Market day in Órgiva and the streets fill with the usual mixture of locals, expat residents and, now it’s summer, holiday makers. As mentioned before, the market is a wonderful place to stock up on items from purple and white-streaked aubergine, mild chillies and tomatoes to gigantic water melons and earthy leeks. Oh, and knickers.
Market day also brings out musicians and singers: a guitarist, bongo-player, clarinetist and accordion player were all spotted lurking in shady spots. On entering the internal market, home to the fabulous fishmonger, we heard rhythmic clapping. A small group of people were gathered while a man and woman filled the unlikely performance space – with perfect acoustics – with percussive slaps, the man occassionaly singing.
It was lovely and made us forget to buy the lentils we’d come in for.
The flamenco music of Andalucía is characterised by hand clapping patterns – or Palmas. This form of percussion helps accentuate songs and dance and, as we saw, can be a substitute for music.
There are two types of claps – hard (fuertes) and soft (sordas).
This website explains: Execute the first, third, fifth, eighth, and eleventh claps loudly, and the remaining seven claps softly. Your clapping pattern could then be represented like this: [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12], where the claps shown in bold face are the ones you clap loudly. It may also be helpful to count aloud the twelve claps in groups as follows:  and to clap loudly only on the one’s. If you repeat this pattern over and over, you will be clapping the rhythm of the seguiriya from Andalucía.
We don’t think this was the rhythm we heard today.
Sounds of Órgiva – market day #1
© con jamón spain
Yes, you quickly learn never to try and clap along with them… 🙂
Reminds us of school music lessons where the teacher’s attempts to get the class to uniformly clap back a rhythm was wilfully sabatoged to become a cacophony.
Loved hearing the clapping!
In our local Co-op back home you’re more likely to hear a shoplifter being tackled to the ground…