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jota

[hoh-tuh; Spanish haw-tah] /ˈhoʊ tə; Spanish ˈhɔ tɑ/
noun, plural jotas
[hoh-tuh z; Spanish haw-tahs] /ˈhoʊ təz; Spanish ˈhɔ tɑs/ (Show IPA)
1.
a Spanish dance in triple meter, performed by a couple and marked by complex rhythms executed with the heels and castanets.
2.
the music for this dance.
Origin
1840-1850
1840-50; < Spanish, probably Old Spanish sota dance, derivative of sotar to dance < Latin saltāre
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for jota

jota

/Spanish ˈxɔta/
noun
1.
a Spanish dance with castanets in fast triple time, usually to a guitar and voice accompaniment
Word Origin
Spanish, probably modification of Old Spanish sota, from sotar to dance, from Latin saltāre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jota
n.

Spanish folk dance; by 1846, of uncertain etymology.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for jota

courtship dance traditional in northern Spain, particularly Aragon; also a genre of folk song that precedes and accompanies the dance or is sung only. The dancing couple hold their arms high and click castanets as they execute lively, bouncing steps to guitar music and singing. The singing consists of coplas, improvised verses of satire, love, or piety. The verse form varies but is frequently a four- or seven-line stanza of eight-syllable lines. The music is in 34 or 38 time.

Learn more about jota with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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11
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