The Art of Flamenco in Society and Culture (Spring Only)
Universidad de Granada
Area of Study
History, Music, Spanish Culture, Visual Arts
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
Through the study of a significant number of songs, as well as articles, books, films and documentaries, this course will explore the poetic language of the lyrics, the association of these with high culture (principally poetry and music), the artistic nature of this musical expression and the links between flamenco and the society and culture that are its origin and end.
We will guide the student, from the analysis of this art and its diverse substrata, to the acquisition of an advanced understanding of its anthropological, historical, socio-cultural and linguistic aspects. We will carry out a review of knowledge of the history of Spain and Andalusia. We will study the literary quality of body of anonymous lyrics. We will encourage debate and moral reflexion about such concepts as exclusion, persecution, migration and racism, as well as about the feelings of pain, disgrace, humiliation and social shame. Finally, we will consider values intimately tied to the flamenco universe, such as brotherhood, liberty and resistance.
1. A priori concepts.
2. Songs as vehicles of culture and cultural objects of special attention.
3. Song (canción) versus flamenco song (cante).
4. Flamenco and stereotypes of the Spanish
a. The construction of the international image of Spain: an Andalusian image
b. The triad of popular culture: bull-fighting, processions and flamenco
c. Effects of this image on the arts
5. Linguistic Aspects
a. A unique lexicon
b. A phonetic convention: flamenco singing is articulated in Andalusian
6. Settings of flamenco: private and public
7. Birth and evolution: when, where, how
8. The social substratum
9. Primitive oriental traces: Andalusian musical orientalism.
a. Andalusia around 1492.
b. The metaphor of the melting pot
10. The lyrics of flamenco verses: an anonymous body of exceptional quality.
a. The lyrical poetry of the verses.
b. Subject matter
c. The poets create the lyrics: García Lorca and Luis Rosales, among others.
d. Anthology of anonymous verses.
e. From bottom to top and from top to bottom: relations between high and low musical and poetic culture.
f. The use of poems as lyrics for flamenco song: not-only-Lorca.
g. Political incorrectness, flamenco and flamenco artists.
h. Humour in flamenco.
11. The concept of acquired taste.
12. Flamenco versus folk.
a. The case of sevillanas: Are sevillanas flamenco?
13. Can flamenco be considered consumer music?
15. Sudden and unusual international renown.
a. Today’s flamenco public.
b. The spectacular drift.
c. Popular instinct against skill and discipline.
16. Final Reflections.
Readings, attendance and participation: 20 %
Exam: 40 %
Written work: 40 %