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Though it is impossible to cover all the genres and subgenres of flamenco, all amateurs should know, at least, the most important ones: the sevillanas, soleá, bulerías, jaleo, among others. In this post we tell you everything you need to know about the seguiriya.

The Origin of the Flamenco Seguiriya

There is uncertainty regarding the origin of the seguiriya, but many agree that it may have its roots in the plañideras, women hired to express grief and sorrow at wakes and burials. The first signs of this style, which come from the undeveloped tonás, can be found in Cadiz and Seville, Los Puertos, Jerez and the Triana district.


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Bailaores de flamenco bailando la Seguiriya

As for the name of this style of flamenco, it seems to stem from the term seguidilla, whose development has been rich and varied depending on the area. That is why, nowadays, the terms seguiriya, seguirilla, siguiriya or siguerilla can be found both in records and in written references, which makes them all appropriate terms.

The Features of the Flamenco Seguiriya

The seguiriya is a solemn and very emotional style, in which it is given more importance to the singer´s touching performance than to the structure of the piece itself, although it is true that it usually fulfills certain features.

In the past, it was carried out without music and, although nowadays the guitar accompanies the performer, it continues to be a serious kind of flamenco, without musical ornaments, which makes it a very difficult style to pull off, full of nuances and changes in tone.

The Traditional Structure of the Seguiriya

When following the traditional structure, the seguiriya proceeds as follows:

  • It begins with a strong guitar strumming, which introduces the singer.
  • The first lyrics are short and emotionally intense, topped off with guitar strumming.
  • This is followed by a brave singing verse, which is also finished off with the guitar, giving way to the change of lyrics.
  • The seguiriya ends with the guitar, strongly playing to the beat.

 

Bailaoras de flamenco bailando la Seguiriya

The Traditional Structure of the Seguiriya

When following the traditional structure, the seguiriya proceeds as follows:

  • It begins with a strong guitar strumming, which introduces the singer.
  • The first lyrics are short and emotionally intense, topped off with guitar strumming.
  • This is followed by a brave singing verse, which is also finished off with the guitar, giving way to the change of lyrics.
  • The seguiriya ends with the guitar, strongly playing to the beat.

Singing and Coplas

It is believed that the seguiriya comes from the plañideras, among other reasons, because of the type of singing, which is very somber and uses death as its main theme. Besides, it can be recognized for its lyrics full of moan, also called quejíos. These features are why the seguiriya are considered a pure cante jondo (profound song or deep song), which came along before the palo seco (the dry style of flamenco that isn´t accompanied by guitar music).

 

The structure of the coplas is based on a metric 3×4 + 6×8, with four verses, of which the first, second and fourth are hexasyllabic, while the third is hendecasyllabic. The rhyme is between the second and fourth lines, both in assonant and consonant.

Bailaora de flamenco bailando la Seguiriya

The Dance of Seguiriyas

As we have already mentioned, the seguiriya is a very emotional style of flamenco, in which performance is much more important than perfection: the dancer will interpret the seguiriya in a very heartfelt way, displaying art and passion on stage.

If you want to discover the charm of this flamenco palo you just have to see our show Gran Gala Flamenco, where you can enjoy and learn everything you can imagine about the art of flamenco.


A UNIQUE FLAMENCO EXPERIENCE IN BARCELONA.

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