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Elements of Paco's genius - Monasterio de Sal   You are logged in as Guest
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Joined: Jun. 15 2013

Elements of Paco's genius - Monaster... 


I've been working through Enrique Vargas's freely available transcription of "Monasterio de Sal", and I am continually in awe of Paco's harmonies. As I work through this piece in drop D, I continually come across chord voicings that I have never seen before, and the dissonances and resolutions are surprising and beautiful. I'm guessing Paco composed by ear and found all of these through trial and error. It will be months before I can play even a couple of these falsetas at a slower tempo, in time, from memory.

Though I absolutely love many of the falsetas in this Columbianas, some are a little too far 'out there' for my taste and I would love to be able to choose from some other Columbianas - though there are much fewer compositions in this style that I know of, and they seem to be less easy to mix and match as we do with bulerias, alegrias, or tangos.

A couple of questions for conversation:

1.) Have any of you worked through some of the falsetas in this piece, and could describe in words some of the less usual harmonic movement and voicings Paco is using in this piece ?

2.) Does anyone know what other pieces may have helped Paco develop his chord vocabulary and harmonic structures used in this piece ?

3.) Are there any other Columbianas that have falsetas that I might mix with those in this piece - without having to transpose

4.) Are there other pieces in D that might help me become more familiar with this key (regardless of if the E is dropped to D) - I know of only one other - Solo Quiero Caminar.

5.) Are there other Columbianas pieces that you find particularly beautiful ? Manolo Franco has an excellent composition on his Encuentro video (the same is on his Aljibe album.) THough I know a few of his falsetas, they strike me as very stylistically different than Paco's - e.g. not so interchangeable. Franco's harmonies are more major and have far less dissonance and few Andulusian II-I (half) cadences.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 13 2021 16:23:21

Posts: 13063
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Elements of Paco's genius - Mona... (in reply to joevidetto

With exception of one or two voicings everything he uses are based on traditional grips. It is just a matter of how they are used in relation to the key he is in. It starts in D phrygian like those old zambra/ Danza Mora things by Sabicas, Esteban de Sanlucar etc, goes into the theme in D major, the proper Colombianas stuff, but he uses C-D7 giving a mixolydian flavor. Next moves into taranta key (fairly normal as that is how fandango forms relate normally anyway), that Cm7-D remembers briefly the intro that was Phrygian. So I could go through the whole piece describing each chord move but almost all are related to some bit of the traditional flamenco guitar concept. There was that one symmetrical chord where the index and pinky spread out and the other two cram into a fret in the middle. That type of thing is an invention of course. The real genius however is his use of traditional devices to weave in and out of the other keys.

If you are interested in the weird symmetrical chords check out Al Dimeola Celo e terra

Most sounds weird but if you experiment you can always find something that works in context using the ear:


CD's and transcriptions available here:
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 13 2021 17:27:19
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