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This traditinal major key sevillana, adapted from a Sabicas recording, uses two simple techniques to create musical interest in the tercio. Alzapua (thumb stroke) ligado on the trebel strings is used to create a cascading triplet melody, and instead of moving evenly through the basic C major chords, this arrangement’s chord progression hangs on the C and then resolves quickly through the F and G.

Compas and Chord Changes

This uneven movement through the chords makes this particular sevillanas a good exercise in maintaining compas. Since the accented beats of the sevillana compas don’t always coincide with the beginning of a melodic phrase, you need to keep track of the melody and the compas independently and be aware of when and where they cross. For example, in bar 21, the phrase of the F maj arpeggio starts on beat 2, and then, in bar 22, the same phrase on the G maj chord starts on beat one. The beginning of the F phrase is not on an accented beat, and the beginning of the G phrase is on an accented beat.

Making sure that you evenly accent the compas (1 2 3 1 2 3 . . .) will help you keep your melodic phrasing from being tied to closely to that underlying cadence. This sense of separation is an asset when you want to syncopate your melody with the compas of a given toque—whether sevillanas or something else entirely.

For a detailed analysis of the sevillana form, be sure to check out the Sevillana Accompaniment article here on Ravenna Flamenco.