Art, feeling and tradition

Saeta Contest


This contest takes place in Marchena in the early spring. Saetas have a long history and tradition in this town. 

In spring, flamenco music is delivered through the saeta. The saeta is an “a capella” form of singing performed by amateur and professional flamenco singers.

The saeta is a couplet of four or five octosyllable verses with roots in the seguiriyas, martinetes, soleás or carcelera flamenco songs. The modern form of saeta appeared in the early 20th century. Its origin is likely in the “coplillas” sung or recited in the 16th and 17th centuries by the Franciscan Fathers. The original saeta appeared in the mid-19th century. Regular people, rather than a penitent or a Confraternity member, sing it spontaneously from a balcony, a street or a church.

The saeta emerged as a form of flamenco in the early 20th century in Jerez and Seville.

The existence of a Saeta School, sponsored by the Confraternity of Humility, highlights the relevance of this form of flamenco in Marchena.


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