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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hornet's Haiku

Flamencology is a hornet's nest in many ways.  There aren't books in English about it that talk about it in musical terms straightforwardly. It is all filtered through sociological and anthropological discourse. The works in Spanish are more from the point of view of the aficionados themselves.  

There ought to be someone who writes about the lyrics of the cante as poetry. One guy I was reading recently said that they were haiku like.  Well, no, they are not, unless you just mean short.  I think I'm going to have to do it, at some point, since nobody else is going to.

There ought to be someone who writes about the major figures. Imagine if all the book on the shelf on jazz never really got around to talking about the music of Sonny Rollins or Mingus, Trane or Bird, Ella, or Sarah, or Billie.  You would think of that as odd, I think.


Vance Maverick said...

Do the lyrics have rigid syllabic constraints? I'm going to guess not, since that isn't characteristic of "popular" song lyrics I know, but I suppose it could be.

Jonathan said...

Usually they do, at least in the form they are collected. The 8-syllable line reigns supreme.

Vance Maverick said...

Having said that, I went and scanned some lines from Child ballads. Much depends on the anthologist, of course, but those were more rigid than I thought. (The pseudoballadry of my man Coleridge in the "Rime" and "Christabel" is very consciously irregular.)