Alegrias flamenco palo


The flamenco palo Alegrias is the most popular flamenco style from the cantinas group. The word ‘Alegrias’ is derived from the Spanish word alegre, meaning happy, enthusiastic. So this cante, originating from Cadiz, tends to be loud and happy. The Algerias palo is a kind of a mix between the solea and a traditional dance from Aragon, the so called ‘Cadiz jota’. Since this blend took place around 1812 at the times when the French Napoleon was forced to end his long siege of Cadiz, permanently evacuating the provinces of Andalusia, the lyrics of the Algerias often refer to times of freedom and struggles. It was the singer Ignacio Espeleta (1871 – 1938) that introduced the common repeated Algerias opening vocals ‘tiri-ti-tran’. According to Chano Lobato, during a party, Ignacio Espeleta couldn’t remember his lyrics anymore, giving birth to these very famous opening vocals. Many years later, Manolo Vargas of Sevilla made these Alegrias opening vocals very popular. Although the Algerias guitar accompaniment is played in a major key, when the silencio is introduced, the guitar changes to a minor key. An Algerias starts with some slow flamenco guitar rasgueados and a few falsetas leading into the escobillas, continuing till the dancer gives the llamada for the finale.

The rhythmic structure of the Algerias is the same as the solea, having an accentuation pattern of 3+3+2+2+2. Compas pattern: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12