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Jácaras are Spanish songs which are accompanied with instruments and are performed during the entr'acte of a theatrical performance and also as an accompaniment to many types of dance.


There are different explanations for the origin of the term. Corominas (1954) gives the origin as an Arabic word for chess,[1] other sources give the origin as Arabic for bellowing or making someone angry.[2]


The form may be textless, as in the compositions of Santiago de Murcia.

The words of a secular jácara are often about a prankster and his adventures and frequently use vulgar language. Dramatists Calderón de la Barca, Francisco de Quevedo cultivated the genre.

During the late baroque the jácara could also be set to a semi-sacred vernacular text, such as Al arma, al arma valientes for 8 voices for Saint Ignatius of Loyola composed by the chapelmaster of Sucre Cathedral, Bolivia, Juan de Araujo.[3]


  1. ^ Christmas music from baroque México - Page 37 Robert Murrell Stevenson - 1974 "In his Diccionario critico etimologico de la lengua castellana (Madrid: Editorial Gredos, 1954), H, 1023, Joan Corominas derived "jacara = xacara" from "xaque. " English "check" comes from the same Arabic root as does "xaque." "
  2. ^ The three secular plays of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: a critical study - Page 124 Guillermo Schmidhuber de la Mora, Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz, Olga Martha Peña Doria - 2000 "The Turdion, a Gallicism for tordion, from tordre (to twist), is a type of very graceful dance from the Spanish school; the Jacara comes from the Arabic yakkara (to make someone furious, to irritate someone); it is a joyous, ..."
  3. ^ Tess Knighton, Álvaro Torrente -Devotional music in the Iberian world, 1450-1800: 2007 - "During his long tenure (1680- 1712) as chapelmaster at La Plata cathedral, Juan de Araujo wrote a Jácara a 8 for Saint Ignatius of Loyola, AI arma, al arma valientes

Spanish Wikipedia