Flamenco Dictionary Terms: L - P

Flamenco Dictionary Terms: L - P

Terms:     A - E     F - J     L - P     R - Z



Letra – lyrics of a song



Malagueñas – the Malagueñas style traces its origins to a local variation of fandango in the province of Malaga.  In the mid to late 19th century these more traditional folk songs began to blend with flamenco.  Creating the style known as Malagueña.  Over time additions such as brief guitar solos and a loosening of the typical rhythmic pattern became an integral part of this style of flamenco.


Manton – embroidered shawl with tasseled edges, at times used in flamenco dance.


Martinetes – belong to the tonas / cantes a palo seco family.  These are a capella songs accompanied by simple percussion, often times with the hammer and anvil, a connection to the gypsy working class roots of this style.  Martinetes differ from other types of tonas flamenco in melody.


Mineras – a type of flamenco song which originated from mine workers in the area around Levante.



New Flamenco – during the mid 1970s new forms of flamenco began to arise.  First was a natural, purer evolution under Paco de Lucia and Camaron de la Isla.  While foreign influences styles began to influence the music, during this time flamenco still remained close to its roots.  Further innovations often came from modern music styles that were blended, creating flamenco fusion – a stronger mix of flamenco with jazz, latino, world music and rock.  Very talented international artists adopted parts of flamenco styles, while others used their native musical heritage to create new flamenco.



Olé –  word of encouragement often shouted by the audience or other performers.  Common expression in the jaleo of a performance.



Palmas – hand clapping, rhythm in flamenco music.


Palos – used to describe the different types or styles of flamenco.  These styles of flamenco are referred to as “flamenco palos”.  Each style has it’s differences, which are based on regional and cultural influences, the compás or rythym pattern, as well as the mood.  There are three basic palos:  Cante Chico (“small song”, which is lighter and more upbeat in mood), Cante Grande or Cante Jondo (“big song” or “deep song”, which is more melancholy)  and Cante Intermedio, which basically holds the remaining styles of flamenco which do not fit into the first two categories.


Paso – Individual movement of a dance.  Together the pasos form the choreography of the dance.


Peña – flamenco cultural association or fan club where flamenco is often performed.


Peteneras  – The origins of Peteneras are under dispute, with many tracing it to the province of Cadiz as a form which evolved from the traditional Spanish dance known as zarabanda.  Others have noted similarities to the songs performed by Sephardic Jews of Andalucia.


Pitos – snapping of the fingers


Polo (flamenco palo) – a flamenco form; there is only one known song which is classified as a polo.  Similar in rhythm to soleá, it is often considered as an evolution of the flamenco form known as caña.