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Puerta del Principe & Serenata Española

Puerta del Principe (cantiñas). Composed and performed by Manolo Sanlucar (1943-2022, Spain).

The style of cantiñas belongs to a family of styles in flamenco by the same name. The cantiña is the direct descendant of the Spanish jota & jaleo, mixed with several other Spanish folkloric styles. It has a very happy and playful character, is composed in a major key, and is played in the same 12-beat compás (rhythm) as the soleá. The cantinas made their first public appearances in Spain in the 1870s in the province of Cádiz primarily as a dance form. It was created specifically to contrast with the somber and dramatic character of the soleá. As in most flamenco styles, composers of cantiñas began creating their own variations which included resulted in the styles of the alegrías, caracoles, romeras, la rosa, and a few others. Each sub-style of the cantiñas is primarily defined and differentiated by its vocal melody. Without a standardized vocal melody already assigned to another sub-style, any composition in 12-beats that is written in a major key is called a cantiñas in flamenco.


Serenata Española. Composed by Joaquim Malats (1872-1912, Spain) and performed by Andrea Gonzalez Caballero.

Malats was a pianist and composer who began performing at age 14. He wrote several popular pieces for that have been transcribed for multiple instruments. This piece is waltz (or mazurca) that includes quick passages and challenging shifts. Despite this complexity, notice how Andrea uses tempo expression and dynamic variation to add musical layers and interest to the piece.


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