Music of Latin America  

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"Outside of its native continent, Latin American music is known for the song "El Cóndor Pasa" (1913) and the exotica star Yma Sumac (1922 – 2008). In 1971, these two phenomena came together in a rendition by Sumac of "El Cóndor" on the album Miracles (1971). In 1963 there was Jorge Ben with "Mas que Nada", in 1974 Astor Piazzolla with his modern tango "Libertango" and in 1978 there was the Brazilian medley "Disco Samba"."--Sholem Stein


"In the 1930s, the "Latin invasion" that had begun with the tango took off again when American jazz, dance music, and popular song were revolutionized by the "discovery" of other music forms of the Caribbean, Central and South America, a process that was triggered by a significant influx of migrants to the United States from Cuba, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands in the 1940s. The blending of Latin rhythms and instrumental jazz was pioneered by established American musicians like Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie and by recently-arrived 'Latin' musicians like Machito and others, some of whom soon became stars in their own right. Latin beats rapidly became an essential part of the rhythmical vocabulary of American popular music, providing composers and musicians with a vastly enhanced repertoire of beats and meters. During the 1930s and 1940s, newly appropriated Latin music genres created a series of music movements and dance crazes, including the merengue, the samba, and the rumba." --Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Latin American music, sometimes simply called Latin music, includes the music of all countries in Latin America and comes in many varieties, from the simple, rural conjunto music of northern Mexico to the sophisticated habanera of Cuba, from the symphonies of Heitor Villa-Lobos to the simple and moving Andean flute. Music has played an important part in Latin America's turbulent recent history, for example the nueva canción movement. Latin music is very diverse, with the only truly unifying thread being the use of Latin languages, predominately the Spanish language, the Portuguese language in Brazil, and to a lesser extent, Latin-derived creole languages such as that found in Haiti.

Latin America can be divided into several French-speaking islands in the Caribbean Sea, including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Martinique and Guadeloupe, though the Francophone islands are mistakenly not usually large and incredible diversity as well as its unique history as a Portuguese colony. Although Spain isn't a part of Latin America, Spanish music (and Portuguese music) and Latin American music strongly cross-fertilized each other, but Latin music also absorbed influences from English and American music, and particularly, African music.

Overview

Latin American music comes in many varieties, from the simple, rural conjunto music of northern Mexico to the sophisticated habanera of Cuba, from the symphonies of Heitor Villa-Lobos to the simple and moving Andean flute. Music has played an important part in Latin America's turbulent recent history, for example the nueva canción movement. Latin music is very diverse, with the only truly unifying thread being the use of the Spanish language or, in Brazil, its close cousin the Portuguese language.

Latin America can be divided into several musical areas. Andean music, for example, includes the countries of western South America, typically Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile and Venezuela; Central American music includes Nicaragua, El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica. Caribbean music includes the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Panama, and many Spanish and French-speaking islands in the Caribbean, including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the less noted Martinique and Guadeloupe. The inclusion of the French West Indies varies by scholars.

Brazil perhaps constitutes its own musical area, both because of its large size and incredible diversity as well as its unique history as a Portuguese colony. Although Spain isn't a part of Latin America, Spanish music (and Portuguese music) and Latin American music strongly cross-fertilized each other, but Latin music also absorbed influences from the Anglo-Saxon world, and particularly, African music.

One of the main characteristics of Latin American music is its diversity, from the lively rhythms of Central America and the Caribbean to the more austere sounds of southern South America. Another feature of Latin American music is its original blending of the variety of styles that arrived in The Americas and became influential, from the early Spanish and European Baroque to the different beats of the African rhythms.

Latino-Caribbean music, such as salsa, merengue, bachata, etc., are styles of music that have been strongly influenced by African rhythms and melodies.

Other musical genres of Latin America include the Argentine and Uruguayan tango, the Colombian cumbia and vallenato, Mexican ranchera, the Cuban salsa, bolero, rumba and mambo, Nicaraguan palo de mayo, Uruguayan candombe, the Panamanian cumbia, tamborito, saloma and pasillo, and the various styles of music from Pre-Columbian traditions that are widespread in the Andean region. In Brazil, samba, American jazz, European classical music and choro combined into bossa nova. Recently the Haitian kompa has become increasingly popular.

The classical composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887–1959) worked on the recording of native musical traditions within his homeland of Brazil. The traditions of his homeland heavily influenced his classical works.

Also notable is the much recent work of the Cuban Leo Brouwer and guitar work of the Venezuelan Antonio Lauro and the Paraguayan Agustín Barrios.

Arguably, the main contribution to music entered through folklore, where the true soul of the Latin American and Caribbean countries is expressed. Musicians such as Atahualpa Yupanqui, Violeta Parra, Víctor Jara, Mercedes Sosa, Jorge Negrete, Caetano Veloso, Yma Sumac and others gave magnificent examples of the heights that this soul can reach, for example:the Uruguayan born and first Latin American musician to win an OSCAR prize, Jorge Drexler.

Latin pop, including many forms of rock, is popular in Latin America today (see Spanish language rock and roll).

Folk music

Folk music on the Americas consists on the encounter and union of three main musical types: European traditional music, traditional music of the American natives and tribal African music that arrived among the slaves, main differences consist on the particular type of each of these main slopes.

Particular case of Latin and South American music points to Andean music among other native musical styles (such as Caribbean, pampean and selvatic), Iberean music (Spain and Portugal) and generally speaking African tribal music, that fused together evolving in differentiated musical forms along South and Central America.

Andean music comes from the general area inhabited by Quechuas, Aymaras and other peoples that roughly in the area of the Inca Empire prior to European contact. It includes folklore music of parts of Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. Andean music is popular to different degrees across Latin America, having its core public in rural areas and among indigenous populations. The Nueva Canción movement of the 1970s revived the genre across Latin America and bought it to places where it was unknown or forgotten.

Nueva canción (Spanish for 'new song') is a movement and genre within Latin American and Iberian music of folk music, folk-inspired music and socially committed music. It some respects its development and role is similar to the second folk music revival. This includes evolution of this new genre from traditional folk music, essentially contemporary folk music except that that English genre term is not commonly applied to it. Nueva cancion is recognized as having played a powerful role in the social upheavals in Portugal, Spain and Latin America during the 1970s and 1980s.

Nueva cancion first surfaced during the 1960s as "The Chilean New Song" in Chile. The musical style emerged shortly afterwards in Spain and other areas of Latin America where it came to be known under similar names. Nueva canción renewed traditional Latin American folk music, and was soon associated with revolutionary movements, the Latin American New Left, Liberation Theology, hippie and human rights movements due to political lyrics. It would gain great popularity throughout Latin America, and is regarded as a precursor to Rock en español.

Cueca is a family of musical styles and associated dances from Chile, Bolivia and Peru.

Trova and Son are styles of traditional Cuban music originating in the province of Oriente that includes influences from Spanish song and dance such as Bolero and contradanza as well as Afro-Cuban rhythm and percussion elements.

Moda de viola is the name designed to Brazilian folk music. Is often performed with a 6-string nylon acoustic guitar, but the most traditional instrument is the viola caipira. The songs basically detailed the hardness of life of those who work in the country. The themes are usually associated with the land, animals, folklore, impossible love and separation. Although there are some upbeat songs, most of them are nostalgic and melancholic.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Music of Latin America" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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