Ravenna Flamenco

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Tangos Falseta (1)

difficulty ★★★☆☆

This is an arrangement of the opening falseta of Moraîto’s Rompeserones (Morao y Oro). Moraîto is a master of "saying more with less" and this falseta is a perfect example of that mastery: here the silences are as important as the notes played.

Though technically this falseta is not particularly challenging, capturing the aire of Moraîto’s playing is trickier (I’ve tried to do this in the video above, but you should definitely look to Moraîto’s own playing for the definitive rendition). When played well, this is a falseta that "bounces." "Bounce" is hard to quantify (or describe), but it’s indicative of playing that carries a particular kind of significance, a "gravity." It gives each note if not exactly equal weight, at least equal importance.

Pacing is a key factor in creating "bounce." You have to be careful not to move forward too quickly. This isn’t only a question of tempo, but also one of accent: which notes and when. Of course, if you play too fast, you won’t have time to accent much at all. Slowing down gives you the time to experiment with phrasing and emphasis. If played well, a passage played slowly can be just as interesting (and exciting) as the same passage played fast.

None of this is to say, however, that there’s anything wrong with speed. Choosing carefully when to play something fast, however, makes a short burst of speed all the more dramatic. In this case, the quick (though not difficult) flurry of notes at bar 25 ties off the falseta and allows for a smooth transition into tangos compás.

The remate at bars 33 and 34, incidentally, is my own addition, inserted here mostly just because I’m not playing on. This said, it is a handy tie-off for any number of tangos falsetas.

tags: falseta, moraito, bounce
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