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What is the flamenco?


Flamenco is a type of music, dance, and song associated with the Andalusian gypsies of Spain.

Flamenco music is rhythmic and sensual. The dance is characterized by slowly twisting movements of the arms and body, the stamping of feet, the clapping of hands, and the use of castanets. Dances are often spontaneous or improvised, and they are usually accompanied by a guitar. The songs are frequently punctuated by wailing sounds and by cries of "ole" from the audience to signify its approval. The brightly colored costumes of the performers add to the excitement of the music and contribute to the atmosphere of gaiety that usually accompanies flamenco.

The origin of both the word "flamenco" and flamenco music is obscure. The word "flamenco" means Flemish, and according to one theory, flamenco music developed out of the Spanish occupation of Flanders in the 16th century. Others believe that the music developed from the cante hondo ("deep song" ), which was sung by prisoners early in the 19th century. Later, it is believed, cante hondo became known as flamenco because it was associated with gypsies whose gaily colored clothing reminded people of the bright colors of flamingo plumage. It is generally believed that, regardless of origin, flamenco shows the strong influence of the music of the Moors, Jews, and gypsies.

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