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General Description

Through the study of a significant number of songs, articles, and documentary and cinematic material, this course will explore the importance of the old, traditional song in our society. We will give special attention to the poetic language of the lyrics; we will provide the student with the basic tools to handle this rich material and we will analyze the links between song and society that is its origin and at the same time its end.

Our exploration will be constructed out of the understanding of song as cultural object and vehicle of culture, fundamental part of our sentimental memory and privileged base from which to access knowledge of a society.


  1. Cante jondo (“deep song”) and flamenco
    - A unique vocabulary. Etymologies.
    - Birth and evolution: when, where, how. The social substratum.
    - Primitive oriental traces: Andalusian musical orientalism.
    - Basic notions of flamenco history.
    - The lyrics of flamenco verses
    - Flamenco versus folk
    - Poetry and song: high-culture poems sung in flamenco
    - Dance
  2. Traditional and Popular Song
    - Folk music. Introduction. Terminology.
    - The romances.
    - The popular lyrical song.
    - Traditional and popular song, and processes of collective identity construction: the case of Spain.
  3. Sephardic Song
    - Sefarad, the third diaspora: short history of Sephardic Jews.
    - Language, literature and song.
  4. The 20th Century and the consumer song.
    - A radical change in the way of conceiving, producing, distributing and performing songs.
    - The song of the masses: the end of the traditional?


Readings, attendance and participation: 20 %
Exam: 40 %
Written work: 40 %


  1. BORGES, J. L. 1969: El otro, el mismo, Buenos Aires, Emecé
  2. CABALLERO BONALD, J. M. 1988: Luces y sombras del flamenco, Sevilla, Algaida
  3. FERNÁNDEZ BAÑULS, J. A. y PÉREZ OROZCO, J. M. 1986: Joyero de coplas flamencas (Antología y estudio), Sevilla, Editoriales Andaluzas Unidas
  4. GARCÍA LORCA, F.1985: Poema del cante jondo y Romancero gitano, Madrid, Cátedra
  5. 1989: “El cante jondo”, en Obras Completas, vol. III, Madrid, Aguilar
  6. 1989: “Arquitectura del cante jondo”, en Obras Completas, vol. III, Madrid, Aguilar
  7. GRANDE, F. 1992: “El flamenco”, en Revista El Sol, Madrid, nº 86
  8. LEÓN. J. J. 2008: Compás de extranjería, Granada, Comares / La Vela
  9. 2011: Breve selección de coplas flamencas, Material de clase
  10. RANDEL, D. (ed.) 1997: Diccionario Harvard de música, Madrid, Alianza
  11. ROSALES, L. 2001: “El cante y el destino andaluz”, en Abril, nº. 22, Luxemburgo
  12. VV. AA. 1992: Memoria de Sefarad, en El País-Temas de nuestra época, Madrid, nº 227
  13. VV. AA. 2011: Selección de cantes flamencos, Material de clase preparado por J. J. LEÓN