Flamenco is a folk culture from Spain. It includes singing, dance, and guitar-playing, often all at the same time. Flamenco evolved from the music of a number of cultures in the province of Andalusia in Spain, including the gypsies, the Moors or Arabs, the Jews, and indigenous Andalusians.
Flamenco became a performing art in the second half of the 19th century. Cafes in Spanish cities began to feature groups of entertainers including one or two singers, male and female dancers, and guitarists who accompanied the singing and dancing.
Flamenco is characterized by rhythmic punctuation such as hand-clapping. There are hundreds of different types of pieces within flamenco, each with characteristic melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic structures and distinctive moods.
Though the guitar is traditionally an accompaniment to the singers and dancers, modern flamenco guitar has also become an art form in itself. It shares some characteristics with classical guitar, but the flamenco guitar is lighter and smaller than a classical guitar and is played with different strumming patterns and styles. The flamenco guitar usually has tapping plates called golpeadores. These protect the face of the guitar from taps the player makes on it with his or her fingernails.