Flamenco singing or “jondo” singing

 In Flamenco Show
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Flamenco singing, also known as “jondo, hondo”, primitive and even traditional, refers to the oldest branch of flamenco, that which is considered to be the origin of everything. “Seducción Flamenca” is a flamenco show that goes back to the origins of this art form.

If we look back to that origin of flamenco, we will find only voice and palmas (rhythmic hand-clapping), as this art began with “a palo seco” singing, that is, without any kind of accompaniment. Before we go into the history and classification of flamenco singing, let us first define why it is called “cante” and not singing or chanting.

According to the RAE, flamenco singing is the “agitated Andalusian singing” and the person who performs it is called a cantaor (flamenco singer). And why agitated? Because the first cantaores (flamenco singers) were from this ethnic group and, therefore, flamenco is strongly associated to it.

Continuing with definitions, the cante jondo is “the most genuine Andalusian cante, with deep feelings”. In fact, the word jondo, is nothing more than the way in which Andalusians pronounce the word hondo, with an aspiration of the initial h.

Although cante jondo is considered the purest form of flamenco singing, today it is associated with certain flamenco forms, with a characteristic style. In fact, as Hipólito Rossy said, “not all flamenco singing is cante jondo”.

These first cantes were given, above all, in reduced environments, such as family gatherings or workplaces, hence their lyrics reflected pure and basic feelings, such as love, heartbreak, death, joy and sorrow.

They were people who sang both in moments of hard work and in moments of rest, and thus expressed all the events of their lives: marriages, engagements and/or deaths.

They were just another form of expression, so they were not accompanied by any kind of instrument, as they were improvised and their interpretation depended on how the one who “started” singing felt.

This ratifies even more the definition of this type of singing as profound, since it is deep, coming from the soul and transmitting feeling.

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Flamenco singer during the presentation of the Tablao Cuna del Flamenco

Pure flamenco: origin of cante jondo

The first cantes jondos were also called primitive and were divided into four basic flamenco palos from which all those we know today would later come. These basic cantes were: the soleá, seguiriyas, tangos and fandangos.

Following the trail left by the first cantaores, we can learn more about the evolution of flamenco and these primitive cantes.

In spite of the fact that there is no documentation that asserts this, it is believed that the first flamenco cantaor was the Jerez-born Tío Luís de la Juliana. What is known is that it was at this time that “El Planeta” was born, which carried the seguiriyas and tonás as its flag. His main student was “El Fillo”, a well-known old cantaor from Cádiz who maintained a relationship with “La Andonda”, famous and the first soleá singer.

So that you can get an idea of which flamenco styles we are referring to when we talk about more traditional and “jondo” flamenco, here is a list:

  • Romances: Also called corridos, in relation to the continuity of their coplas, with a narrative and plot thread, in contrast to other flamenco palos, which are formed by independent coplas.
  • Toná: Comes from the Spanish term tonada; that is to say, cantable or melodic fragment, although in Andalusia it is known as toná. There is no specific model of toná, but they were known by the name of the artist who performed them.
  • Siguiriyas: also known as seguiriyas, seguirillas and siguerillas. With a jondo and dramatic style of singing, it is easily recognizable by the quejíos (laments) in the form of ‘ayes’ (ay, ay, ay).
  • Soleá: considered to be the mother of flamenco. Its structure consists of: guitar introduction, exit vocalization, preparation vocalization, brave vocalization and remate, with interspersed falsetas.
  • Tangos: when the song is romantic, it is called habanera; when it is jocular, tango. The flamenco tango is the basis of the well-known tango of Cádiz, as well as of the tientos.
  • Cantiñas: the cantiñas bring together the alegrías, the romeras and the caracoles. They are known by the name of the composer, for example, cantiñas by Pinini or Tío José El Águila. They are also known by their place of origin, such as those of Cordoba. It is said that they are the same as the soleares but with different tonality.
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Flamenco show in Sevilla

Although we can describe in detail everything that flamenco singing is capable of transmitting, the truth is that the best way to enjoy it is to listen to it live.

The solemnity of a soleá, the rhythm of a tango, the coplas of romances… all this you will be able to hear and see live in the best flamenco show in Seville: “Seducción Flamenca”.

Our artists, improvise on stage all these flamenco palos, creating a unique show that will not leave you indifferent.

Book your ticket online in any of our three daily passes. Feel pure flamenco up close, get to know the origins of flamenco in Calle Cuna 15, Sevilla.

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