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Flamenco: Gypsy Dance and Music from Andalusia

3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 007-3999315332
ISBN-10: 1574670131
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This well written book is an absolute must for anyone who is serious about their flamenco. -- Flamenco International Magazine, Jan-March 1998
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Amadeus Press (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574670131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574670134
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
By half way through this book, I formed a firm image of its origins: Claus Schreiner, the "editor," was probably chit-chatting with one or more of his fellow German flamenco aficionados when suddenly a thought struck him: "I know! Let's all write a book about flamenco!" And so they did. Why it was actually published, however, is a mystery.
As an introduction to flamenco for the novice, or even the merely curious, it is a complete failure. I can only think that someone with no real prior knowledge of flamenco would either be entirely confused or bored to tears - or both. The "essays," written by various different people, are disconnected - a result of there being no clear, collective image of either what the book was supposed to be about or the audience for whom it was to be written.
As a work written for serious aficionados or as a contribution to flamenco scholarship, it's worse than a failure because it is not only incredibly biased, but filled with errors, some of which would bring guffaws of laughter from any knowledgeable aficionado. The bias begins with the title: "Flamenco: Gypsy Dance and Music from Andalucia." The authors are quite obviously enamored of the Spanish gypsies - so much so that they ascribe the origin of flamenco almost entirely to them. For many reasons, that's completely absurd. Undeniably, the gypsies played a very important role in the development of flamenco, but they were definitely not the sole progenitors of this art form. (I say this with all due apologies to my former maestro of the guitar, Juan Maya "Marote," a "pure gypsy" from the barrio of Sacromonte, Granada.)
For a published work, it is a toss-up as to whether the quantity of the errors or their gravity is more surprising.
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Format: Paperback
This is the only book I've found in English that deals with flamenco on an in-depth, scholarly level. Fortunately, it is one that truly captivates and satisfies the demanding souls of flamenco enthusiasts. It is a work that succeeds at its attempt to cover all the aspects found at the heart of this rich art: song, guitar, as well as dance. These scholars really did their homework. They include a concise overview of the history of the gypsy people and their flourishing culture in the Southern Spanish region of Andalusia. There are some great photographs of flamenco legends (El Farruco, La Joselito, La Singla). Though they are in black and white, the photos alone make the purchase worth it. Filled with wonderful anecdotes, excellent translations of flamenco verses, and general insight into a fascinating and rich culture, this volume will is indispensible for any admirer of the Gypsies and their music.
Comment 25 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I like this book with one major misgiving: the chapter on Joselito. Though Joselito is fascinating, she gives incredibly misleading information about dancer Antonio Gades. I feel that the author of this chapter took Joselito's point of view, which is skewed, and presented it as if it were the absolute truth. As all know, Antonio Gades is a major figure in flamenco dance, and not to be taken lightly. I disagree with Joselito's comments when she says that these types of comments are "part and parcel" of flamenco; they only show Joselito's own jealousies and rivalries. Other than that, the book is fine, the pictures are wonderful, and the chapter which includes the flamenco letras is very good.
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