Rumba flamenca

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Rumba flamenca, also known as rumba gitana, gypsy rumba, Spanish rumba, flamenco rumba or, simply, rumba (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈrumba]), is a palo (style) of flamenco music from Spain. It is known as one of the cantes de ida y vuelta (roundtrip songs), music which diverged in the new world, then returned to Spain in a new form.[1] The genre originated in the 19th century in Andalucía, southern Spain, where Cuban folk music first reached the country. Initially, the genre was primarily influenced by Cuban rumba, a percussion-driven Afro-Cuban style of music whose vocal style was influenced by flamenco in the mid 19th century. Later in the 20th century, Paco de Lucía and others incorporated Afro-Peruvian musical elements such as the cajón (wooden box) and certain rhythms.[2]

The rumba flamenca instrumentation consists of flamenco guitars, hand clapping, occasional body slapping, castanets and the cajón.[1] As a result, it bears little resemblance to Cuban rumba, whose instrumentation is based on the congas and claves. Nonetheless, some artists such as Paco de Lucía and Tomatito have included congas alongside their cajones in their ensembles, although with a minor role.


The rumba flamenca dance has some origins in Catalonia, specifically in the downtown areas of Barcelona, where gypsies performed rumba catalana at the times of this genre's flowering popularity. The dance that it accompanied was improvised with prominent hip and shoulder movements, more overtly sexual than other styles of flamenco dances.[1]

Music theory[edit]

In Cuba, the rumba is performed with multiple percussion instruments, playing in duple meter.[1] The flamenco version of it uses palmas, guitar, and golpes (slapping the guitar).[1] In addition, rumba flamenca has a particular guitar strumming pattern absent in other flamenco styles.[3]


The rhythm is a modified tresillo rhythm with eight beats grouped into a repeating pattern of 3+3+2.[1]


Unlike traditional flamenco, rumba flamencas may be played in any key, major, minor and modal.[1]


The tempo of rumba flamenca is slower than other, (at approx 100-120bpm) more traditional flamenco styles such as bulerías and fandango. There are 4 beats per bar. Accent the 2nd and 4th beats.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Tony Dumas. "Flamenco Rumba? Is that for real??". Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  2. ^ Coderque, Isabel (1997). Flamencos: Cañizares, Duquende, Ginesa Ortega, Mayte Martín, Miguel Poveda. Barcelona, Spain: Institut de Cultura. 
  3. ^ Mello, Chris (2009). The Latin Guitar Handbook. Pacific, MO: Mel Bay. pp. 81–82. 

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