genre of Spanish music and dance

Flamenco is a style of baile. It is a form of entertainment with song, music and dance. It is very popular in Spain and is known worldwide. Its foundation is in Andalusia in Spain. In its evolution Andalusian gypsies played an important part.[1] The term 'flamenco' was first recorded in the late 18th century but many believe the art form is much older.

A flamenco group. Singer sits on hollow box (cajón) which he taps with his hands.
Gives quite a good idea of the man's costume.
Belén Maya - Famous dancer

Flamenco has acoustic guitar music, singing, hand claps, heel stamps, castanets. It is danced by a man and a woman in traditional Spanish costumes. The dance has no set tempo. It may have both fast and slow passages, rising to a climax near the end.

Flamenco performance has evolved during the history of this musical genre. In the beginning (the 18th century at the latest), songs were sung without any guitar accompaniment. During the 19th century, the guitar was used to accompany songs. Since the second half of the 19th century, the solo guitar is played in flamenco concerts. [2]

On November 16, 2010, UNESCO declared Flamenco one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.[3]



  1. See the 3rd definition of the term flamenco in the Dictionary of Real Academia Española.
  2. Claus, Madeleine (1996). Schreiner, Claus; Pauly, Reinhard G. (eds.). Flamenco: Gypsy Dance and Music from Andalusia. trans. Molly Comerford Peters. Portland, OR: Amadeus Press. p. 124. ISBN 9781574670134.
  3. Flamenco: Inscribed in 2010 on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: [1]

Other websites


Examples of flamenco:

  • Traditional flamenco [2]
  • Traditional flamenco by José Greco [3]
  • Notable for the voice and guitar as well as the dance by Sara Barras [4]
  • Ramon Ruiz group [5]
Notice the fan, and the heels.