Styles of Flamenco

Flamenco, born in the South of Spain and only 100 % Andalusian...

This expression of art has been through many occasions throughout the years. Flamenco started to appear in the 15th Century with the Gypsies and the Golden Age of Flamenco lasted for 50 years from 1860 until 1910. This was thanks to Silverio Franconetti, who created “Café Cantantas” and eventually made flamenco a profession. After that, there had been many ups and downs. Since 2010 it has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage.

Flamenco has different influences, consists of different cultures, was born in the social working classes and was a spontaneous way to express their feelings of their daily life. But like music, Flamenco has different styles. These styles are called PALOS, which is translated as ‘stick’. It shows that you can compare this with a tree. A tree has a trunk and those are the roots of the tree... Same for Flamenco: flamenco has its roots that are passed on by different cultures. The branches of the tree are the different palos.  

There can be more than hundreds of palos! Each palo is categorised into a specific group, it depends on the rhythm, the lyrics, the meaning and its origin. Let’s have a look what the most important and popular ones are these days...

  • TONAS: it’s the primitive style of flamenco, about love or jealousy
  • BULERIAS: this is the most popular one right now! Bulerias are used for festivities or weddings
  • SOLEAS: soleas sound quite similar like bulerias, but these are more slow and heavy
  • SEGUIRIYA: the deepest palo that there is! It’s a deep and tragic song. It’s a way to express feelings of pain, hurt, sadness, lack of love, injustice, death,... It’s so emotional you have to put all your emotions and soul into it. The dances are also very slow.

In this moment it’s possible you will feel DUENDE. You can’t really translate it but it means that you felt something deep into your soul because of what you heard. Some people cry because it hits them in the feelings.. Everyone can feel Duende!

  • FANDANGOS: these are typical from Huelva, popular as bulerías. They represent different variations that can be serious, cheerful and even mocking
  • ALEGRÍAS: these are typically from Cádiz, it’s quite similar to soleares and bulerias but the rythym is faster, varied with different verses. Also one of the oldest dances are used to dance on this
  • IDA Y VUELTA: this means come and back songs. In the 19th Century, flamenco got its influences from South and Central America during the monopoly of “Indias”. A lot of Andalusian and Gypsies went there to work, made money and brought new influences like TANGO, GUAJIRA, MILONGA, RUMBA COLOMBIANA,...

And there are many more palos…

Want to know more about Flamenco? Come to our "Feel the Flamenco" tour. We will explain you the origins of Flamenco, why this art is like this, everything you have to know about it and drink a glass of sherry wine together before watch the best show in town. An unforgettable experience!