Flamenco is is a form of Spanish folk music and dance from the region of Andalusia. It includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing) and baile (dance).
Gypsies who came to Spain in the XV absorbed all the cultural influenced in Spain:
1. Arabian melodies (melismatic, ornamented, insistent on a note) and the use of the guitar, typical in the moorish music.
2. Folkloric spanish dances, with its ternary rhythms, like the fandango (ternary, eight-syllable verses, castanets, phrygian cadence, similar to the jota):
and the seguidilla (seven and five-syllable verses, bandurria, laud…):
and the bolero:
3. Classical music, influenced itself by the folkloric spanish dances, specially during the Baroque. Boccherini, is a clear example:
Scarlatti also used the fandango rhythm and harmony:
Both composers lived in Spain, where they met with the folkloric dances.
Gluck and Mozart included fandangos also in their operas.
The phrygian cadence, used in the fandango, later known as ‘cadencia andaluza’, is very common in the flamenco:
In recent years flamenco has become popular all over the world and is taught in many countries. In Japan there are more flamenco academies than there are in Spain.
On November 16, 2010 UNESCO declared flamenco one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.