Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

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FRANCE, ITALY, AND THE IBERIAN PENINSULA 113
experience, to recognize a Spanish folk melody. Of course, the many kinds of folk songs found in Spain have also spread to Latin America, where they form the basis of the main body of folklore, and a few of these are mentioned again in Chapter 10.
It is difficult to identify and separate those traits which make Spanish folk music sound "Spanish" (here we must include Portugal as a region of Spain). Triple meter abounds: slow triple meter, usu­ally notated as 3/4, and quicker, compound meters such as 6/8 and 9/8 are very common. But songs in duple meter are also found, as are some in quintuple. There is also a good deal of recitative-like singing, without obvious metric structure, and with considerable ornamentation. Scales tend to be diatonic, and the tonality major, natural minor, or with the use of augmented and minor seconds, thus:
strophic, similar to those of Italy and France, but in many cases somewhat less regular as far as the relative length of the lines is con­cerned. There is a good deal of polyphonic singing, mainly in par­allel thirds or sixths or with the accompaniment of a drone.
The influence of Arabic music on Spanish folk song seems to-have been considerable, which is not surprising when we remember the centuries of Arab rule over the peninsula (the ninth through the fifteenth centuries). Specific tunes from the Arabic tradition do not seem to have remained in any large numbers, however. Possibly the scales with augmented seconds may have been introduced by the Arabs, or they may have developed as a result of the Arabic influ­ence, since such intervals are a typical feature of much Arabic music. The great amount of ornamentation found in some of the melodies that have no metric structure may also ultimately be of Near Eastern origin, for singing of a related sort is found in some Arabic music of today. Example 6-4 is such a melody from San-tander.
Perhaps a more important feature common to Spanish and Ara­bic music is the manner of singing, which is rather tense, nasal, and harsh-sounding. Ornaments of a modest sort are found in many songs; the mordent and the turn are particularly common. The tempo of Spanish songs may be either rapid, vigorous and down­right driving, or slow and stately.
Among the many kinds of song in Spain and Portugal we should mention the capla, which is a short, lyrical type, usually with only







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