"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #103, Thursday, May 23, 2002

Dancing Tid-bits
Paso Doble, Part I, Music

Next few Tid-bits on Paso: how's that? So what about Paso Music? It can be a complicated issue but we will discuss only what is practical in our everyday life.

Time Signature: 2/4, which means there are 2 beats in a bar and each beat is 1/4 note. Accent is on 1 and the Tempo is 60 (like V.W.) bpm or bars per minute. This is what would be expected of you to answer in a Bronze or Associate level Test.

However, if you are Silver or Gold level, it may be worthwhile to know that Paso music can also be written in 3/4 time (1step to each count or beat) or 6/8 time where you take 1 step to each 3 counts. I would say this is "nice to know" type of information but very rarely needed in daily life. Frankly speaking no one has ever taught me this.

Phrasing: 4 bars to 1 phrase. Thus we can count Paso as 1,2345678. 2,2345678. 3,2345678 etc. and so on.

What is Espana Cani? The most popular song for the competitions; also known as the Spanish Gypsy Song. To be fair to competitors most organizations play this song which has well known, fixed bars of music and locations for the Highlights. Since I did not have access to high level coaching centers, I had to develop my own familiarity with this song and I will share my experiences with you. You tell me if there is some better interpretation.

How many Highlights in this Song? I am basing this discussion assuming that there are 3 highlights but some dancers may say 4 or whatever.

I divide the song in 3 sections as follows:

Section 1: 11 phrases (11x8=88 beats or 44 bars). The Highlight comes on the 7th beat of 11th phrase.

Section 2: 9 phrases (9x8 = 72 beats or 36 bars). The Highlight comes on the 5th beat of 9th phrase)

Seprasection 3: 11 phrases (same as section 1). The Highlight comes on the 3rd beat of 11th phrase and that is the end of the music.

As I said it works for me. I may feel a little murky here and there but usually I am right on the Highlights and until I get better understanding and explanations, I will stick to this formula and enjoy the most exotic music and dance, Best wishes to all at Blackpool..Max

Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.

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