Dancing with castanets.  It's something we do on Saturdays.

Four fingers moving on one hand

One finger moving on the other

Feet forming steps

Arms trying to follow 

                                                                                      (at least we've taken out the hand movements)

This is what we do.

All the while trying to look good and stay in compás.

So far in class we've danced the first and most of the second sevillanas con castañuelas, and Pam asked if I would post the toques.

toque - sound pattern for castanets

So, today I'm posting sounds for the first copla

As usual, I'm doing this my way.

Which means that below you'll see the toques recorded in two different ways.

One.  In what you might call a normal way.

Two.  In a way that helps my head to feel more rhythmically organized.

No matter which way you read them,the resulting sounds will be the same.

Taking time to organize things so that they make sense to me

I love doing this.

It helps my head,

my body,

my creativity,

and even my spirit because it's fun figuring things out.

It helps me to learn.

I'll tell you more about this process right after I show you the toque...

And, by the way, this the toque we are playing in class.  It is probably slightly different from others you may have heard por sevillanas.

No pasa nada.

No big deal.  Just as there are variations to the pasos por sevillanas, there can be variations in the toques.

Certain things will remain constant.

Like the sound that goes along with the basic sevillanas step.  Though really one could vary this for fun...

We did that once with Ricardo.  He had us play it contratiempo, as an exercise, outside of the context of a whole sevillanas.  

Contratiempo - counter rhythm/counter time/off-beat

None of us had any idea of what was going on.  At that time we could barely play castanets let alone play while we danced. Having no idea what is going on can be fun or frustrating depending on your attitude, but I think it always makes the brain feel good.  And it happens all of the time when dancing flamenco.  It's part of what makes getting it oh-so-satisfying.

But back to the subject

The castanet sounds for the la primera sevillana.

The first way

In a ria ria pita kind of way...

La Primera

Ta ria chi pam ta ria pita

Ria ria pita ria ria pita

Ria ria pita ria ria pita

Ria ria pita ria ria pita

Ria ria pita ria ria pita

Ria chi pam ta ria pita

 

Ria ria pita ria ria pita

Ria ria pita

Ta ria ria pita

Ta ria ria pita

Ta ria ria pita

Ta ria chi pam ta ria pita

 

Ria ria pita ria ria pita

Ria chi pam ta ria pita

Ria chi pam ta ria pita

Ria chi pam ta ria pita

Ria chi pam ta ria pita ria

Pam ta ria pam

And the second way

A non-normal way I guess.  Starting each line with the uno, the one (1)of the un, dos, tres.

Remember, there are three tercios to a sevillana.

tercio - part

La Primera again

1er tercio

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta riachipamta   ria pi

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta riariapita   ria   ria pi

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta riariapita   ria   ria pi

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta riariapita   ria   ria pi

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta riariapita   ria   ria pi

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta riachipamtaria pi

2° tercio

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta ria   ria   pita   riaria pi

1  2  3  1  2  3

Taria   riapita

1  2  3  1  2  3

Taria   riapita

1  2  3  1  2  3

Taria   riapita

1  2  3  1  2  3

Taria   riapita

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta riachipamtaria pi

3er tercio

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta ria   ria   pita   riaria pi

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta riachipamtaria pi

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta riachipamtaria pi

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta riachipamtaria pi

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta riachipam   ta   ria pi

1  2  3  1  2  3

Ta   ria      Pamta   ria

1

Pam

More about the process

At first I couldn't count and dance and play the castanets at the same time.

I had gotten so used to saying the sounds as I danced and played.  Which is incredibly helpful in getting your fingers to produce the right sounds.  Just as saying the sound of your footwork assists your feet in doing what they need to do.

But like I said, I like figuring things out, and it helps me to learn.

Writing it out like this forced me to count as I danced and played.  And, like dancing sevillanas backwards, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and of course, it was fun.

Stick around

Tomorrow I'll tell you more about the benefits of figuring stuff out, and next week I'll post the toque for the the second copla of sevillanas.

But how do you make those sounds?

You can find a mini castanets glossary here.

Comments

Raise your hand if you love playing castanets.  Tell me about your experiences playing and learning.  How do you deal with all that is going on?   Raise your hand if you like having no idea what's going on?  Tell me why.  You can leave a comment here.

...

We'll be playing some castanets in Jerez with Mercedes

We always spend some of our time with Mercedes playing castañuelas.  And she always gives us crazy puzzles.    The Spring 2014 Flamenco Tour is on!  Get the details here.

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