Fandango is a lively couples dance, usually in triple metre, traditionally accompanied by guitars and castanets or hand-clapping ('palmas' in Spanish and Portuguese). Fandango can both be sung and danced. Sung fandango is usually bipartite: it has an instrumental introduction followed by 'variaciones'. Sung fandango usually follows the structure of 'cante' that consist of four or five octosyllabic verses (coplas) or musical phrases (tercios). Occasionally, the first copla is repeated. The meter of fandango is similar to that of the bolero and seguidilla. It was originally notated in 6/8 time, but later in 3/8 or 3/4. The earliest fandango melody is found in the anonymous 'Libro de diferentes cifras de guitarra' from 1705, and the earliest description of the dance itself is found in a 1712 letter by Martn Mart, a Spanish priest. Fandango's first sighting in a theatrical work was in Francisco de Leefadeal's 'Entrems El novio de la aldeana' staged in Seville, ca. 1720.
Contributions by Galassi, 220.127.116.11, and DanielPenfield.