Foreigners often think that the essence of flamenco is the dance.
The heart of flamenco, however, is the song (cante). Although to the
uninitiated, flamenco seems totally extemporaneous, these cantes
and bailes (dances) follow strict musical and poetic rules. The verses
(coplas) of these songs often are beautiful and concise poems. The
style of the flamenco copla was often imitated by Andalucian poets.
Garcia Lorca is perhaps the best known of these poets. In the 1920's
he, along with the composer Manuel de Falla and other intellectuals,
crusaded to raise the status of flamenco as an art form and preserve
Cante flamenco can be categorized in a number of ways. First, a
cante may be categorized according to whether it follows a strict
rhythmic pattern (compas) or follows a free rhythm ("libre"). There
are some different styles in each type and the "compas-types" are
generally known by the name of the most important cante of the
group, such as, Solea, Siguiriya, Tango and Fandango. For example
Solea group includes the cantes, solea, romances, solea por bulerias