The seguiriyas are considered the quintessence of the jondura, one of the backbones of flamenco, with a wide range of nuances depending on the region and cantaores. Let’s get to know them a little better.
Their origin is uncertain. It seems that they were already being sung in the 18th century, although those seguiriyas were sung by plañideras, hence they were also called “playeras”.
Its main characteristic is that seguiriyas are the cante of grief, with a dramatic style, sad and tragic lyrics, although they present a very wide stylistic variety. For example, calls are not the same as callsseguiriyas of Triana, those of Jerez or those of Cádiz and Los Puertos. Incidentally, Jerez and Cádiz are the two areas of origin.
Singers of seguiriyas
Although it depends on the specific style, the title of the cantaor exponent of this palo could be given to Silverio Franconetti, also considered by many experts as the best cantaor of all times. This Sevillian gave them such interpretative difficulties that his school almost disappeared.
Tomás Pavón was a master of the seguiriyas of Triana, while Juan Junquera, el Marrurro, Manuel Molina, Paco La Luz, El Loco Mateo and Joaquín la Serna are masters of the seguiriyas of Jerez. From Cádiz, El Mellizo, Enrique el Gordo and Curro Durse.
Others who have excelled in this palo are Manolo Caracol, Antonio Chacón, Pepe Torres, Pastora Pavón, and Antonio Mairena.
Dance and guitar for seguiriyas
In dance, they had a late incorporation, in the twentieth century. Vicente Escudero is considered to be its implementer in 1939; Pilar López, was one of the first to interpret the seguiriyas dance by adding the palillos.
One specification of the seguiriya (since in its beginnings it was a dry palo, without an instrument) is that the guitar accompaniment is very strumming, using the thumb, with very pure sounds. In this trailer of the show De Morón a Polígono Sur, by David El Galli, you can see a preview. And if you click on the link, a marvellous show with not only seguiriyas, but also martinetes, soleás, malagueñas…