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The double bass as a solo voice in flamenco music

Jeffery Utter, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Flamenco music is an emotional and energetic art form that has developed naturally over centuries by Gypsy people of Spain, primarily in the area known as Andalusia. Historically the music has been solely transmitted aurally and generally not accessible to formally trained musicians. The double bass is a versatile instrument that maintains roles in nearly all genres of music with flamenco being an exception until recently. Even with the contemporary addition of bass to flamenco music, the role of the double bass has been purely accompanimental. This document; through transcription, analysis, and arrangement, presents flamenco music in a way that it can be approached by classically trained double bassists, assuming the role of the primary voice in the music. This document includes three transcriptions in the appendices. Each transcription is accompanied by a brief description of the piece, including analysis of the flamenco guitar or vocal techniques which the piece adapts for bass. Additionally, this document provides necessary contextual information. Chapter 1 includes a description of the pieces as well as a brief definition of 'flamenco'. This is followed by contextual information on the origins of flamenco music as well as the historical and contemporary roles of the double bass in flamenco music in Chapter 2. The following chapter; Chapter 3, discusses the musical elements that make up flamenco, including specific techniques employed by voice and guitar in this style. Finally, Chapter 4 addresses the techniques and strategies involved in performing flamenco music on the double bass with specific technical adaptations for integrating vocal and guitar techniques. This document is intended to provide the reader with the tools necessary to approach flamenco music in its traditional form as a classically trained double bassist. Its purpose is to provide the reader with the necessary background and tools to translate this primarily vocal and guitar focused music to the double bass.

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Recommended Citation

Utter, Jeffery, "The double bass as a solo voice in flamenco music" (2015). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3689646.