Flamenco includes dozens of different forms, known as palos, each a unique combination of rhythm, harmony, pulse, and lyrics. There are light festero (festive) forms and deeply expressive cante jondo (deep song) forms. There are regional forms and forms associated with individual artists. Some forms grew directly out of Andalusian folk music; others were created in the 20th Century. It's likely that we will have exciting new forms to look forward to in the 21st Century.
The Arból Genealógico del Cante is a graphic representation of the relationship between dozens of different flamenco forms, showing how new forms develop from older forms. The musicology of the Arból may be open to debate, but it captures the organic way in which flamenco has developed from its roots in the 19th Century.
The details that distinguish one form from another can be subtle and confusing. Even flamenco aficionados can sometimes be confused about what form they're listening to when they hear a piece for the first time. Don't let this throw you. Eventually, you'll learn to recognize the details that distinguish one form from another.
To get you started, we've created a series of pages with fundamental information about some of flamenco's most essential forms, including samples of each form.
Pick a form from the list, read about it, listen, watch, and be prepared to spend the rest of your life developing afición.