The first guitars are thought to have originated in Spain in the 15th century.The traditional flamenco guitar is made of Spanish cypress and spruce, and is lighter in weight and a bit smaller than a classical guitar, to give the output a'sharper' sound.
Federico Garcia Lorca, argueably the finest poet Spain has yet produced was strongly influenced by Flamenco. As evidenced by his poems - "Poema del Cante jondo" and "Romancero Gitano." So it should come as no suprise then that he and the famous composer of Spanish Music, Manuel de Falla, joined forces to further the cause of what they regarded as the true form of Flamenco music - Cante Jondo or "deep song." During that era, this style of Flamenco was virtuallmy ignored. As it didn't appeal to the patrons of the cafe's where the more "watered down" version of the music was presented. Attempting to counter this and expand the musical horizons of the music loving public at large, in 1922 Lorca and de Falla organized "The Fiesta del Cante Jondo."
Technically speaking Flamenco is a folk art and culture from the province of Andalusia in Spain.Historically, it has always been the musical outlet of the poor and oppressed.Passed on by oral tradition which the individual artist uses as the basis for his own variations.
Flamenco is a tripartite art, involving singing, dance and the guitar simultaneously - as well as rhytmic punctuation (by hand-claps and other methods) that is considered an art form.
The first three were thrown together by the general persecution that followed the expulsion of the Moors in 1492.Flamenco was eventually created by the fusion of the cante gitano with Andalusian folk music.
The accompaniment of the singing by the guitar is a later phenomenon although it is recorded by travellers in Andalusia in the 18th century.
Andalucian folk songs had in the past been accompanied by different instruments including bandurria, violin and tambourine, but now the guitar predominated.
Flamenco first became a public, performing art in the second half of the nineteenth century, with the emergence of the cafe cantante.
The Musical World was not "set on fire" when Flamenco as an Entertianment form first appeared on the scene. In fact, very little interest seemed to be generated when the first "cafe cantante opened in Seville in 1842. Even though a Flamenco performance of this type was not small. Normally you could expect at least two guitarists, accompanying four female and two male dancers, in addition to one or two singers.
As the demand for this "theatrical" presentation of Flamenco gradually increased, so did the demand for guitarists. As you would well imagine the openings were few, and the guitarists were many. Some resorted to extreme methods, such as playing with the guitar held above the head, or with a glove on one hand in order to attract attention and forge ahead of their musical competitors.