Bulería (Spanish pronunciation: [buleˈɾi.a(s)]; interchangeable with the plural, bulerías) is a fast flamenco rhythm in 12 beats with emphasis in two general forms as follows:
It may also be broken down into a measure of 6
8 followed by a measure of 3
4 (known as hemiola) counted as such:
 1 2  4 5  7  9  11
For dancers, it is commonly viewed with a compas or bar of 6 counts as opposed to 12.
An interesting counting method has been used by Pepe Romero, in his book Classical Guitar Style and Technique, which is 2 measures of 3
4 time followed by 3 measures of 2
4 time. This puts the emphasis on the last beat of each measure:
When performed, the bulería usually starts on beat twelve of the compas, so the accented beat is heard first.
It is played at about 240 beats per minute, most commonly in an A-phrygian mode, with a sharpened third to make A major the root chord. A typical rasgueado (a strumming pattern that sets the rhythm) involves only the A and B♭ chords as follows:
It originated in Jerez during the 19th century, originally as a fast, upbeat ending to soleares or alegrias (which share the same rhythm and are still often ended this way) . It is among the most popular and dramatic of the flamenco forms and often ends any flamenco gathering. The name bulerías comes from the Spanish word burlar, meaning "to mock" or bullería, "racket, shouting, din". It is the style which permits the greatest freedom for improvisation, the metre playing a crucial role in this. Speed and agility are required and total control of rhythm as well as strength in the feet which are used in intricate tapping with toe, heel and the ball of the foot.
(See also tap dance.)
When sung, the bulería has three or four octosyllabic lines. It is sometimes subdivided into bulerías al golpe and bulerías ligadas. The former is slower while the latter is frantic.
There are many styles of Buleria depending on the region of Spain from which it originated. For example: Buleria de Lebrija, Buleria de Jerez (possibly the most commonly used style), Buleria de Cadiz, Buleria de Utrera etc.
- Tomatito performs a bulerías in 1980 - one of the web's more popular bulerías videos
- This is a Cuadro por Bulerías, a very festive palo flamenco
- Get to know the flamenco forms: the Bulerías at the Wayback Machine (archived July 23, 2011)