A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Fandango

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FANDANGO. An Andalusian dance, a variety of the Seguidilla, accompanied by the guitar and castanets. In its original form the fandango was in 6-8 time, of slow tempo, mostly in the minor, with a trio in the major; sometimes, however, the whole was in a major key. Later it took the 3-4 tempo, and the characteristic Spanish rhythm
{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \new RhythmicStaff \stopStaff c8[ \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = ##f \times 2/3 { c16 c c] } c8[ c c c] }
. In this shape it closely resembles the seguidilla and bolero. One Fandango tune is given by Hawkins (Appendix, No. 33). Another has been rendered famous through its partial adoption by both Gluck and Mozart—the former in his Ballet of Don Juan, the latter in Figaro (end of Act 3). It is given in its Spanish form by Dohrn in the Neue Zeitschrift f. Musik (xi. 163, 7) as follows:—
{ \time 3/4 \key f \major \tempo \markup { \smaller \italic Andante. } \partial 4 \relative a'' 
  { \afterGrace a4\trill\f { g16[ a] } |
     bes8-. a-. g-. f-. e-. d-. |
     cis8[ a16 cis e8] a[ g e] |
     f8[ d16 f a8] bes16[ a g f e d] | 
     cis8[ a16 cis e8] a[ g e] |
     f[ d16 f a8] bes16[ a g f e d] \mark \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.segno" } |
     \repeat unfold 2 { cis a a' a, e' a, a' a, g' a, a' a, f' a, a' a, e' a, a' a, d a a' a, }
     cis8[ a16 b] cis8[ cis16 d] e8[ d16 cis] | d8[ d16 e] f8[ g16 a] bes8[ a16 gis] |
     a8[ a,16 b] cis8[ cis16 d] e8[ d16 cis] | d8[ d16 e] f8[ g16 a] bes8[ a16 gis] |
     a8\dim a16\! a, a'8 a16 a, a'8 a16 a, | f'4^"ad lib."\p f8_"dolce" f f f |
     \grace g32 f16 e f g f2 | f4 f8 f f f | \grace { e32[ g] } f4 d2 | d4 d8 d d e |
     \grace g32 f16 e f g f2 | \grace { f32[ g] } a4 g8 f e d |
     \grace d32 c16 b c d c2 | r8 \grace d32 c8 bes c d e |
     \grace g32 f16 e f g f2 | d8\cresc \grace e32 d16\! cis d8 \grace e32 d16 cis d e f g |
     a8\f a,16[ cis e8] a[ g e] | f[ a,16 d f8] bes16[ a g f e d] |
     cis8[ a16 cis e8] a[ g e] | f[ a,16 d f8] bes16[ a g f e d] \mark \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.segno" } |
     \stemDown cis4 <a' e cis a d, a>2 \bar "||" } }

The rhythm of the castanets was

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 7/8 \new RhythmicStaff \stopStaff \stemDown \autoBeamOff { c4 c8 \times 2/3 { c8[ c c] } c c | c4 c8 \times 2/3 { c[ c c] } c c } }

Mozart's version is known and accessible; Gluck's will be found in the Appendix to Jahn's Mozart.

There is a curious piece of history said to be connected with this dance. Soon after its first introduction, in the 17th century, it was condemned by the ecclesiastical authorities in Spain as a 'godless dance.' Just as the Consistory were about to prohibit it, one of the judges remarked that it was not fair to condemn any one unheard. Two celebrated dancers were accordingly introduced to perform the fandango before the Consistory. This they did with such effect, that, according to the old chronicler, 'every one joined in, and the hall of the consistorium was turned into a dancing saloon.' No more was heard of the condemnation of the fandango.

Similar dances to the fandango are the Tirana, the Polo, and the Jota Arragonesa.

[ E. P. ]