Escuela de guitarra flamenca del Maestro Rafael Cañizares | Barcelona

De cal y canto

De cal y canto

Camarón with Paco de Lucía

It seems like yesterday the first time I heard them sing this Letra por Tientos. Their contributions to the world of flamenco are immeasurable. These two geniuses, Camarón de la Isla and Paco de Lucía, and the flamenco they created – if it weren’t for them it would only exist in a remote corner of our dreams. Flamenco would exist, of course, but not in its current form and aesthetic, since it was these two, with their personal creativity who made it possible for the new and magic flamenco of today to become a reality.
The youth of flamenco, our divine treasure, will be the ones to take the torch from the hands of these great musical treasures, the torch passed to them by other great artists. And so, through the many centuries of flamenco this art of ours will continue to gush forth like fresh flowing spring water, from a new source, the unbreakable ‘cal y canto de arena’ and from those who know the infinite now more than ever. Thank you, Paco! Thank you, Camarón!

Score with chord symbols showing the song’s harmony and falsetas

Score with chord symbols showing the song’s harmony and falsetas

Tientos

“Que un toro en su muerte”

De cal y canto de arena
De cal y canto de arena
Allá abajito se ve una fuente
De cal y canto de arena
Donde bebe mi serrana
Agua de la fuente nueva
Donde bebe mi serrana
Agua de la fuente nueva

In this study for accompaniment in the flamenco styles or palos, I chose lyrics taken from the song “Que un toro bravo en su muerte” recorded by Camarón and Paco in 1969.
Key: The middle of 4 (C# flamenco mode). Minute 2:22 “De cal y canto de arena”.
Harmonically, we see a repeating flamenco cadence in the accompaniment typical of this style, between the bII and the I, (Bb-A). This is found in bars 1-2, 3-4, 14-15 and 18-19 (Fig. 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1

This typical cadence consists of a cycle of two 4/4 bars, There is very little difference between the repeating rhythm pattern and the pattern used in the execution (Fig. 2).

Figure 2

Figure 2

After this point, as an interlude, in bar 5 (Fig. 3), Paco’s guitar plays a brief passage using the thumb technique and subdivided triplets, with a brief two-bar break (5-6) for vocals after the previous four bars.

Figure 3

Figure 3

Starting in bar 7 (Fig. 4), the harmony plays an A7 = V7/IV (a passing chord or secondary dominant) going to Dm (IV), returning on bar 11 (C7 = V7 / I), at which point there is a brief modulation to the relative major of the flamenco mode, F major (F = I). This displaces the tonal centre of the flamenco mode in measures 11-12-13 (C7, C7/G and F7).

Figure 4

Figure 4

This ambiguity in tonal modulation requires further examination: The first degree of the major key has the major seven (Fmaj7) (Fig. 5), and in any mode, the minor seven is used for chords that function as dominants, the V of any key or as secondary dominants.

Figure 5

Figure 5

So, seen from this point of view and considering the minor seven in the bVI, F can be considered to be a V7/bII, in other words, a Bb (Fig. 6), and not the I of the relative major key, although clearly this brief modulation is heard as the relative major and not as the b6 of I (A Phrygian).

Figure 6

Figure 6

Ambiguities aside, in bars 14-15 (Fig. 7), the Bb-A cadence appears again, with a different melodic line that concludes this section, followed by another repetition of the progression that modulates to our ‘major key’ in bars 17-18, which comes to a full conclusion in bar 19.

Figure 7

Figure 7
The score, with chord symbols showing the song’s harmony and falsetas, is available to anyone interested in learning to play its accompaniment or falsetas. Contact us and we will send it to you free of charge.

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