Andalusian song is unique. It is sung by only one voice which never mingles with others, and tolerates as its only accompaniment a clapping of hands comparable to that of Egyptian timbrels. The singer--male or female--sits in the middle of an attentive, religion-charged choir which listens to his voice as if it were reading a sacred book, or rather as if the voice was a book reading, one of those Fatidic books of which legends speak... The liturgy which surrounds the Andalusian song reminds us of its Semitic and Gypsy origins and always of its Asiatic mystery.
Rafael Cansinos Assens from La Copla Andaluza