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devilhand

 

Posts: 919
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

The best article about flamenco 

Wow! Holy ****! This is the best article about flamenco I've ever read. It doesn't get any better than this. A must read for everyone here.
Pay attention to every word, sentence and paragraph. Study and absorb them. There are a lot of information in a condensed form. My hat off to the person who wrote this masterpiece. I wonder he/she is already a foro member. This article must have been written around 2003 or during the 90's.

I'm looking forward to a profound review from more knowledgable foro members. Is it really the best flamenco article ever written in english?

http://legacy.earlham.edu/~chriss/Topics/Flamenco/cultural.htm

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2021 14:51:31
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 919
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to devilhand

Some of the facts I've never heard before can be discussed seperately.

- Interplay or rivalry between cante andaluz and cante gitano
- Antonio Chacon's voice was not suitable for cante gitano.
- Antonio Chacon fell victim to Opera flamenca he helped to create
- The reason why Manuel Torre and Tomas Pavon were struggling during Opera flamenco era
- Era of the Niños
- Antonio Mairena was not a fandango singer
- Sabicas copied the music of Ramon Montoya and introduced to the USA
- The reason why Cafe Silverio and Zambra tablao shared the same fate
- 2 contests in Cordoba 1956 and 1959 paved the way to flamenco festivals in the 70's

My favourite section in this article is this. This is why I could listen to traditional flamenco guitar for hours.

quote:

... the guitarist developed new, more powerful strumming techniques which emphasized rhythm. ... However, the guitarist of the 1980's seldom takes the liberties with rhythm that were the trademarks of great song accompanists of the past like Ramon Montoya or Melchor de Marchena; the result has been a certain loss of expressiveness.


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2021 15:04:02
 
Escribano

Posts: 6237
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to devilhand

Uploaded 2001 at Earlham College, but not very scholarly. No date, author, attributions or references?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2021 15:16:59
 
FredGuitarraOle

Posts: 894
Joined: Dec. 6 2012
From: Lisboa, Portugal

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to devilhand

Truly an eye opening article! Too bad it was written way before the release of the best flamingo masterpiece ever. This changed the whole game, I've been craving for a review ever since this came out:

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2021 16:22:16
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1741
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to FredGuitarraOle

quote:

I've been craving for a review ever since this came out:


He could take lessons from Niño de Pura, etc, etc
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2021 16:40:52
 
RobF

Posts: 1100
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to FredGuitarraOle

quote:

...the best flamingo masterpiece ever. This changed the whole game

Pfffftt....Pali’s sewing machine is faster.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2021 16:45:28
 
Fluknu

 

Posts: 99
Joined: Jan. 11 2021
 

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to devilhand

Really good article. it's the first time I read about flamenco history, so this is providing me with a great list of ressources.

I really digged that paragraph at the end.

"The same thing probably happened many times before, with the precursors of flamenco. Flamenco was created by successive invasions of external influences, whether Arabs or rock groups. Critics have always felt that flamenco was at its best in an earlier period and is corrupted in the present. Ironically, the "pure" flamenco of the past is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of an even earlier state of "purity." The best flamenco we have today is the product of many such corruptions. Flamenco seems to go in cycles of obsession with purity alternating with periods of revolution and decadence. It may be that periods of revolution and decadence are essential in order to disrupt the stagnation of routine and orthodoxy, to inject new life-blood into the art form, and to attract a new audience as the old one gets older."

My curiosity was alos picked by this Manolo de Huelva ;"Manolo de Huelva was called amazing by those who heard him, but was a mystery to most of the flamenco world because he would not record or teach his music, and he was reluctant to play in front of other guitarists. For most of his career, Manolo played only for private fiestas and in the latter part of his life became even more secretive"

I love those kind of secretive characters.

Anyway, many thanks for posting the link. I'm gonna go back and to this article.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2021 16:46:34
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12937
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to Fluknu

Yes, that nonsense that Manolo de Huelva did not record, then find out he is on tons of historic recordings. Like borrull and Montoya before him, he was a big picado guy. Vallejo had the golden key, so I don’t get why they think this guy took his falsetas to the grave like some mystery. His playing is well known by tocaores that listen to cante.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2021 17:52:35
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12937
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to devilhand

quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand

Some of the facts I've never heard before can be discussed seperately.

- Interplay or rivalry between cante andaluz and cante gitano
- Antonio Chacon's voice was not suitable for cante gitano.
- Antonio Chacon fell victim to Opera flamenca he helped to create
- The reason why Manuel Torre and Tomas Pavon were struggling during Opera flamenco era
- Era of the Niños
- Antonio Mairena was not a fandango singer
- Sabicas copied the music of Ramon Montoya and introduced to the USA
- The reason why Cafe Silverio and Zambra tablao shared the same fate
- 2 contests in Cordoba 1956 and 1959 paved the way to flamenco festivals in the 70's

My favourite section in this article is this. This is why I could listen to traditional flamenco guitar for hours.

quote:

... the guitarist developed new, more powerful strumming techniques which emphasized rhythm. ... However, the guitarist of the 1980's seldom takes the liberties with rhythm that were the trademarks of great song accompanists of the past like Ramon Montoya or Melchor de Marchena; the result has been a certain loss of expressiveness.



Unfortunately, I blame all cliche’s and misconceptions about flamenco in general on Don Pohren, as he had the only books in English on the subject starting in the 60’s. The echos of his biased writing resound to the present. The amount of hippie type people that believe that the only true good puro flamenco is a chunka chunk compas strumming, sloppy repeating pulgar lick, and a crappy out of tune siguiriyas attempt, is gigantic. Flamenco is huge, and over the years all the stuff in the article I also have read in various publications, however, one by one I get hit with completely contradictory examples. This article was written when internet was “New” and it seemed you could put whatever the heck you want up there. There is lots of good info in it in terms of dates and names and such, but I would file it all away with a grain of salt and try to develop your own knowledge about it and with that will come your tastes. It reminds me of Brook Zurn who told Fernanda de Utrera that he hated Pepe marchena’s voice and it was not puro flamenco he was doing. I can’t help but to believe that Brook developed that bias from mentalities like the one who wrote your article. Fernanda told him he was an idiot.

Chacon sang exemplary siguiriyas and solea. All one needs to do is study and understand. He sang high notes with a fairly tight squeezed vocal chord opera style technique (drop larynx) which is NOT falsetto (think Bruce Dickinson sound). Many singers copied his technique and that is why you see some singers sing down low keys and others very high capo (check niño de Gloria and El Pele with Tomatito recently). The same folks that bad talk Chacon Marchena and other masters, admit Manuel Torre sang out of tune often, but in the same breath say that when he was good people would rip their clothes off and jump out the window, and that type of nonsense. The truth is, GOOD artists were always respected by the actual artists themselves. It is a handful of aficionados that tend to push their biases and opinions on the masses and write articles that influence opinions. If you want a more truthful take, read the Ramon Montoya interview and the Javier Molina interviews on www.canteytoque.es

Unfortunately the heavy knowledgeable artists did not get a chance to write articles in every language so we English readers have to take things with a grain of salt.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2021 18:42:21
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 919
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

Yes, that nonsense that Manolo de Huelva did not record, then find out he is on tons of historic recordings. Like borrull and Montoya before him, he was a big picado guy. Vallejo had the golden key, so I don’t get why they think this guy took his falsetas to the grave like some mystery. His playing is well known by tocaores that listen to cante.



According to this spanish source Manolo's weirdness started in the 50's. Before that he performed in public and made records. He must have recorded the cante in youtube video above in the 30's because the source says he made numerous tours across Spain, mainly with Manuel Vallejo in 1934 and 1935.

https://www.horizonteflamenco.com/manolo-de-huelva-2

The website also says the following which I translated using google.

quote:

Luis Caballero tells how the day after a recital, which they gave together in 1968, the guitarist found out that they had been recorded on tape by an American guitar fan. Immediately Manolo went to the place where he could find that person, and peremptorily demanded that he hand over the tape or call the police, which the other did between scared and surprised.


As for the article some details can be subjective. Nevertheless it's a great overview on flamenco history 1850-2000. It sums up everything I have read so far very nicely.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2021 22:47:11
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12937
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to devilhand

quote:

which they gave together in 1968, the guitarist found out that they had been recorded on tape by an American guitar fan.


Probably another annoying opinionated hippie indoctrinated by Don Pohren. I don’t blame him. When I first attended classes in spain, long before cell phones, video taping classes and such was strictly prohibited. When I went in 2019, the IPhones were all out the entire time. When delivering an intimate performance nothing is more insulting than a bunch of camera lights in your face. It is a different story if you request a recording. To single out Manolo de Huelva as the unique individual that did not like being recorded back in the day, doesn’t make sense to me.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 13 2021 23:43:09
 
kitarist

Posts: 1249
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to Escribano

quote:

ORIGINAL: Escribano

Uploaded 2001 at Earlham College, but not very scholarly. No date, author, attributions or references?


Yup. Seems it is notes for a course, presumably researched with some care, but indeed no references.

"chriss" seems to be Christine Swafford, a professor of Hispanic Studies.

Here's the first part of the history, before 1850s; it is not linked-to from other pages as far as I can see: http://legacy.earlham.edu/~chriss/Topics/Flamenco/history.htm

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 14 2021 0:46:41
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12937
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to kitarist

quote:

Here's the first part of the history, before 1850s; it is not linked-to from other pages as far as I can see: http://legacy.earlham.edu/~chriss/Topics/Flamenco/history.htm


That was a better written article IMO than the other that is full assertions based on biased opinion. I like how they left open all the mysteries about flamencos origins and don’t fall into the typical anecdotal traps.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 14 2021 13:45:00
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3118
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to Ricardo

There are many articles and books on the history of flamenco. In recent years (recent from the perspective of a person my age) some have risen to the level formal scholarship, with the full apparatus of citations, bibliographies, footnotes and so on.

Among themselves they disagree on many historical issues. Some have clear agendas regarding issues like the relative influence of gypsies and payos, or amateurs and professionals.

All the worthwhile flamencología I have read has been in Spanish.

Yes, sadly that sentence is meant to apply to the article cited by the OP. I don't want to dampen his enthusiasm for info about the art, but I would advise caution about anything written in english about flamenco.

One exception: "The Flamencos of Cádiz Bay" by Gerald Howson. It's not history or flamencology. It's an account of the author's acquaintance with the Cadiz flamencos of the 1950s, centered around the great cantaor Aurelio Selles. Names are changed in the book, but the characters are real people. Unfortunately it's out of print and the quoted web prices are outrageous. If it's available from a local library or even if you have to use inter-library loan, it's worth the trouble to get hold of it.

The audience for flamenco is definitely a minority in Spain, and is microscopic among english speakers.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 14 2021 21:46:59
 
tf10music

 

Posts: 83
Joined: Jan. 3 2017
 

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

All the worthwhile flamencología I have read has been in Spanish.


Yes, this has largely been true in my experience as well (though I'd caution and say that there is also plenty of stuff with a blatant agenda written in Spanish, too).

There are three truly good books on flamenco in English, in my opinion. The first is William Washabaugh's "Flamenco: Passion, Politics, and Popular Culture," which has been immensely influential even in Spain, Timothy Mitchell's "Flamenco Deep Song," which, despite its terrible title, is a rigorous historical study that delivers an insightful analysis of the relation between señoritismo and flamenco's social practice (the class-based discrepancies between güasa and gracia, for example) among other things, and most recently, K. Meira Goldberg's "Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco," which was only published in 2019 and represents a new, cultural studies-oriented approach to flamencology.

Apart from those, there's that book by Bernard Leblon, which is informative, even if it's overly simplistic.

On the Spanish-language side, there's so much more to offer. If you want a more detailed version of the kind of anecdotal info you're getting from the article that was originally posted, you can read someone like Fernando Quiñones or Ángel Álvarez Caballero, and if you want something more critical, there's people like Cruces Roldán, Mandly, Steingress (though I don't really like his work), and even José Martínez Hernández's 2018 book "Poética del cante jondo," which analyzes the aesthetic structure of cante from both a philosophical and a social standpoint. There are also focused studies of lone palos, which can be quite good, if tedious at times. There's a good one out there that zooms in specifically on the 'mysteries' of the alboreá and the petenera, and it does a good job of gathering all the available anecdotes about those forms into one place.

But also the books can only ever tell you so much. I think it's important to recognize that the search for the 'best' article or book on flamenco always arrives at a dead end, because at the end of the day the truth exceeds what can be represented in that register. As someone who does produce scholarship on flamenco, that's a limit that I always have to keep my eye on. Usually, the truest things that I am able to say about flamenco in any register must be pushing up against the point at which explanatory language teeters on the edge of failure (and this isn't only true of flamenco, for what it's worth).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2021 1:37:55
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12937
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to tf10music

The spanish article I read recently that Kevin recommended and Kitarist dug up (sorry I forgot the author already), was over 3,000 pages. But most of that was music scores so it was a fast read. . For me any way, I just kept scrolling down at the scores like “nope...nope....nope....nope....nope....oh wait? Is that ?.....oh nope...nope...nope ...nope....” etc.

The jacaras had some por medio licks in there, but for godsake we know what flamenco is and it is meat and potatoes...and they keep showing evidence in the form of salt and pepper. “We see this salt and pepper once again on top of this broccoli resembles very much how salt and pepper looks on this potato. Over time we conclude that the broccoli must have turned into potatoes thanks to religious persecution and low income”. 😂

Well I did get this out of it which is pretty darn flamenco sounding, even if it is all in D minor. It proves the copla existed before we ever heard a sung fandango which is concrete evidence, as lonely as it is.



I think I am gonna have to go to the library and write my own article.
Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2021 4:42:43
 
tf10music

 

Posts: 83
Joined: Jan. 3 2017
 

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

I think I am gonna have to go to the library and write my own article.


You should!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2021 4:59:37
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 919
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to devilhand

I hope we all agree the article in my first post of this thread is the best article available online for free. I highly doubt one can find better one online for free.

quote:

he was a big picado guy.

I thought the same when I first heard his picado. Way ahead of its time.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 16 2021 19:32:49
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12937
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to devilhand

quote:

hope we all agree the article in my first post of this thread is the best article available online for free. I highly doubt one can find better one.


I only spent (wasted?) several paragraphs explaining why it was mostly opinionated false garbage, and the one kitarist posted from the same website was much better, but sure whatever you want. I sure am glad you are so happy about it and now reinforced your own biased wrong ideas thanks to it. Hurray!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 16 2021 19:38:57
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3232
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to devilhand

quote:

I hope we all agree the article in my first post of this thread is the best article available online for free. I highly doubt one can find better one.


Why do you think it necessary that "we all agree the article in [your] first post of this thread is the best article available online for free."?

You ended your first post by stating, "I'm looking forward to a profound review from more knowledgable (sic) foro members. Is it really the best flamenco article ever written in english (sic)?"

Well, you got several reviews from knowledgeable Foro members that were critical of the article. Simon noted that it is not very scholarly: No date, author, attributions or references. Konstantin, Ricardo, tf10music, and Richard each offered their reasons for not taking it as a study of flamenco worthy of the praise you gave it.

You stated that you were looking forward to a review by knowledgeable Foro members, and when you got several you seemed to ignore them because they did not accord with your point of view.

Everything pulled off the internet and various websites is not worthy of praise just because someone "agrees" with it. That you agreed with this article could easily mean that your understanding of flamenco is neither better nor worse than that of the author of the article. Everything on the internet should be taken with a grain of salt until one has corroborated it with valid sources and citations. And that goes for Wikipedia as well.

Bill

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Who tried to hustle the East."

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 16 2021 20:44:45
 
Escribano

Posts: 6237
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to devilhand

quote:

I hope we all agree the article in my first post of this thread is the best article available online for free. I highly doubt one can find better one.


Dear, oh dear. What you posted is an opinion. No attributions, no date, no references, not even an author. But it's free, so that's OK

Try "Songs of the Outcasts" by the late Robin Totten, whom I had the pleasure to meet and argue with, in Jerez. One of the best I have read. Some of us get around quite a bit and draw our own conclusions.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001CBEI9U/ref=dp-kindle-redirect

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 16 2021 21:03:21
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 919
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to Escribano

quote:

Try "Songs of the Outcasts" by the late Robin Totten, whom I had the pleasure to meet and argue with, in Jerez. One of the best I have read. Some of us get around quite a bit and draw our own conclusions.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001CBEI9U/ref=dp-kindle-redirect


I think there is misunderstanding there. What I mean was to find better one online for free. So I edited my post above. I never questioned the quality of other articles or chapters published in a book in english.

Btw, the book in your link has 226 pages. William Washabaugh's "Flamenco: Passion, Politics, and Popular Culture" has 230 pages. I'm too lazy to read so many pages. For me a no-go. So is "The Flamencos of Cádiz Bay" by Gerald Howson". Again more than 200 pages.

quote:

Well, you got several reviews from knowledgeable Foro members that were critical of the article. Simon noted that it is not very scholarly: No date, author, attributions or references. Konstantin, Ricardo, tf10music, and Richard each offered their reasons for not taking it as a study of flamenco worthy of the praise you gave it.

Of course I took notice of it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 16 2021 21:13:30
 
Escribano

Posts: 6237
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: The best article about flamenco (in reply to devilhand

quote:

Btw, the book in your link has 226 pages. William Washabaugh's "Flamenco: Passion, Politics, and Popular Culture" has 230 pages. I'm too lazy to read so many pages. For me a no-go.


Then I guess you will never learn anything, unless...

a) You agree with it
b) It's free
c) It's not very long
d) It doesn't matter who wrote it
e) You definitely agree with it

Perhaps you should try some random tweet instead of bothering us?

I'm done here and this thread is locked so as not to waste anyone else's time.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 16 2021 22:03:58
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