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Bulerías. Rafael Campallo Company (Photo: Daniel Muñoz)

Bulerías is a flamenco style which stems from the soleá. It shares the same rhythmical structure, the difference being, in general terms, a more up-tempo performance. It broke away from the soleá (for which it provided something of a finale) at the end of the 19th century, and in the hands of cantaores like El Gloria and El Loco Mateo, it began to acquire a form of its own. Somewhere in between the two styles comes bulería por soleá, or soleá por bulerías, a style of cante from Jerez where the bulería is played to a soleá time signature. The bulería has many variations in terms of both melody and meter and is normally accompanied by palmas or handclaps on the off beats and a turn by the bailaor. Jerez de la Frontera is the true home of the bulería, although there are also notable contributions from Seville from the likes of La Niña de los Peines and Manuel Vallejo. And let’s not forget the forms that evolved in Cadiz or in Utrera/Lebrija, or the cuplés por bulerías (lyrics drawn from Spanish traditional or folk songs adapted to a bulerías rhythm, and performed in a minor key). As for the dance, the bulería has made the break away from private family gatherings to make a name for itself on the stage - as a coda to the soleá, as a climatic closing number, or frequently as an encore. This is a palo where the whole company joins in, gathering round to form a 'corrillo' as they egg on not only the bailaores, but also the tentative footwork (or tomfoolery) of the musicians - guitarist Parrilla de Jerez, for example, is well-known for his turn 'por bulerías'.

Compás pattern: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Audio clip

La Niña de los Peines: 'Matilde la Chula' (bulerías)

Sample verse:

Esta noche me mudo
Me llevo un chisme
Yo me llevo el caldero
Aunque me tizne
Tonight I'm moving on
I'm taking some gear
I'm talking the cauldron
Even if I will get dirty

Guide to palos

Back to index: fandangos, soleá, seguiriya, tangos, de ida y vuelta, cantes de Levante...

Recommended playlist
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