Traditional folklore harp and flamenco guitar concert

By Robyn Halliday

The harp was key in the performance of the son, in that its versatility allowed the harpist to play as a soloist, in a duet, or in a group. The primary role of the harp, whether in a solo or group context, was to provide bass lines by pulling octaves with the left hand. With the right hand, the harpist executed melodic lines or provided simple harmonic accompaniment. The harp helped establish the visual and acoustic aesthetic of the small ensemble, with its characteristic “booming” bass and its aggressive treble attacks.

Traditional Folklore Harp and Flamenco Guitar Concert
Mondays and Thusrdays, 7:30pm
Sala Quetzal
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
150 pesos

In its traditional cultural context, the mariachi harp thrived because it was suited for the type of musical group in which it existed. Sones (soun-es) consisted of only the tonic, subdominant, and dominant seventh chords in one or two major keys. The harp however, despite being diatonic could play a full range of notes without encountering the difficulties of complex harmonies and modulation. The harp could be easily heard over the entire group. Its size, weight, and awkward bulkiness probably posed less of a burden on the rural harpist who did not have to transport his instrument long distances, as opposed to the highly mobile urban musicians. Consequently, the musical and non-musical circumstances surrounding the rural music culture allowed for the creation of a strong harp tradition in western Mexico.

The Quetzal Room of the Public Library of SMA located at Reloj #50 A, will present an extraordinary musician, Sergio Basurto Valencia, recognized and acknowledged in San Miguel for more than 20 years. Sergio Basurto’s musical career started in Mexico City when, at 16, he studied the Andean flute known as quena. This expertise allowed Sergio to become part of the most prestigious Latin American folklore groups of the 70s. While with the group he learned to play the multiple syncopated rhythms of Latin American folklore such as milongas, zamba, baladas, rumba, bossa nova and more. From this experience it wasn’t difficult for him to understand flamenco rhythms and interpret the most representative with mastery. Sergio has being offering this very well received and appreciated concerts in the Santa Ana theatre for the past 5 years; Sergio belongs to the selected musical community of San Miguel.


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