Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Curious as to why Open G is called Spanish?

ETA: The first version I had heard.

Norman Blake, "Spanish Fandango"

The Slack Key people call "Spanish" "Taro Patch", and especially with Norman's 4/4 take, can't you just see it as a Slack Key piece?


Furtheron said...

I didn't know it was. Interesting, I didn't think it particularly featured in much Spanish music that I'm aware of, do Flamenco players use it? I've never studyed that.

Dave Jacoby said...

Check Google.

I don't know the history of the song, but you need to be in that tuning to really play "Spanish Fandango", just like you need to be in Sebastapol tuning (open D) to really play "Sebastapol". That tuning is also called "Vestapol". I have never actually heard the song "Vestapol", but I can play "Spanish Fandango". I don't think that there's really much "Spanish" involved with "Spanish Fandango".

Remember that in the 50 years from 1880 to 1930, the guitar moved from being an instrument that young girls of a certain class would learn to gain culture and entertain in the parlor to being an instrument that itinerant young man of a much lower class would play in honky tonks and juke joints.

I know that "Spanish" is called "Taro Patch" by Hawaiian Slack Key players, and I recall having a Slack Key sampler in my MP3 playlist, hearing a song that just hit that style to my ears, and finding out that no, it wasn't Ledward Kaapana playing but Norman Blake. Never heard an album by him called In the Green Hills of Molokai, but it fit. Bob Brozman asserts that all guitar cultures develop an open G tuning eventually, and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings (B, G, D) really imply it started that way.