Cantiga - cantica - cantar - canción

A unique genre in the Sephardic Jews musical tradition. Lyric songs, structured mostly as stanzas of four verses in a-b-a-b rhyme or with only the 2nd and 4th verses rhyming, very often with a refrain repeated after each strophe. They have no fixed continuity of the text, except in the case of serial songs. The music has a strophic formal structure, often with a different tune for the refrain. Performance is mostly in group singing accompanied by instruments, especially the"pandero" (tambourin). Cantigas are preformed as love songs, longing and mourning songs, and many of them constitute the nuptial repertoire accompanying the ceremonies of the Sephardic wedding. Cantigas show great versatility of texts and music, deeply influenced by the local styles of the cultures among whom the Sephardic Jews dwelt, and a high changing rate of their styles.  

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