Flamenco, Classical and Spanish Guitar Music
This article considers three different types of guitar music.
Flamenco, Classical, Spanish.
You may already know a great deal about guitar music so this post is mainly useful to people who would like to get a little more clarification on the differences.
Flamenco Guitar Music
This is what I really love. This is what I have played all my life.
Flamenco is a musical expression that originates in the South of Spain in the region of Andalusia.
It is difficult to find really reliable dates but experts in the field tend to refer to about 1830.
Flamenco is a music of the people.
It is not created by great academic composers.
In its origin the flamenco singing was hardly even a music.
More it was a cry of desperation: An explosion of emotion.
People in Andalusia found that they could develop more and more flamenco forms.
I say forms because in flamenco you have a basic structure which you then are free to build into your own interpretation.
For this reason, you might listen to me playing a piece on this website. Let us say ‘Soleares’ for example.
You then listen to another flamenco guitarist playing a piece called ‘Soleares’ and at first it does not sound anything like my piece.
If we listen to lots of different guitarists each playing their own interpretation we will begin to hear certain similarities.
Classical Guitar Music
To a certain extent traditionally classical guitar music is the exact opposite of flamenco.
Classical is composed and written down and players will play exactly what they see on the score.
Of course each classical guitarist will have their own personality. As such we will hear the same piece played, slower or faster with more or less force etc.
Essentially though they want to be faithful to the composers intentions.
The music can be studied academically and examined. Grades obtained are partly due to established ideas of what is right or wrong and what personal liberties are permissible.
Having said this there are many absolutely wonderful classical guitar compositions.
Spanish Guitar Music
This term is somewhat flexible.
Perhaps up to about 1950 the term often was expressed as Spanish Classical Guitar.
That is to say people tended to expect to hear music either by Spanish composers or with a Spanish mood.
Nowadays some people use this tern to refer to music played on a nylon strung, non- electric guitar. The playing can include pieces from movies or well- known television sound tracks.