Flamenco Classical Spanish Guitar Music Explained

June 9, 2020

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Flamenco, Classical and Spanish Guitar Music

In this article I will discuss three different types of guitar music.

These are: Flamenco Guitar Music, Classical Guitar Music and Spanish Guitar Music.

All of my sound clips are examples of flamenco music.
Most of my videos are also flamenco pieces.

I am gradually uploading some classical pieces. Where that is the case, I explain that the piece is classical in the caption.

You may already know a great deal about guitar music.
If that is your case, I do hope enjoy agreeing or disagreeing!

Conversely, if you are developing your interest, I hope this post provides a little clarification of the differences.

Flamenco Guitar Music

This is what I really love.
It is what I have played all my life.

Flamenco perhaps tends to sound rather forceful, when compared to classical.
However, it does not have to be like that.
I like to play much of my flamenco with a less brash and more warm approach.

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 flamenco has basic themes.
You are free to build these 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’.
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 Works

I have to say straight away that there are some wonderful beautiful Spanish classical pieces.

Sometimes people have heard classical music which they find a little shall we say heavy going.
I seek out the tuneful, emotional pieces and I play them with just a hint of flamenco expression.

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 which personal liberties are permissible. 

As I say above there are many absolutely wonderful classical guitar compositions. 

Spanish Guitar Music

This term is somewhat flexible.
Because of this rather open idea, I am very careful to discuss the Spanish guitar music that I play with my clients.

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 term 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.
Many of these pieces are of course rightly popular.

However, my own area of expertise is very Spanish.

Make an enquiry

I’m based in Buckinghamshire but I love to perform all over the UK and abroad. If you have an event, wedding or party, telephone or email me to chat about your ideas.

I provide and can adapt the following flamenco guitar services to make your event extra special:

Solo flamenco guitar
Flamenco guitar with flamenco dancer(s)
Duets of guitar and castanets
Flamenco guitar with Spanish singer
Spanish Classical Guitar

Landline: 01296 651164

Mobile: 07873 269124

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