In this guitar lesson you’ll observe a guitar performance in the style of flamenco. For those who are unfamiliar with flamenco, it’s a style of music native to several regions of southern Spain. Below is a list of characteristics that define it:
- Microtonality: presence of intervals smaller than the semitone.
- Portamento: frequently, the change from one note to another is done in a smooth transition, rather than using discrete intervals.
- Short tessitura or range: Most traditional flamenco songs are limited to a range of a sixth (four tones and a half).
- Use of enharmonic scale. While in equal temperament scales, enharmonics are notes with identical name but different spellings (e.g. A flat and G sharp), in flamenco, as in unequal temperament scales, there is a microtonal intervalic difference between enharmonic notes.
- Insistence on a note and its contiguous chromatic notes, producing a sense of urgency.
- Melodic improvisation. Flamenco is not, strictly speaking, improvised, but based on a relatively small number of traditional songs, singers add variations on the spur of the moment.