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Flamenco, in its strictest sense, is an art form based on the various folkloric music traditions of southern Spain in the autonomous community of Andalucía and Murcia. In a wider sense, the term is used to refer to a variety of Spanish musical styles. The oldest record of flamenco music dates to 1774 in the book Las Cartas Marruecas by José Cadalso (Akombo 2016, 240–241). Flamenco has been influenced by and associated with the Romani people in Spain; however, its origin and style are uniquely Andalusian (Hayes 2009, 31–37) and Flamenco artists have historically included Spaniards of both Romani and Non-Romani heritage.

Manuel Ríos Ruiz notes that the development of flamenco is well documented: "the theatre movement of sainetes (one-act plays) and tonadillas, popular song books and song sheets, customs, studies of dances, and toques, perfection, newspapers, graphic documents in paintings and engravings....in continuous evolution together with rhythm, the poetic stanzas, and the ambiance" (Ríos Ruiz 1997).

Nevertheless, the exact origin of flamenco is unknown and the subject of many hypotheses. The most widespread is that flamenco was developed through the cross-cultural interchange between moriscos and gitanos (Romani people of Spain) during the sixteenth century specifically in East Andalusia (Machin-Autenrieth 2015, 29); the Diccionario de la lengua española (Dictionary of the Spanish Language) primarily attributes the creation of the style directly to the Spanish Romani (Real Academia Española 2019, sense 4).

Flamenco has become popular all over the world, especially the United States and Japan. In Japan, there are more flamenco academies than there are in Spain (Mendoza 2011, 52). "In El Salvador the group Alma Flamenca is considered the maximum representative and pioneer of this musical movement" (Mendoza 2011, 52).

On November 16, 2010, UNESCO declared flamenco one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity (Anon. 2010). .

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