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Spanish popular music can be tracked back to two influences. One is the Flamenco as Andalusian traditional folk music. It consists of three forms: the song (cante), the dance (baile) and the guitar (guitarra). The word flamenco is most commonly considered derived from the Spanish word for Flemish. Some claim that Spanish Jews in Flanders were allowed to perform their music without oppression, and Romani music performed by the Roma gypsies that had fought there with distinction in war on behalf of Spain were rewarded by being allowed to settle in Andalusia.

On the other hand you have the folk traditions. Folk singer-songwriters sang songs  with politically active lyrics. There are distinct folk traditions throughout Spain but the folk traditions you hear back in modern popular music originate in Catalunia, the Madrid & Castille area and the Balearic Islands.

Footnotes: Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.) - World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East





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