Types of flamenco: the most popular “palos”  

Did you know that there are more than 50 different “palos” in flamenco? These palos are the different styles within this musical genre so deeply rooted in Spain and with so much history. We explain to you the most known flamenco styles and how they are. 

What are the “palos” of flamenco?

Flamenco is a Spanish musical genre of great intensity and feeling, which has its origin in Andalusia and whose main instruments are the guitar and the cajón. Its main disciplines are singing, guitar playing and dancing. 

The “palos” of flamenco are the different styles of flamenco Spanish music, being very varied and even grouped in different families. Each “palo” is unique and has a history. They have specific melodic characteristics, with their own rhythm and fixed structure. 

The artists must know this structure and its variable parts in the established order, in order to be able to carry out a performance without getting lost. This is very important especially in tablaos – the stage -, where the shows are usually improvised.

Recognizing all the flamenco “palos” is no easy task, as there are as many as 50 of them. But you will probably be able to identify the most popular ones, or at least some of them. 

Types of flamenco “palos”

These are the most popular flamenco “palos”. Some of them, such as bulería and rumba, you will no doubt have heard on more than one occasion, either in a bar, on the radio or at a party.


The bulería is a style of the flamenco music genre with a very festive and cheerful character. In fact, together with the rumba, they are the two most popular styles at parties in Spain. Its rhythm exudes great passion and enthusiasm, at the same time it invites to dance due to its contagious rhythm. La Niña de los Peines or Niño Gloria are considered some of the flamenco singers who are precursors of the current bulería.


The moving rhythm of rumba usually brightens up parties. You will identify the gypsy rumba – as it is also called – by the marching sound of the Spanish guitar, palmas and castanets. Famous rumba artists such as Los Chichos, Los Chunguitos, Peret, Las Grecas and Los del Río – singers of the popular rumba of Macarena –  are sure to ring a bell.   


Soleá is a style of flamenco singing whose name comes from the word “soledad” (solitude). History suggests that its origin comes from another style of music, the jaleos, a combination of the jota, the fandango and the seguiriya that emerged in the 19th century in Andalusia. In addition, the soleá is the main reference of the cante jondo and one of the most sung and danced styles in the flamenco tablaos. In the dance, the movement of the arms and the body stands out, together with the zapateao


The fandango is a sung dance typical of Spanish folklore, which became popular in the 18th century. It involves singing, guitar, castanets, and sometimes even cymbals and violin. It is a passionate and powerful dance that leaves no spectator indifferent. 


The alegrías are from Cádiz and belong to the cantiñas family. Although it is thought that they come from the Aragonese jota and that they were introduced to the Andalusian coasts by the “maños” during the French occupation in the 19th century, until they evolved into what today are the alegrías. It is one of the most festive and joyful palos


The seguiriya is possibly one of the oldest flamenco palos according to history. Its origin is believed to date back to the 11th and 12th centuries with the Arab invasion. The structure and lyric of this style is very particular. Its lyrics are formed by three or four verses and it has a very special metric. 


The flamenco tango is one of the oldest and most traditional “palos”. It is distinguished by its melancholic character and its marked rhythm. Within the tango there are also several branches such as the tientos, which is the slower and more sentimental version. Its dance is with copla and its lyrics have three or four octosyllabic verses. Within the flamenco tango itself there are several styles in different parts of Andalucia: Granada, Cadiz, Triana and Jerez.


The taranto is a kind of singing originating in the province of Almeria that was sung especially in the mines. It comes from the taranta. But the difference between these two styles is that the taranto sticks to a meter, while the taranta is free. For this reason the taranto is much more danceable due to its marked meter. In fact, it is very similar to the dance of the zambra mora, another flamenco palo. 


Sevillanas are one of the most popular flamenco dances, both in Spain and internationally. It is a typical dance and song of Seville and Huelva. Formerly this “palo” was danced and sung in the patios of the houses. Sevillanas are usually danced in couples and are divided into four series.  

These are the most popular flamenco “palos” and you have probably heard or seen them danced at some point. If not, there is always time. Come to our restaurant, where you will discover the different flamenco palos through the dancing and singing of the best artists.