• afillá a type of hoarse, earthy flamenco voice
  • alante stage front
  • Alegrias A joyful dance, in compas of 12 beats, from Cadiz. The origin is in the jotas of Cadiz – traditional folk music of Aragon, brought to the Andalucian region by soldiers during the War of Independence in the early 19th century. The main characteristics of this style are the richness of its guitar accompaniment, the intricacy of the dancing, the demands of its difficult rhythm, and its lively sound. Descendent of the Soleares family.
  • Andalucia region from southern Spain; birthplace of Flamenco
  • arpegio a chord whose notes are played in succession, not simultaneously
  • atrás stage rear


  • baile the dance
  • bailaor{a} dancer (male & female)
  • bout body of the guitar
  • braceo movement of the arms during the dance
  • bulerias High-spirited song & dance from Jerez. This developed like Soleares from a simple style. However, unlike Soleares, it has a fast and lively rhythm – indeed, the fastest in all flamenco – and provides enormous scope for improvisation on the part of dancers, singers and guitarists. It is wild, frenzied and lively, but nevertheless contains the germ of sorrow that is almost always present in flamenco.


  • cabales Flamenco experts
  • café cantante coffee house with flamenco shows (originally starting with flamenco cante but eventually covering all flamenco forms)
  • cajon percussive instrument similar to an empty wooden box
  • calo language of the gypsies
  • caña Caña, also very closely related to Soleares, is one of the oldest forms of flamenco, and one of the most pure and beautiful.
  • cantaor{a} singer (male & female)
  • cante song
  • cante chico light song, more frivolous
  • cante jondo (‘j’ prounounced as ‘h’) deep song covering both the dark and serious aspect of Flamenco
  • cante grande more profound song
  • carcelera type of tonás sung by incarcerated gypsies
  • Caracoles This is one type of cantiñ which appeared in Cadiz in the mid-19th century. It became strongly associated with Madrid, although it is essentially from Andalucia, like all flamenco music. Curro Cuchares and ‘El Tato’ who worked in the bull-rings and were also good singers took this style to Madrid where it became very popular. Later it was recreated in a masterly way by Antonio Chacon, who gave it its present brilliance and vitality.
  • cejilla capo on a guitar
  • colombianas flamenco style influenced by S.American rhythms
  • compás beat, rhythm, measure, the characteristic rhythm of a form
  • copla verse
  • cuadro group of flamenco performers, including dancers singers, and guitarists


  • danza mora a style influenced by the Moors of N.Africa (stands for Moorish Dance); guitar 6th string tuned to D
  • debla toná with religious overtones
  • desplante section of a dance, as in “desplante por bulerias”, performed after the “llamada”. May range from several steps to several compass depending on the choreography
  • duende the soul force that inspires flamenco art


  • entrada entrance of the dancer
  • estribillo a flamenco phrase


  • falda skirt
  • falseta a melodic variation played by guitarist
  • falsete high pitched voice
  • fandango a dance from Huelva; cante chico
  • farruca A spectacular male dance, one of the more recent forms of flamenco. Its origin is perhaps in some chants from the North of Spain. It is never sung when played in the pure flamenco idiom. As a dance or as a guitar solo, it is a very dramatic piece.
  • flamenco music/dance from Andalucia in Southern Spain. Roots in Indian, Arabic, Spanish cultures.
  • floreo movement of the hands


  • gitano gypsy
  • golpe An accoustic effect while playing guitar where the player hits the ‘golpeador’ (plastic protection for the guitar) with his nail.
  • golpeador Plastic protection for the guitar similar to a pick guard /—–\/—\ | __ | iii | I (__)============(—) | xxxx | iii \_____/\___/ If ‘o’ is the guitar sound hole, xxxx is a place, where you can find the Golpeador. Sometimes the player has more than one, depending on their style of playing
  • guajiras a style influenced by Cuban rhythms


  • hondo deep, profound

  • juergaflamenco party or jam session
  • jaleo utterances of approval, encouragement. Recognition of the duende
  • jondo variation of hondo most often associated with flamenco dance
  • júcal A calo word used to refer to a great “bulerias” toque


  • letra verse of a song
  • llamada “call” or “break”, dance movement signalling a change of section


  • malagueñas a free form flamenco style (no specific compas, interpretive, and not danced) from Malaga. Descendent of the Fandango family.
  • manton embroidered silk shawl with long fringes
  • marcando movements of the dancer during the letra
  • martinete toná sung by the gypsies in a forge; refers to hammer


  • palillos castanets, not used in pure flamenco
  • palmas rhythmic hand clapping used to accompany flamenco song and dance
  • palmeros men that clap while the musicians play
  • petenera Cante that is out of the mainstream, derived from Andalucian folklore. The folklore behind this is that the word is a corruption of “Patenera” who sang the cante and came from Paterna de la Rivera. It is considered by the superstitious to be bad luck to play.
  • picados flamenco scales on the guitar
  • pitos finger snapping used to accompany flamenco song and dance
  • planta sole of the foot
  • polo flamenco song derived from the Soleares family
  • punta toe of the foot
  • punteado plucking technique


  • quejío lament


  • rasgueado guitar strumming technique
  • redonda flamenco voice
  • rondenas another free-form style; it uses an alternative tuning for both 3rd and 6th strings
  • rumbas another flamenco style influenced by New World rhythms; strumming characterized by damping the strings with the whole hand for syncopation


  • salida exit of the dancer
  • serranas same compas as siguiriyas, but played in E instead of A so has a different mood and texture, though some of the same variations can be transposed
  • siquiriyas/seguidillas profound cante jondo
  • soleá/soleares cante jondo called the mother of flamenco song. Consists of 12 beats with accents on the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th.


  • tablao club with stage for flamenco shows
  • tacaor/tocaor flamenco guitarist
  • tacon heel of the foot
  • taconeo footwork
  • tango baile chico, flamenco song & dance
  • tanguillo flamenco song and dance dervied from the tango
  • tarantas another free-form style
  • tarantos this one is danced, so has a compas, and is related to the tarantos in key, etc.
  • tientos cante jondo, derived from tango
  • tocaor/tacaor flamenco guitarist
  • tonás basic flamenco song. The earliest known.
  • toque guitar playing
  • toque compás guitar playing with fixed patterns of rhythmic beats
  • toque libre guitar playing with free form rhythm
  • tremolo a rapid fluttering of a guitar tone or alternating tones


  • zapateados needs very fancy footwork; the compas speeds up, slows down, and speeds up again and is a showcase for dancers (zapato means shoes). Derived from the tango.