The history of Flamenco

History of Flamenco 2

In the middle of the 19th century, and due to the different circumstances, some people who are not alien to the existing mode in Europe, start up the Cafés Cantantes. The first one about which we have information in Sevilla is Los Lombardos, opened in 1842.

Those places are one step forward for the professionalization of the different artists who are going to compose the flamenco shows, and a clarification of the different roles that the performers are going to represent there. The cantaor ( singer ) makes his way together with the guitarist, who at the same time keeps monopolizing the place of different instruments of accompaniment, like bandurria, violin, castanets, bells, crótalos and tambourines. The dance loses its place of presence and integrates, or is not performed, depending on the types of shows. The Cafés Cantantes worked with various passes, which made it necessary for them to have different teams of artists, and that made it easy for artists to professionalize since they got paid by show or by day.

This circumstance collaborated so that the comparison, which the audience could make about the quality of the different performers, happens in a very short period of time. The audience demonstrated it by visiting the tablao more or less, and that produced a variation in the incomes of the place, as well as the incomes of the artists. Here we pick up a comment of the period made by Antonio Chacón. 1  We used to perform in the tablao, Enrique el Mellizo was earning 80 pesetas a night with his tocador ( guitarist ) the master Tapia; and I was earning 7 pesetas with the master Patiño. He sings a copla ( Spanish popular fork song ) of Seguiriya and then I sing Malagueña. The discussions of these 2 performances last a while, and then he returns, and again, the kid ( they used to call me the kid ).

1, El liberal de Sevilla. Interview of Antonio Chacón done by the journalist Agustín López Macias ( Galerín ), published July the 9th, 1922.

Bibliography:  La Economía Sevillana del Flamenco ( January 2009 )

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