Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2021


In 2018, Spanish singer Rosalía attained international popularity with her innovative flamenco-fusion album El mal querer. Within the flamenco world, the Rosalía vogue provoked vehement and ongoing polemics, involving whether or not her music should be regarded as “flamenco,” whether she had the social credentials to be accepted as an innovator, and whether it was proper for her to adopt the persona of a ghetto-girl Gypsy in her hit music video, “Malamente.” These controversies reveal much about flamenco culture, and especially about the tensions inhering to its status as both a concert art form and a traditional idiom embedded in Gitano subculture.


Version of record published as: Manuel, P. (2021). The Rosalía Polemic: Defining Genre Boundaries and Legitimacy in Flamenco. Ethnomusicology,65(1), 32-61. doi:10.5406/ethnomusicology.65.1.0032



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