P - flamenco glossary

compilation: © Flamenco.ru
translation: Ana Ruiz
updated: 01.06.2010


PALMAS: Clapping that accompanies flamenco song and dance, rhythmic to each style, that is realized by clapping with the fingers of one hand in the palm of the other or striking the two palms together. Playing las palmas is an art in itself, that is more difficult than it might seem, for having to mark the measured sound. In addition to the simple palmas are the redoblás, or as in the bulerías when clapping to the counter beat to the ones leading the rhythm; or the simples, and the palmas sordas, when the hands are hollowed so as not to drown out the voice of the singer or the soft tremolos of the guitar. The palms carry the sound of the accompaniment.

PALMERO: One who is a component of a flamenco performance specialized in accompanying flamenco songs and dances with palmas, faithfully following the beat of the styles that are being interpreted.

PALO: When referring to flamenco song, it is a type of song or style (soleá, alegrías, tangos, bulerías…) There are around 40 palos.

PASEO: In flamenco dance, the departure or first steps the dancer performs while walking rhythmically to the timing of the melody of the music. In guitar, it is a series of rasgueos that the guitarist performs between falsetto and falsetto or between falsetto and song.

PASO: Series of combined foot movements that are repeated several times throughout a dance completely beginning at a determined musical measure.

PASO ARRASTRADO: That which is performed by brushing the ground with the front part of the foot. Pushing towards the front and closing the footwork while lowering the heels, as a preparatory step for el Paso de Cigüeña.

PASO DE CIGÜEÑA: A step with percussion movement while contracting the knee as if it bounces, maintaining the point of this foot facing the ground to the height of the knee of the other leg. It is often used as a preparation in performing fast turns.

PAYO: A person who is not of the gypsy race.

PELEAR: When the flamenco singer strives to master the song and does so with great purity, putting into effect all the resources available and supplying it with personal style and true feeling; in some cases, the deficiency of the voice.

PELLIZCO: Emotional impact that a good song, guitarist or dance can produce inside the feelings of the spectator. It is a feeling or sensation equivalent to the duende.

PEÑAS FLAMENCAS: Organizations constituting the joining of aficionados of flamenco art, for its exaltation and spreading of flamenco song, dance and guitar. They are organized and governed by means of statutes similar to those of all recreational and cultural societies with articles reflecting its performance standards and rules of admission, financing, election of directors, etc. Its fundamental aim is to summarize the exaltation and spreading of flamenco song, dance and guitar. Purposes that serve in a general way, although the majority of them as their names indicate, are dedicated to determined artists. These peñas or societies of aficionados took height at the beginning of the seventies in the region of Andalusia, extending throughout Spain and diverse foreign countries. These locales are characterized with ideal decorations: posters, photographs, paintings, etc. – of flamenco art. Aside from logically being the continuous subject of the reunions of its members, it manifests in public functions and recitals mainly, with devoted interpreters showing new promise.

PICADO: Guitar technique for playing melodic lines, normally with the index and middle finger.

PICAR: In guitar, it refers to making a note sound in a very clear manner, leaving a very short silence that separates it from the next; or to use the index and middle finger as a scale in variations or as embellishment, without repeating the same finger twice on the same chord.

PITO: A dry sound that results by pressing the tip of the middle finger against the thumb of the same hand and making is slip with force and speed so that it they snap with each other. It is used as accompaniment and most of all, in dance to keep the beat. Finger snapping.

PLAYERA: Name whereupon long ago was given to the siguiriya in numerous occasions. No difference exists between siguiriya, playera and siguiriya playera, giving the latter the character of emotion.

POR ABAJO: To apply the tone of the flamenco guitar to the singer, equivalent to the sound of the greater sixth note of the musical scale. Por abajo is played por alegrías, siguiriyas, soleás, bulerías por soleá, bulerías, etc. Translates to “by below”.

POR ARRIBA: To apply the tone of the flamenco guitar to the singer, equivalent to the sound ‘mi’, the third note of the musical scale. Translates to “by above”.

POR DERECHO: Expression that in the flamenco language indicates the trustworthy and correct interpretation of a style.

POSTURA: Situation or particular manner that a dancer adopts; generally walking or moving the arms, as in braceos.

PRIMA: Name designated to the first chord of the guitar that is the thinnest of all and produces the most acute sound.

PUENTE: Wooden piece adhered to the cover of the guitar, provided with perforations across that join the chords into a fixed form. Translates to ‘bridge’.

PUNTEADO: In guitar work, the action and effect of puntear; falsettos of the singer and style used in flamenco dance that consists of a set of related smooth footwork, that is executed in silence or with minimum sound; making filigrees or figures of adornment.

PUNTEAR: When the guitarist produces falsettos with the guitar.

PUNTEO: The action and effect of puntear.