It is time for another Rhythm Through Diversity, a fun musical trivia section, where Metronome Online explores music through the development of cultural and social etiquette, history, and background of people in diverse communities. There is a multitude of rhythms and styles of music worldwide, as much as there is a multitude of cultures everywhere. This week we will explore the style of Bulerias, a typical flamenco form originating in Spain.
Not much is known in terms of history of Bulerias. What is clear however is that the form comes from Jerez, having been first popularized in the 19th century. The Buleria was originally a fast ending to Soleares and Alegrias. The word Bulerias comes from “burlar”, which means “to mock”. Still to this day it is the form of choice for families jamming, and a typical encore piece for any flamenco show.
The Buleria is the form of choice for families jamming, and a typical encore piece for any flamenco show.
As a style, the Bulerias allow for lots of freedom and improvisation, leaning heavily on the role of meter. The metric cycle is 12 beats, with a typical accentuation on beats 3, 6, 8, 10 and 12. The rhythms are complex and offer an interplay of 6/8 and 12/8. When played, the form starts on the twelfth beat of the compas (rhythmic cycle in flamenco), having the strong downbeat present right away.
What better way to experience the music than to hear it performed by masters. Let’s listen to Moraito Chico play a Buleria at the famous Festival de Otoño in Jerez. Enjoy!