The Trovo alpujarreño is an improvised poem characterised by its speed and imagination at the moment of being composed. It is very difficult to perform, as it requires a great knowledge of the language in order to use it lucidly.

It is important to note that this form of improvised poetry in the Alpujarra is mainly centred in the regions of Murtas and Turón. It is also widespread in other regions such as Murcia, the Basque Country, Galicia, and even Ibero-America. According to Azucena and Reynaldo Fernández (1988), the “trovo de La Alpujarra” is considered to be “the art of improvising poetry in dialogue, or in dialectic discussion”, and is present in a large number of cultures.

The Asian tradition, the Greeks, Romans, Muslims and famous poets have always liked to perform this fresh, spontaneous, improvised poetry, a lyrical combat tournament that is carried out with it a high degree of culture and appreciation of language.

The technical form of improvised poetry in this region is the quintilla, a five-line stanza of eight syllables. It can be spoken or sung to music, as in the case of the primitive and traditional fandango in the Alpujarra, one of the deepest roots of present-day flamenco and similar to the verdiales of Malaga or the Chacarrá of Cadiz.

The trovo, when sung accompanied by music, has the resonance of flamenco, and can be accompanied by instruments such as the violin, lute, guitar and bandurria, with Arabic overtones. Its main styles are the morato and the malagueño. It is also accompanied by its own dances such as the robao and the mudanza.

Despite being characterised by the use of quintillas, approximately one hundred years ago, due to the emigration of Spaniards to America, the singing in décimas (ten-lines stanzas) was also acquired, like flamenco, receiving the denomination of “cante de ida y Vuelta” (songs that travelled back from America).

In order to perform them at the Festival de Música Tradicional de la Alpujarra, the troveros usually have to choose a topic for the songs from those suggested by the jury. Chance will decide which of the two troveros will be the one to defend the topic and who will attack it.

Period / Occurrence:

The activity frame is the Festival de Música Tradicional de la Alpujarra (Traditional Music Festival of La Alpujarra), a manifestation of the Alpujarra folklore, held annually since 1982 on the second Sunday of August in a town in the Alpujarra of Granada or Almeria, which varies for each occasion.

Trovo en Murtas. Photo: Mancomunidad de Municipios de la Alpujarra

Trovo de Antequera y Megías. Ana Belén García Muñoz. Photo: © Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico

IAPH image under the conditions established under license cc-by 3.0 de Creative Common.

Boda cortijera en Murtas. Photo: Mancomunidad de Municipios de la Alpujarra


Abuxarra. (2015). El trovo alpujarreño. GRANADA. [Video File].

FERNÁNDEZ MANZANO, Azucena; FERNANDEZ MANZANO, Reynaldo. El trovo de La Alpujarra.