In this paper we present an example of interdisciplinary research through the work of the COFLA group. In the group there are researchers of various disciplines, including psychology, mathematics, engineering, and computer science, who work to understand a musical tradition as complex and rich as flamenco music. Several problems in the computational research of flamenco music are illustrated. Specifically, the problem of melodic similarity in a cappella flamenco songs is discussed. That problem requires the design of two distances, a melodic contour distance and a distance based on mid-level features. Both are combined into a unique distance that provides better results when trying to automatically distinguish different styles and variants.