What are the styles

Thanks to the technological progress, the learning channels of the popular music have increased. That is, at the same time as we learn repertories at the family or friends circle, we download music from the Internet, we check Facebook, Youtube, etc.

Thus, we go on forging what I call our “sound library”. We invoke it whenever we need information or to find which materials we have stored to use when the occasion demands it…

From the moment when a piece of music thrills us and leaves a footprint on us, this becomes part of our life. Over time, there is much the musical information stored.

As each person belongs to any place, or feels him/herself as part of any place, the person shares that “sound library” with the fellow countrypeople. That’s the reason why all the members of that community know how to use in a similar way the similar music they have stored in the same way, as it has always been done.

In my village, El Carpio de Tajo (in the center of the province of Toledo), exactly the same as in much other villages (surrounding, near or far away), the most popular styles of traditional music where used: the son, the jota, the seguidillas and the fandango.

Nowadays, the styles are not really: they have become repertoires, allocating a name and a surname with geographical identity, and this last part, that identity, receives more attention that the style itself (the ways, the manners and the codes, that are what really defines the style).

To sing, play and dance this music (forged, purified and modulated with the time) the most important has always been to know its performance codes. It doesn´t matter the provenance of the performer or the place where the style is being performed, because each one that know the codes and manner to do it can participate in the performance (the styles have their performance peculiarities in each region, but in their general features, any performer that know the style will be able to participate in the playing, singing or dancing, no matter if that person is not from there).

For all these reasons, the son, the jota, the seguidilla and the fandango are styes, and they are not part of any repertoire with name and surname (in example, jota from “that village”, seguidillas meloneras, fandango del Tio Tio, etc…).

Juan Antonio Torres, El Carpio de Tajo. January 2016

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