Ravenna Flamenco

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Alegria por Baile

difficulty ★★★☆☆

An arrangement of a traditional alegrias in E major. This transcription emphasizes how the different parts of alegrias fit together in the context of dance accompaniment: falsetas, coplas, llamadas, cierres, silencio, etc. The structure of this arrangement is analyzed in depth in the alegrias dance accompaniment article here at Ravenna Flamenco.

While this alegrias could be played as a stand-alone piece, it is designed as a model for a basic and common way to play for dancers. This said, the vast majority of the outstanding flamenco players we all look up to (Paco, Tomatito, Vicente Amigo, Moraito, etc.) are all well versed in dance and cante accompaniment. Even when these players are not accompanying, their knowledge of how the guitar relates to dance and song is apparent.

Even if you’re not planning on actually accompanying dancers, knowing this side of toque is of immense value. Having a sense of the overall structure of how a palo is played collaboratively can help you break away from a style of playing that is just a string of falsetas without any direction of purpose.

Which is not to say that you won’t find falsetas in this transcription. It opens, in fact, with a version of the falseta Tomatito plays in his Camarón accompaniment on the Paris 1987 album. The second falseta (at rehearsal letter F) is a version of a falseta Chicuelo plays in Dulce Sal, on the Cómplices disc. The silencio is based on the Grupo de José Galván silencio on the Alegrías y Cantiñas II Solo Compás disc (though here it is extended to include a doble).

In lieu of simply giving you these falsetas in a vacuum, however, this arrangement also gives you the "connective tissue" of the song; it puts the falsetas in context. Once you understand how these pieces (falsetas, remates, coplas, entre-coplas, etc.) fit together, you should feel free to tailor the overall structure to your taste. If the entre-copla material goes on too long for you, shorten it. Once you know how a piece works as a whole, you can make changes without falling into the trap of simply reciting falsetas.

tags: silencio, falseta, traditional
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