7 ESTUDIOS MERENGOSOS
studes for flute
Composer: Raimundo Pineda
Scores and particellas in PDF format
Discuss the venezuelan “merengue” is not a task one should take lightly. Many might label it as a folk genre with a very vague birthdate, often related with some antillean rhythms, specifically from Haiti. Some others locate its inception in bars and local cantinas (of no very good reputation), in which the rhythm was danced profusely. From a mainly dancing genre it evolved to being consider as one of the main rhythms for jocular and humoristics lyrics of poets, specially from the capital city during the XIX and XXth century. Nowadays it perpetuates itself generally as a mere instrumental, yet versatile category; very much cherished by orthodox musicians, jazzists and even new tendencies advocates thanks to the typical fusion of our era and its infinite rhythmic and melodic richness.
Personally as a composer I have felt an almost absolute and declared addiction to merengue. In many of my works the 5/8 measure is present , which by consensus -although not very unanimous- has prevailed as the time has defend the 2/4 and 6/8 as more suitable measure, but 5/8 has reign with more or fewer consent, to print on staff the singular rhythm.
Furthermore, the flute has become part of many different music ensembles in our country for at least the past 50 years. Since then, it has win over the reign the clarinet had as king instrument of bands and open-air bands who main gigs were to perform merengues in public squares and theaters. Merengue has become a fundamental part in the flute repertoire of our country, prone to a vivacious virtuosism given by its melodic range, full of scales and arpeggios, profusely used by old age composers and now emulated by the new generation.
With this reality as a shelter I assumed the work of bringing together some of my compositions written with merengue rhythm, assemble them in this book and giving them a ceremonious character, typical from academia. Thus the name of “Etudes” which pretend to share my perspective on this particular venezuelan rhythm. Some of the pieces have a mere festive spirit, since they were written with the end of being performed with a folk music group, accompanied by a venezuelan cuatro or guitar and bass. Some others, nonetheless, were conceived as works for flute solo, using the characteristic register of the instrument to assimilate and convey my idea, my vision of merengue.
With a specific melodic treatment based primarily in arpeggios and using articulation as a tool to bring character and strength to its lines these etudes could be the mean to bring more academic flutists to the merengue. To be recognized and faced with its technical difficulties, so extraordinarily visible when approached with a perspective from the universal repertoire, written specifically for such instrument. I hope that venezuelan flutists enjoy every note, that the live and feel them as an infinitesimal part of our identity, our musical environment.
To the flutists around the world who also fancy our folk music I extend an invitation to come closer and dig our musical acquis and its variety: strong, bright and joyful genres, others more passionate or nostalgic that reflect a story full of new proposals, with great or modest triumphs. Our north is a Latin America that still have, musically speaking, lots to offer.
“Merengosos”: comes from Merengue, a very popular venezuelan rythm writen in 5/8.