Tango flamenco palo

Tangos flamencos, not to be confused with the Argentine tango, comprises flamenco palos such as tangos, tientos, farruca, garrotín and rumba and tanguillos, plus other rare palos such as marianas. Tangos flamencos have arisen in the regions of Cadiz, the principal port of the Spanish Navy since the 18th century. It is believed that the catching Caribbean rhythm, brought to Cadiz by the 19th century American merchant vessels, entered Andalusia in Cadiz and in time blended with local Andalusian musical influences, eventually evolving into tangos flamencos. The 1988 Diccionario Enciclopédico, compiled by José Blas Vega and Manuel Ríos Ruiz, claim that the word ‘tangos’ is derived from the onomatopoeia ‘tang’, meaning ‘sound of the drum’ being one of the rhythmic characteristics of the tango. In some parts of South America ‘tangosa’ refers to African slaves dancing to the beat of drums, potentially confirming the influence of African rhythms to tango. Other sources indicate that tangos have evolved from the 19th century Spanish songs and their popular dances. In any event, initially tangos were exclusively related to dance. Soon the tangos flamencos spread out to other regions such as Sevilla, Jerez and Malaga, each having different harmonic and melodic structures, but always having a 4/4 rhythm. The tangos from Triana or Granada follow the major and minor scales, the ones from Cádiz are accompanied in modal keys. The first known tango performer was Enrique El Mellizo from Cádiz. Cantaora La Niña de los Peines from Seville has made the tango immense popular, dedicating her artist name to the tangos lyrics “Peínate tú con mis peines”. In time, the tanguillos with its festive character often sung during Carnival and the slower, more profound tientos; originated from the tango.

The tango compas is a very dynamic and strongly accented rhythm. Its rhythmic pattern counts four beats, the first one often being a rest beat and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th beat being marked:

1 2 3 4 / 1 2 3 4 / 1 2 3 4 / 1 2 3 4

The tango coplas, poetic lyrics, are essentially short soleá coplas of four, sometimes three, eight-syllable verses, often characterized by a cheerful tone.