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Suite Española (Spanish Suite) ?

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I like baroque suites, and the way the composers organized the dances in some sort of geographical classification: English Suite, French Suite, Italian Suite......

Why not a Spanish Suite? Is it possible. Some dances in those suites came from Spain: Folia, Sarabande, Passacaglia... I needed more dances with the Spanish flavor. Undoubtedly, many of them are touched by the flamenco "sound" or style. In fact, flamenco music developed in the 18th century, ...., no doubt it took its roots from much earlier, from Arabian and Mediterranean scales and from the Dorian mode in the Ancient Greece (which is not the dorian mode we know today).

I have found some dances that are present all over the country: jota, fandango (we have some from Baroque), etc....

And some that are almost lost or limited to small areas.

I want to r¡write a whole suite with this dances. It's interesting and funny doing some research and trying to put this music in the piano. The piano was not an instrument of flamenco music, untii the las past or the 20th century with fusion music (flamenco-pop, flamenco-jazz, also academic). Not easy to get the sound in the piano.


One of those dances I found is the ZORONGO. This is a word almost nobody knows in Spanish. It means "headscarf", but we don't know if it has some link with the dance... Perhaps... Also, Zorongo is this dance. It includes the Andalusian cadence. And this is what I did....

Should I go on with this project?

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I can totally imagine this as a dance.  Despite some irregular phrase lengths I think it would still work.  Assuming that the first measure is an anacrusis, your first phrase ends up being 8 measures with a 2 measure denouement.  You often follow that template for your phrases although later on you have some 6 measure phrases.  Your most irregular phrase I think is meas. 76 - 84 which is a 9 measure phrase.  It all makes sense though - I don't get the feeling of any unfinished phrases.  Great job!  I guess it would be kinda cliche to write this kind of dance for guitar because of the heavy flamenco associations it would bring with it.  Thanks for sharing!

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@PaperComposer Thank you!

Some words about flamenco. In this style, length phrases are not regular or uniform, surely because they follow the singer, whose lines are full of melisma, hyper-rubato, breaks, etc... Flamenco es very very complex.., if you go into the pulses of the time signatures you go crazy.... Well, it takes a life to master it.

On the other hand, I velive that although these pieces come straightly from dances, they take a new (cult) form when treated by academic composers.

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  • 5 months later...
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On 7/3/2021 at 9:38 PM, Jerry Engelbach said:

The arrangement is not particularly pianistic. I would look for ways to adapt the pieces more to the characteristics of the piano.

It might help to look at the piano pieces of Albaniz, Lecuona, and Granados.



Of course, it tries to imitate the guitar.

In fact, Asturias (by Albéniz) is more known in its guitar transcription than the original for piano.

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1 hour ago, MJFOBOE said:

I think this piano work has good potential to be orchestrated ... lots of possibilities for texture/color among the orchestra section and percussion.


Thanks. This piece needs a revision in the title itself, because it is not a Zorongo (which should be in 3/4). It is closer to the fandango.

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