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Flamenco Music - History and Influence

            With the spread of globalization, other cultures have been able to gain influence, both good and bad, from other cultures around the world. This paper is about the influence the Muslims, or "Moors" as they were called, had on the widely known style of Spanish music called flamenco. The word "flamenco" has and uncertain origin or definition. It was stated that it is possible that it is derived from the term meaning "flame". The music and dance known as flamenco is one the iconic musical symbols that defines Spain today. Its beginnings resonate from the southern regions of Spain known as Andalusia.
             The time period of origin possibly dates back to the Moorish invasion of Spain in 711 AD as part of their ever-growing desire for conquest, when the Muslims invaded the Iberian Peninsula and brought with them their cultural influence. Under Muslim rule, Spain became the most advanced, wealthy, and populous country in Europe, with great leaps forward in art, architecture, and many other fields. Because of its lower-class origins, it is hard to say if it really was influenced by the Muslims. It had fallen out of favor previously, and the Moors were expelled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition in 1492. However, it can also be implied that long before the Moorish invasion in 711, Visigothic Spain (descendants of Germanic tribes that had settled in the Iberian Peninsula after the Roman defeat and withdrawal) had its own style of music, with a heavy influence from Byzantium (later Istanbul, Turkey). Unfortunately, there is not enough historical evidence to support this theory. In the later nineteenth century, flamenco's popularity began to spread internationally due to its association with gypsies (since they are a migrant people) to countries all over Europe, even Russia. .
             Flamenco is a widely-known dance in Spain, and usually the first image that comes to mind when talking about "Spanish music".

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