Alegrias no.4

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The “escobilla” refers to the part of the traditional section of the dance which typically follows the silencio where the dancer changes the rhythm to a slower 12 beat compas subdivided in waltz time. It is in this section that the dancer shows off their intricate footwork and the guitarist typically plays a simple progression/drone between the I and the V chord in order to keep things simple for the footwork. Every guitarist that has played a traditional escobilla for dance typically gets bored at this point and begins yawning(dependent on the dancer of course!). This is an example of how to think outside of the box and play something that is maybe more lyrical and modern. It fits perfectly within the framework of the traditional escobilla but provides something other than a simple drone on the primary chords as stated earlier.

Harmonically, this falseta for escobilla gives the guitarist a nice alternative from the traditional use of V7 and I. It showcases the many different chords in the key of E major. Let’s take a look closer:

Measure 1-2: This is 7,8,9, and then 10,11,12. (Note that this starts differently than most escobillas. Most times the dancer will mark 1,2,3 and then the guitarist comes in on 4,5,6). Take note if your playing this for dance!

Measure 3-6: Here it starts with a C# minor 6th chord and then the bass walks down chromatically to a poly-chord which we will call G#(b9)/B#. Measure 5 is an E maj7/B (minus the root) which then leads to another poly-chord which we will call D#min7(b5) (Could also be called an F#min7/A). Although the chord doesn’t have the D# root in it, it is still functioning as a half diminished which will then become part of the ii-V7-i to C# minor in measure 8.

Measure 7-10: G#7 – C#min -A maj7(#11) -G#(b9)

Measure 11-18: Recapitulation of previous 2 compas.

Measure: 19-22: Amaj(#11) – G#min/D# – A7 – F#min7(b5)(the half diminished chord here is really an extension of a D9 chord which resolves nicely to C# minor in the next measure).

Measure: 27-30: Here we see C# minor as a new tonal center (relative vi minor to E major). At the end of this compas it goes to F# minor 7th which sets up a ii-V7-I back to E major.

Measure 31-34: B7 resolves to E major 7th and then in measure 33 we have the D minor 7th change which is the indicator that the rhythm is about to change. This D min change is really cool because it flips the coin and makes us hear E phrygian at least for a second. This is the idea of borrowing from a parallel tonal center based on E. Measure 34 is to be counted 10,11,12.

Measure 35-36: This is where the time cut is from single time to double time. From measure 34 we end with 10,11,12 but then in Measure 35 we start counting 12,2,4, per beat in this measure. In measure 36, we see the first 6/8 measure introduced which will be counted 6,7,8 – 9,10,11(waltz tempo).

Measure 37-40: We are now locked into waltz Buleria feel starting on 12-1,2 / 3-4,5 (measure37). SO… Instead of counting individual beats as single beats equaling 4 measure per compas, we now have 2 measures per compas.

Measure 41-44: Here we can now see clearly the Buleria hemiola rhythm is in full swing alternating from 6/8 – 3/4.