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The politics of Flamenco: La leyenda del tiempo and ideology

  • Jesús López-Peláez Casellas (a1)

Abstract

Flamenco music has consistently been misrepresented as an exclusively aesthetic construct only concerned with the transmission of essential and timeless values and with the production of beauty. This insidious mystification is a consequence of the influence that several decades of nacionalcatolicismo (the ideological construction of Franco's Spain) has had over flamenco, together with its obscure and unclear origins, about three centuries ago. This paper will suggest that, against this commonly held belief, flamenco music frequently has a political agenda, which may be explicitly expressed in the lyrics of the cantes, or implicitly apparent in the formal and ideological structure of flamenco itself and its recordings. Camarón and Pachón's seminal La leyenda del tiempo (Polygram, 1979) will be explored both in its own right as one of the peaks of contemporary (new) flamenco and also as a clear showcase of how flamenco may be politicized in various ways and serve a clearly ideological purpose without neglecting its musical and aesthetic role.

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Popular Music
  • ISSN: 0261-1430
  • EISSN: 1474-0095
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