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Spanish Flamenco Guitar

Origins

“Flamenco” is the name most widely associated with Spanish music. And although it is definitely part of that country’s culture, it’s native only to the Southern region of Andalucia. However this does’nt mean that if you’re not born in Andalucia, you can’t be a “genuine” Flamenco artist! There have been, and continue to be, many contributors from other regions and other countries. Most notably Latin America and Cuba.

Originally, Flamenco was the music of the Andalucian gypsies. And, understandably, those who grew up around them were called “Flamencos.”

Just as this style of Spanish music was result of centuries of influence and “cross pollination” by and from Byzantine and Moorish influences, the same is true for the evolution of the Spanish Guitar.

Cross Pollination

After the Islamic invasion of Spain in 711, the region of what we today know as Cordoba, became a center for Islamic musicians. Who were obviously influenced by the local music. The first phase of the guitars’ evolution was the addition of a fifth string to the Islamic Oud. The resulting instrument was the Andalucian “Nuba.” More commonly referred to as the “Moorish Guitar.”

Centuries later, elements of this instrument combined with the European Lute and the Guitar Latina created the Vihuela. This became the basis for the Baroque guitar, which, in turn, morphed into the Classical guitar. Finally, the Flamenco guitar was born. A variation of it’s Classical “cousin.”