Seguiriyas (9 of 11) by Jose Luis (SB Sessions)

Seguiriyas No. 9

Here is a gorgeous falseta in the key of F# Altered Phrygian. Serrana and Seguiriya share the same rhythmical structure but have different letras that are sung. Let’s take a look at some of the harmonic components of this great theme.

Measure 1-3: This first measure starts on the B minor iv chord which goes through a few changes before turning into a dominant chord. It starts with a straight B minor, then the middle chord voicing changes to Bb or (A#) on beat two so you then have a B minor/major chord, in measure 2 the note drops again a half step to A natural making it a B minor 7th and then turns into a B7 which is the V7 Dominant chord of E minor.

Measure 4-6: Here we start to see a pattern developing in the harmony. Jose plays the E minor chord and then on beat two he drop down a half step and plays an E minor/major chord. In measure 5, he drops the note again to play a E min/D, then throws a D# in there from E harmonic minor. Then in the second half of the 6/8 measure, he plays an F#7(b9) which then takes you back to B minor in measure 6.

Measure 7-9: Here we see the same type of progression but with the melody in the bass. measure 8 he goes to a Bmin/A which leads into this great G major 7th and then an E minor 7th.

Measure 10-12: Here’s a fun little idea bringing the key center back to F#(b9) which outlines the rhythm nicely.

Measure 13- 24: Repeat of previous material with a few variations.

Measure 25-27: So here we now see Jose take the same idea he started with and play it in the upper register. This is a perfect example of how to get the most out of a composition when you can use the same progression but then move the melody around to different registers. So the chords for this again are slightly different but same function as measures 1-3: B min, Bmin/A#, Bmin7/A, D# diminished resolves to E minor. Note that the D# diminished is really just an extension of the B7(b9) chord since it is a 3rd away.

Measure 28-30: Here we have a single scale passage that outlines E dorian in measure 28 and then B harmonic minor in measure 29 then leads to the B minor chord.

Measure 31-33: Here we have an ascending scale which goes into a difficult figure in measure 32. these are grouped in 3’s in the measure but should be felt as a group of 9 over each of the long beats. This was one of those sections that I spent hours upon hours figuring out and even consulting other super accomplished Flamenco players to get their input. It might be a little different from the video but I had to put something down that makes sense. Good luck…

Measure 34-39: The final of this falseta ends with this cool thumb vamp that he uses over the F#(b9)/C# which is a very powerful chord.

Link to Jose’s music for download:

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