others. Things like intro guitarra-temple-salida del cante-1st tercio are almost fixtures I think. Other structural elements are specific to certain palos: paseillo de ayes, etc. Then there are things that you find only if there's baile involved. For instance, silencio-castellana-escobilla-bulerias de Cadiz sequence in alegrias.

Without baile, even with just a few tercios following each other and nothing else, there's a lot of flexibility. Knowing how to close a tierco is important. If you're thinking of it with a very strict structure in mind, it can be difficult, since a lot of will depend on how the cantaor interprets the melody. For instance, you can't look at a tercio of 4 verses and go in thinking it will necessarily be 4 compases long. The cantaor could very well sing one verse over two compases, or repeat a verse, etc. Whether you play a falseta between tercios will depend on the cantaor too so you have to pay attention to whether he's ready to move on or if he seems to want a longer break.

If there's a dance choreography involved, then you work out the structure before hand. Though even there some dancers will prefer to leave a lot of flexibility, indicating some big elements (like how to begin and how to end) but leaving a lot of room for improvisation.

For instance, a fleshed-out choreography for alegrias might look something like this:
-intro guitarra
- salida cante
- salida baile (accompanied by falseta or subida)
- 1st tercio
- coletilla
- llamada and cierre
- falseta
- 2nd tercio
- llamada and cierre
- silencio
- castellana
- escobilla/subida/llamada and cierre
- bulerias de Cadiz
- subida and remate

That's just an example. A lot of it can vary. For instance the salida de baile can be done before the salida de cante, you can leave out the coletilla, switch the silencio for a campanas, leave out the castellana, switch the falseta for a short escobilla, have more tercios, etc. Then there are other decisions like whether to move from the subida to bulerias de Cadiz with a llamada and cierre, or just forgo the cierre and go straight to bulerias de Cadiz.

So even within the same palo, there's a lot of structural flexibility and not just a one-size-fits-all pattern.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2019 8:23:49
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11363
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The structure of palos (in reply to devilhand

Start by looking at Norman’s site www.canteytoque.es
Go to classification and study of solea styles of cante, read listen and learn. When you think you are ready have a go at examples in this thread:

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=124692&p=1&tmode=1&smode=1

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2019 16:33:51
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 140
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: The structure of palos (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

I wanted to make this a challenge, but honestly you have to do it in one and ONLY one take with no practice to be a fair test. That is the true way to accompany and learn.


No way! Either I misunderstood or this is impossible if you don't know which chords, which palo you're dealing with and in which part the cantaor starts and stops singing, in short, how cante is structured.

I did accompany a lot of rock/pop songs with complex harmony changes and syncopated rhythms. The prerequisite is you have to know the song really well first. But it's not that difficult. Why would it be any different when it comes to flamenco? After one has mastered the techniques and can shift between different techniques with ease, everyone will accompany cante. Of course you have to have a broad repertoire of falsetas. This makes accompanying cante maybe different.
Guys stop desperately learning solo pieces. It's time consuming and you have to learn everything by heart. Flamenco is not classical music. Learn how to accompany cante first. This is real flamenco.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2019 13:37:02
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11363
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The structure of palos (in reply to devilhand

quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand

quote:

I wanted to make this a challenge, but honestly you have to do it in one and ONLY one take with no practice to be a fair test. That is the true way to accompany and learn.


No way! Either I misunderstood or this is impossible if you don't know which palo you're dealing with and in which part the cantaor starts and stops singing, in short, how cante is structured.

I did accompany a lot of rock/pop songs with complex harmony changes and syncopated rhythms. The prerequisite is you have to know the song really well first. Why would it be any different when it comes to flamenco? After one has mastered the techniques and can shift between different techniques with ease, everyone will accompany cante. Of course you have to have a broad repertoire of falsetas. This makes accompanying cante maybe different.
Guys stop desperately learning solo pieces. It's time consuming and you have to learn everything by heart. Flamenco is not classical music. Learn how to accompany cante first. This is real flamenco.


Yes it’s different. Imagine you are in a Beatles cover band and you sort of know many but not all the catalog. The singer jumps from please please me verse to we can work it out chorus to all my lovin’ verse to help chorus, but elongates or shortens them so you might have to hang on a chord longer or shorter than the recorded version you are familiar with, plus the singer might change one note to give a different chord than the original etc, all the while maintaining the groove of Norwegian wood when strumming. That’s sort of like accompaniment for cante.

Just finished a show with two singers that had very different styles for singing the same cantes... one guy kept throwing me this curve ball that would be the equivalent of the ending of the chorus of we can work it out “fussing and fighting my friend” and you know it’s done, he would do like “fussing and fight, and fussing and fighting, and fighting and fussing and fighting..... my friend”, that type of thing to trick you. It’s an art all it’s own to learn how to accompany this stuff, and I’m always learning new things with good singers.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2019 13:46:24
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 140
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: The structure of palos (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Yes it’s different. Imagine you are in a Beatles cover band and you sort of know many but not all the catalog. The singer jumps from please please me verse to we can work it out chorus to all my lovin’ verse to help chorus, but elongates or shortens them so you might have to hang on a chord longer or shorter than the recorded version you are familiar with, plus the singer might change one note to give a different chord than the original etc, all the while maintaining the groove of Norwegian wood when strumming. That’s sort of like accompaniment for cante.


Then it's all about being a marionette of the singers. Ok, I believe what you're getting at.

It is really fun to listen to how guys are accompanying cante in Cante Accompaniment Practice Thread. Can't wait to accompany my first cante. What I can do now is creating different accompaniment ideas in my head while listening to cante versions without accompaniment. Is it a proper exercise? How do you practice accompaniment when the guitar is not around for example in the bus or metro etc.?

quote:

Just finished a show with two singers that had very different styles for singing the same cantes... one guy kept throwing me this curve ball that would be the equivalent of the ending of the chorus of we can work it out “fussing and fighting my friend” and you know it’s done, he would do like “fussing and fight, and fussing and fighting, and fighting and fussing and fighting..... my friend”, that type of thing to trick you. It’s an art all it’s own to learn how to accompany this stuff, and I’m always learning new things with good singers.


Instead of making it unnecessarily tricky, why do you guys arrange together beforehand to avoid any bad surprise during a performance?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2019 15:28:50
 
Piwin

Posts: 2434
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: The structure of palos (in reply to devilhand

quote:

Of course you have to have a broad repertoire of falsetas


That should be the least of your worries. You can do a great job accompanying without playing a single falseta. Just throw in some compas variations or whatever and everyone will be perfectly happy.

quote:

This is real flamenco.




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J'ouvre une parenthèse. Si vous avez un peu trop d'air, je la refermerai tout de suite.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2019 15:29:59
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 140
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: The structure of palos (in reply to Piwin

quote:

That should be the least of your worries. You can do a great job accompanying without playing a single falseta. Just throw in some compas variations or whatever and everyone will be perfectly happy.


IMO, there'll be then no difference between accompanying cante and pop/rock songs. In this case I'll stick with accompanying pop/rock songs or playing some funk music with hot grooves.

quote:



I'm not a tocaor. I hope I'll become one one day. But I dare to say, from a tocaor's perspective, it is real flamenco.

Btw, are you a communist? Nothing against communism, just asking because of your avatar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2019 16:40:36
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11363
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The structure of palos (in reply to devilhand

quote:


quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand
Instead of making it unnecessarily tricky, why do you guys arrange together beforehand to avoid any bad surprise during a performance?


Sure we do that too, but once you get to a certain level, that becomes extremely boring, and since the tradition is designed to try this type of improvisation, it’s greatly preferred by everyone at that level.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2019 17:28:45
 
Piwin

Posts: 2434
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: The structure of palos (in reply to devilhand

quote:

there'll be then no difference between accompanying cante and pop/rock songs.


Then maybe read Ricardo's post again. The cante doesn't follow 1 rigid format as it does in pop/rock songs. That's the difficulty (the other being that it pulls from a repertoire so vast it's dizzying). Falsetas are a footnote compared to that. Exaggerating quite a bit, but with a pop rock song, you could theoretically play right along without even hearing the singer, provided you shared some kind of metronome. With cante, you have to constantly listen and adapt to what the cantaor is doing. Maybe he pulls a bit from this song, or that song. Maybe he adapts it. etc. etc. You can accompany without knowing any falsetas, but you can't accompany without knowing how to listen and adapt to the cantaor.

quote:

it is real flamenco


I just think these discussions about "real flamenco" are pointless, to be frank. It might be true that for people abroad there's too much of a focus on learning solo pieces. Then again, hard to blame them when access to cante is so much harder than in Andalucia. But you can be sure that learning a wide number of solo pieces is in the standard regimen of any flamenco guitarist.

As for my avatar, I just like cats and puns, and that avatar has both

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J'ouvre une parenthèse. Si vous avez un peu trop d'air, je la refermerai tout de suite.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2019 18:45:27
 
JasonM

Posts: 1073
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: The structure of palos (in reply to devilhand

Talking about real flamenco, When your at a flamenco Juerga or party, obviously no one is going have a pre rehearsal and work everything out before hand. If you know accompaniment you can participate without knowing what some new guy is going to sing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 13 2019 15:44:34
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