The Machado brothers put in Heredia, the "tocaor's," mouth this definition of Flamenco in La Lola se va a los
puertos: "Siempre fue seria nestra profesion. La copla y la guitarra flamenca-usted lo sabe-no son cosas de bromas. La juerga-se entiende con cante jondo-tiene de función de iglesia mas que jolgorio. No es una diversión cualquiera, donde se mete ruido y se decorchan botellas. Para alegrarse en flamenco se ha menester mucha ciencia, mucha devoción al cante y al toque."
("Our profession always was serious. The verse and the flamenco guitar are not joking things, you know. The gaiety, understood with cante jondo, is more of a church function than one of frolic. It is not just any diversion, which one makes noise and uncorks bottles. In order to be happy in Flamenco one needs much knowledge, much devotion to singing and playing.")
Abounding in the theme, Heredia adds again:
"Es mucho pero no llega a toque hondo. El flamenco no es musica, sino lengua del corazon. La guitarra en la copla y la falseta importa por lo que dice y nunca por lo que suena pero en la guitarra solo se dicen las cosas flamencas."
("It is much, but does not arrive to deep playing. Flamenco is not music, but rather a language of the heart. The guitar, verse, and flourish matters for what is said and never for the sound. But on the guitar alone are flamenco things spoken.")
Today in Paris, London, and New York select minorities are familiar with the word flamenco, thanks to the magic of our dances, our songs, our guitar, and to those, for certain, who in the spring of 1962 celebrated in Jerez de Ia Frontera the First National Festival of Flamenco Song, Dance, and Guitar.
We shall not end with these notes about guitar music without alluding to the role played by the Aragonese jota, in which the instrumental and vocal parts take an equal or at least nearly equal share. The guitars begin with a prelude before the people's voice. This is when all are quiet, minds collected, and the attention sharpened. The guitars alone sing lively until from the depths of the jotero's chest springs slowly underlining the motive the high and virile voice of the street. Following this there is an instrumental epilogue that is somewhat livelier. Once again it is the guitars, "as if they were the people's voice that manifests the joyful emotion received." In the dance the guitar plays an important role in some of the Spanish regional dances. So it is in Andalusia with the dances influenced by Cretans, Arabs, Gypsies, Jews, and Africans giving a unique and indescribable result. The guitar is associated with tone, grace, ethnic feeling, and intensity in the art of the Andalusian dance, underlining the joys and grieves with laughter or weeping of its trebles and basses. In Aragon the guitar underlines and emphasizes the violent and quick rhythm, the virile and vehement of the jota. While in Valencia it follows its jota with slower and more serene tone, which is elevated to a majestic character when it accompanies the movement of the bolero balear.
After this brief survey of the guitar by its music, we see it is, according to the expression of Felipe Pedrill, "one of the most valuable and expressive agents that music counts on."