Spain is located in southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, Portugal, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France.
Spain has a rich history and varied folk music traditions. The two best known musical genres from Spain are Flamenco and Celtic music, although Spain has many other musical styles and dances throughout its mainland and island regions. Celtic music is primarily found in northwestern Spain, in Galicia and Asturias, although Celtic music acts can be found throughout the rest of the country.
Andalusia is a region in southern Spain. Andalusian musical genres include Flamenco, folk dances such as sevillanas (Seville), verdiales (Malaga), seguidilla and Flamenco-rooted rock known as rock andaluz (Andalusian rock). Musical instruments used include the flamenco guitar, the gaita rociera (also known as flauta rociera or pito rociero), tamboril, castanets, laúd, gaita gastoreña, cajón flamenco and bandurria. Medieval Andalusian music in Moorish-occupied Spain is known as Arab Andalusian music.
Asturias is a region in northern Spain. Asturian music is considered part of Spain’s Celtic music scene. Musical genres include: pasacáis or pasacalles, muñeires, muliñeira or molinera, rondes, saltón, alborada, marcha, fandango, jota or xota, and habanera. Musical instruments used include the gaita asturiana (Asturian bagpipe), drums and accordion.
Extremadura is a region in western Spain, bordering Portugal, which is an autonomous community comprised of the provinces of Caceres and Badajoz.
Traditional music found in Extremadura includes secular and religious songs and dances such as jotas, perantones, pasacalles, alboradas, toques procesionales (processional music), ofertorios, charrás, pindongos, tonadas festivas, alboradas and toreras.
There is an important Flamenco scene that includes top performers at a national level.
Traditional groups in the Alta Extremadura (Upper Extremadura) use the format of gaita (a three hole flute, not a bagpipe), tamboril (drum) and vocals.
Flamenco was born in Andalusia and is also very popular in Extremadura and Murcia. Spain’s capital, Madrid has one of the largest and best Flamenco scenes in the country in terms of artists, nightclubs, concerts and festivals.
Spanish musical genres:
Arin arin – Ancient circle dance from Bilbao, in Spain’s Basque Country. Men and women who participate in pilgrimages dance it in couples. Also known as porrusalda, purrusalda, or porrue.
Arrolo – Spanish lullaby from the Galicia region.
Arroró – Spanish lullaby, also found in Spanish-speaking America.
Arrullos – A type of lullabies found in Spain and Spanish-speaking America. Arrullos are sung by mothers or nannies while holding the baby in their arms, or when they are rocking the baby in a cradle to sleep.
Añada – Lullabies from Asturias.
Bolero – The bolero is a traditional Spanish musical air and dance at 3/4. The bolero parado is a type of bolero from the Balearic Islands (Spain). The name parado (stopped) comes from the abrupt end of the dance. In Cuba, Spanish influences mixed with African elements gave birth to the Cuban bolero, a very slow 4/4 rhythm, accompanied by maracas and bongos. Bolero Viejo (old bolero) is a type of bolero from Spain. In the Balearic Islands it is sometimes known as bolero vell. Boleros are popular in Spain and Spanish-speaking America.
Calvario – Spanish Easter songs. Calvario means calvary in Spanish.
Jota – Folk dance and song of Aragon, Spain, that spread to other parts of Spain. Performed usually by one or more couples and consisting of hopping steps in 3/4 time. The jota de la vendiminia is a wine harvest jota dance from Ciudad Real (Castile-La Mancha). Guitar, bandurria and percussion accompany the dancers.
Muñeira – Traditional Galician song and dance, also known as muiñeira. The muñeira is accompanied by gaita (bagpipe), tamboril (drum) or redoblante, pandereta (tambourine), pandero (frame drum), bombo, charrasco and sometimes conchas (sea shells), which are also known as cunchas or vieiras (scallop shells). The muñeira has been adopted by many contemporary Galician folk groups and adapted with new arrangements. Variations include muñeira do Espantallo, muñeira ribeiriña, muñeira carballesa and muñeira redonda.
Other genres: chotis, ensalada, fandango, farruca, jota, sardana, sevillanas, verdiales.
Directory of Spanish musicians involved with traditional Spanish folk music, flamenco or world music:
Andalusian Folk Music
Balearic Folk Music
Basque Folk Music
Canary Island folk music
Celtic Music (including Asturian and Galician folk music)
Fía na Roca
Llan de Cubel
Xosé Manuel Budiño
Bernarda de Utrera
Camarón de la Isla
Capullo De Jerez
Cepillo (Ángel Sánchez)
Diego “El Cabrillero”
Diego ‘El Cigala’
Dolores La Agujeta
El Indio Gitano
Enrique De Melchor
Fernando De La Morena
José Antonio Rodríguez
José Jiménez Abadía, El Viejín
La Barberia del Sur
La Niña de los Peines
La Paquera de Jerez
Manuel Soto Monje
Miguel Angel Cortés
Niño de Pura
Paco de Amparo
Paco de Lucia
Pedro Ricardo Miño
Ramón El Portugués
Razón de Son
Tomás de Perrate
Vicente Soto “Sordera”
Gypsy Rumba (rumba gitana)
Murcian Folk Music
World Music/World Fusion/Mestizaje
Canteca de Macao
La Bruja Gata
L’Ham de Foc
Mártires del Compás
Ojos de Brujo