Coplas - Complas

A unique genre in the Sephardic Jews musical tradition.. Strophic poems, with various but very definite textual structures, in a characteristic continuity or coherence of the text. Most coplas were composed in the 17th and 18th centuries, and many more up to our century. Their subjects related to the Jewish festivities of the year cycle, or expressed the impact of historical, social and political events on the Sephardic communities. Coplas are sung with a strophic melody, which shows clearly the influence of the sorrounding musical cultures. Many coplas were published (in Saloniki, Constantinopol and Livorno) and the authors’ names are known. A Jewish repertoire composed by Jews for the Jewish community’s life, they are sung mostly by men, reading from printed booklets.

Sound Examples: 
Cantar de las Flores - Morocco (Tetuan)

Performed by Klarisa Benaim, recorded by: Susana Weich-Shahak, 1987. NSA Y 05698-c.

For a detailed analysis and description of this Copla, see Song of the Month.

Musical Transcription

Video Gallery: 
Several Coplas (Turkey - Chanakale)