Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 07 December 2019


  • Willi Kahl
  •  and Israel J. Katz


A Spanish popular dance or song. Its dancers are called boleros or boleras. Of the several possible etymologies considered by Suárez-Pajares (A1993), the most plausible are those deriving from the verb volar (‘to fly’) and from the name boleras, given to the Gypsy women ‘who were the first to dance it [and called so] because of the little gold-braided balls (bolitas de pasamanería) that adorned their dresses’. From its beginnings in Spain during the last third of the 18th century the bolero's popularity in the court and theatre persisted throughout the 19th century, and it has since been absorbed among the traditional dance and song genres of Andalusia, Castile and Mallorca.

Consensus among the early writers (Sor, A1835; El Solitario, A1847) points to the bolero’s having derived from the seguidilla, whose accompanying rhythm and movements it modified and to whose verse form it was sung. After the seguidilla...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.

A. Lavignac and L. de La Laurencie, eds.: Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire
International Musicological Society: Congress Report [1930-]
Revista de musicología
Diccionario de la música Labor
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart