Development of the Solo Art
As an outgrowth of early flamenco, in which the guitar was confined strictly
to an accompaniment role, a solo guitar art developed, pioneered by the legendary
Ramón Montoya. In accompanying the songs, the guitarist usually plays plain chords
during the verses. However, at the end of the verse, giving the singer time to draw
breath, the guitarist plays a variation which shows his skill and adds to the mood.
These interludes were known as falsetas, and the solo repertoire grew from the piecing
together of a number of falsetas with lengthier and more fanciful elaborations.
In this century, flamenco has grown and flourished with innovations of style
and harmony and guitarists of phenomenal technique. The wizardry of Paco de Lucia,
Habichuela, and Tomatito has to be heard to be believed. Paco Peña has, in addition
to his own innovations, reproduced the classic performances of Niño Ricardo and