Solea (1 of 2) by Jose Luis (SB Sessions)

Solea no. 1

Here is a falseta that has some traditional things in it as well as some fairly modern types of harmonies. Lets take a closer look!

Measure 1-12: This is pretty straight forward Solea with sixtuplets being on the menu as the preferred arpeggio type.

Measure 13-16: The first measure here takes a little while to understand and is why Flamenco is so difficult to write out because of the use of “ghost notes”. I notated exactly what I heard and probably should have put some of these notes in parenthesis but oh well… In this compas you’ll see how he clearly outlines the accents of beats 3, 6, 8, 10 but then leaves out beat 12.

Measure 17-20: Standard marking here. Watch for the 32nd note arpeggios in measure 19.

Measure 21-24: This is where the main falseta actually starts with everything prior just being a way of marking the rhythm. One thing to notice is the use of an interesting altered chord in measure 22. What we have here is really an major II F Lydian type of chord with a E bass (#7)still ringing. The chord uses a #5 augmented note (C#). So the chord written out is this – Fmaj7(#11,#5)/E. The use of an augmented II chord really adds to the mysterious sound of modern Solea.

Measure 25-28: Repeat of the previous theme with a different “remate”(ending).

Measure 29-32: Here we see how Jose took the same type of idea with the previous theme but now he’s going to take it somewhere else harmonically. So you’ll see the melody is still the same being on the E and F notes but then it is re-harmonized and essentially repurposed to push towards a D minor. In measure 29 as I said we have the same melody but the chord has now changed to a Bb/A(#11). (the E note is no longer the root of the chord it now becomes the altered #11 of the Bb). The difference between measure 29 and 30 is that he changes the chord from a major 7th to a dominant 7th (A natural and then to a Ab which is the b7). In Measure 31, he then plays 2 block chords, the first being a root position A7 and then follows it with a A7 suspended over Bb – (A7sus/Bb). This tension builds ultimately to a V7-i resolution to the D minor chord. The D minor chord is the vii chord in E Phrygian and many times is used as a substitution for the II F chord. (Remember that chords a 3rd away share function).

Measure 33-36: In measure 33 we have that same F6(#5) on beats 1,2, and then on beat 3 he changes the scale to outline the next harmony of B(b9) which continues through the next measure. This is a temporary modulation to B alt Phrygian but doesn’t take hold as a tonal center for long since it is just being pointed to quickly and used as diversion from the standard pull of F to E. In measure 35 we see that he has now gone back to E phrygian with the F# and D# now being played natural and then ending on the home chord E(b9).

Measure 37-40: This was the most difficult compas to write out in the entire falseta. Lots of repeated notes on the adjacent strings. Feel free to experiment and find the variation that suits your technique.

Measure 41-44: Standard marking on the E(b9) chord. I apologize for not writing the notation/tabs in for the chord here but I just got lazy. If you’re playing this and reading this then I shouldn’t have to spell it out for you.

Measure 46-47. Standard fare for Solea with these three ending chords. First is Dmin7, followed by Dmin7/Eb, F9 and then to E(b9).

Link to Jose’s music for download:

Recorded in Santa Barbara, CA by Berto Boyd for more info visit: