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The seguidilla is a quick, triple-time old Castillian folksong and dance form. (The dance portion is spelt in the plural as seguidillas.) The song is generally in the major key and often begins on an off-beat. Demunitive of seguida (from seguir: to follow [1]).



In general, seguidilla folksongs begin with a brief instrumental introduction, often played on guitar, followed by a salida, which is a small portion of the song text acting as a false start. The remaining sections are free and varied, consisting of instrumental interludios and the vocal sections called coplas.


The dance is performed in pairs with animated footwork reflecting the rhythm of the guitar and percussion, yet restrained upper body movement. One technique characteristic of the dance is known as bien parado, wherein the dancers stop motion at the end of a section of the music or stanza of text while the instruments continue playing into the next section.


The earliest and most influential of the types of seguidilla is thought to be the Castilian style, in particular the seguidillas manchengas, which originated in La Mancha. Other variants include the murcianas from Murcia, and the slightly faster sevillanas of Seville. One of the most complex styles of seguidilla is the gypsy seguidilla (also known as the seguiriya or the seguidilla gitana), which is used in flamenco music.

Seguidilla aria

The Seguidilla aria forms part of Act I of the French opera, Carmen by Georges Bizet. The beautiful gypsy, Carmen, sings it in an attempt to seduce her captor, the soldier Don Jose, into going with her to her friend Lillas Pastia's inn. [2]


  1. ^ [1] Miriam-Webster Online, entry for sequidilla. Accessed May 2008.
  2. ^ Aria database Seguidilla ("Près des ramparts de Séville"). Accessed March 2008




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