Free flamenco-related software you can download and run on Windows-based computers.

Flamenco Master

Postby admin » 06 Aug 2008, 20:43

Ron has made his Flamenco Master v1.1 compas program available without charge to Old School Flamenco Foro members. It can be used both to demonstrate the rhythmic patterns used in various flamenco palos and also as a "metronome" to time guitar playing. Files for rhythms commonly used in the Alegrias, Bulerías, Fandangos de Huelva, Siguiriyas, Soleares and Tangos are included with the program. Users can easily create their own files to enable custom variations of those rhythms or to create rhythmic patterns used in other palos. Rhythm tempos are continuously adjustable by means of a slider.

Falmenco Master.gif
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The following text is quoted from the readme file that is included with the program.
Flamenco Master 1.1

"Master the Compas"

Flamenco Master runs in Win95/98. Processor 300mHz upwards, Sound card and Speakers.

Unzip using WinZip etc and follow the Setup prompts.

Drag the program Icon onto your DeskTop or double click on "Flamenco Master.exe".

This will produce a Control Panel showing a 12 beat Compas.

An example of Bulerias is preloaded. Push the "start" button.

1. Introduction:

Not many Flamenco Guitar enthusiasts have the opportunity to play alongside an experienced dancer, which can be a real handicap in trying to get to grips with the Compas. Listening to recordings or going to concerts etc obviously helps, but often the counter rhythms are so powerful as to mask the underlying Compas to all but the very experienced.

Learning from books etc can teach you how the Compas is structured, but it is often difficult to put into practice when you are actually playing.

Some guitarists will concentrate on the "free forms" such as Tarantas or Granadinas and maybe one or two compositions copied note for note from a record, and appear 'muy duende' to their friends, who are knocked out at the unusual guitar techniques.

It's only when they meet someone who can dance or play some 'palmas' that their technique just falls apart, leaving them like a fish out of water as they struggle to get back into the Compas!

The Flamenco Master program is designed primarily as an aid to help develop good Compas keeping during practise sessions.

More experienced players may also find it helpful for working out or composing falsetas. 'Long' Bulerias passages can be particularly difficult to work with in your head unless you are a pretty good player!

Anyway, it saves on all those little scraps of paper with the numbers 1 to 12 written all over them, heavily dented by the end of a pencil!

Some examples are included in the program, but they ARE only examples! People teach and learn Flamenco in many different ways.

One old Flamenco player in Andalucia showed me Bulerias as "Un,Doh, Tre-e-e-e-eh, Un, Doh.., asi!" He held the "Tre-e-e-eh" for 4 beats and the "Doh.." for 2, with the "asi!" (like that!), landing on the tenth.

The 12th beat he indicated by jerking his chin upwards. In fact he never counted anything more than three, so it seemed pointless to ask if he was starting on the first or the twelfth beat!

There are many good books available and resources on the Web where you can get some good, in depth analysis of the Compas of the various Flamenco Styles.

2. Using Flamenco Master:

The display shows the 12 beat Compas used in the Soleares, Alegrias and Bulerias family of styles. These tend to be the most difficult.

Some other styles may be represented by 2 groups of 6, or 3 groups of 4, or 4 groups of 3. Experiment!

(The original program could reset to 8 beats etc, but the whole thing was becoming cluttered and too difficult to set up easily, so it got binned!)

Clicking on File and then Open, will show some samples.

Load one in and push the Green "Start" button.

The Compas will start to play.

Speed may be varied with the slider control.

The sound type for each beat may be selected from the Combo Boxes.

If a beat is to be visually emphasised then tick the check box.

This feature allows you to set up various clap patterns, while still reminding you of where you are in the Compas even if the beat is not audibly accented.

The color of the Regular and Accented beats may be changed from the "Color" menu.

Select from the "Beat 1" box, which number you wish the first beat to be. Most teaching methods use beat 1, 12 or 8 to illustrate the Compas for a particular style.

The "Contra" box enables you to select a simple contra beat which can be helpful in defining the tempo.

The "Delay" box lets you select how many complete cycles of Compas go by before the Contra starts. (Just a fun thing!)

When you are happy with all your settings, they may be saved under your own filename (eg "MyBulerias3") by clicking on File and then "Save As".

Delete unwanted Files using Windows Explorer. (Look for the "Settings" folder in the Flamenco Master directory.

The program remembers the last file you opened or saved and loads it when you open the program the next time. If you delete this file the program will load with the settings for "bulerias1" as default.

Be very careful not to delete or alter any files in the "FMSys" folder, or the program will not work properly, or even at all.

Note that the program requires very fast access to your computer's hardware so close any other programs you have running.

You will also find that dragging the mouse over the screen causes the program to 'stutter', as the interrupts from the mouse are being acknowledged by the Windows system.

Since you will probably have both hands on the guitar when the program is actually operating, this should not present a problem!

I hope you find the program helpful with your technique, and perhaps a bit of fun as well!

Flamenco Master runs only on Windows-based computers.

Download Flamenco Master
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After you have download the file, unzip it with a program like WinZip, and then run the setup.exe file to install the software.

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Re: Flamenco Master

Postby acefrog8 » 30 Mar 2010, 03:29

The application doesn't seem to work with windows vista. I uninstalled and installed several times but no success. Any advice?
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Re: Flamenco Master

Postby Bob » 30 Mar 2010, 04:01

Ron wrote Flamenco Master years before Windows Vista was released, so it may not be compatible.

1) Programs must be installed by a user with Administrative rights under Vista. Did you log in as an Administrator before trying to install it?

2) Is there an error message of some kind when you try to install or run it?

If you are not able to find the problem I can try to install it here under Vista to see what happens.

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Re: Flamenco Master

Postby O Ninho de B » 19 Feb 2011, 13:45

Hi, Bob! I just installed Flamenco Master in my computer with Vista Home Basic, and it works fine. Now I have to start practicing my compás!
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Re: Flamenco Master

Postby Bob » 20 Feb 2011, 14:51

I also installed Flamenco Master on a Vista computer sometime after my post above and it installed and ran fine. I don't know why it didn't work for acefrog8.

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