Tientos, a slow cante jondo music and dance in a four-count rhythm, was first developed by the singer Enrique el Mellizo (1848 -1906) as an expressive variation of the Tangos.
Poet Federico García Lorca considered the Tientos to be almost liturgical in its solemnity. Traditional Tientos lyrics - letras - set a dark mood, and have to do with loss, unrequited love, imprisionment, longing for freedom and other serious messages. Dancers strive to capture this mood in their solos.
The most notable aspect of the slow Tientos tempo is the beat structure. Where the first beat in Tangos is subdued, it is strongly emphasized in the Tientos, as is the "and" of the second beat.