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What is a Taranta in flamenco?

The taranta of flamenco is a song that emerged in the mining area of Almeria in the nineteenth century, which evolved in the heat of the singing cafes, forming part of the flamenco shows that were held at the time. But, do you know what a taranta is and how this genre was born?

What is a taranta?

Also known as taranto flamenco, the taranta is one of the “cantes minero-levantinos”, the root from which this type of cantes arise. It is created from a couplet made up of 4 or 5 octosyllabic versesof which one of them is repeated while singing. It is freely interpreted in its thirds.

A cante that requires a wide vocal range wide vocal range and one of the flamenco genres that is performed with the greatest rhythmic freedom. And, like the granaína and the malagueña, it has its own guitar playing that gives it a great personality. The topics generally dealt with are as follows mining type, with numerous allusions to daily life and with a vindictive sense.

What is the origin of the taranta?

It is believed that the taranta has its origin in Almeria. The inhabitants of this province are known as tarantos. Its musical antecedent could have been the aflamencamiento of some fandangos of the area, probably influenced by some type of cante minero that established its structure.

At the end of the 19th century, migratory movements from Granada, Jaén and Almería to the Murcian mines caused the fandangos from these areas of Andalusia to mix with the Murcian songs. The final contribution came from Antonio Grau Mora, Alicante singer who gave flamenco aesthetics to the musical structures of the fandango from Almeria and Murcia. Thus, in the first third of the twentieth century, the taranta.

But it must be said that the stamp was printed by Antonio Chacón, who managed to bring the taranta to its maximum splendor. And his accompanist on guitar, Ramón Montoya, who would end up creating an incomparable repertoire that has become the main source of the toque minero, both as accompaniment and convierto.

Characteristics of the taranta

Some of the most characteristic features of the taranta are the following:

Compass

Like many of the cantes of the eastern region of Andalusia, tarantas do not have a specific meter, but are sung freely. Free of compás, but not of rhythm, since the rhythm is the result of the conjunction between the guitarist and the cantaor.

Letters

The taranta is a fandango made up of six cadential fragments. The themes he develops are usually mining or amorous, with clear allusions to everyday life and often with a certain sense of social protest.

Shade

To accompany the singing, an alternative tonality was set to the “por arriba” playing that transports them over the second fret, over the modal F sharp, leaving the cadence for the falsetas and guitar variations, over the chords of A major, B minor, F sharp major and G major, and for the sung part, tonic on the D major, subdominant on the G major and dominant on the A major.

What are the variants of the taranta?

Flamenco tarantas have several variants, such as the media taranta (simpler), the taranto (virile and deep, on a significant binary metric), the tarantilla (brief and cheerful), the taranta grande and the taranta artística. But also included in this genre are all the cantes mineros that are nourished to a greater or lesser extent by this genre.

In addition, there are other modalities, such as the tarantas levantinas and Linares, for example. The latter are more difficult, since their lines of verse are longer and the singer has to make an effort not to lose the melodic line.

In short, the taranta is a dance that is fully consolidated within the repertoire of today’s flamenco shows. With a strong emotional character and an impressive display of art. which makes it a stick of great beauty for the spectators. At Zoraya Gardens you will enjoy watching the singing and dancing. So, if you are planning to visit Granada soon, you can’t miss it!

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