Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > South America

Latin America Music and Dance

Latin American music is very much a mixture of different forms of music. The indigenous music is hardly found anywhere in its original form, but has, in many places (Mexico, Central America and the Andes), influenced folk music. The colonization of immigration from Europe since the 1500s. and the extermination of many indigenous peoples has caused the Latin American music to be strongly European influenced. A significant African influence is found especially in the Caribbean, on the north and northwest coasts of South America, and in Brazil as a result of the introduction of slaves until the mid-1800s; in some countries there is also influence from India and Indonesia (e.g. Suriname). The folk music, which is predominantly Spanish and Portuguese inspired, has been crowded by popular music as a consequence of the many migrations since the 1950s;la bamba from the Mexican state of Veracruz), and the rhythmically and harmonically complicated music has been reduced by pop and record companies to catchy pop.

The common Latin American popular music is mainly developed in big cities as part of the mass culture that emerged in the early 1900s. The most prevalent forms of music are the original Caribbean salsa, the Mexican-North American norteña/tex-mex, the Mexican ranchera, the Colombian cumbia, the Brazilian samba, the Argentine tango and the common Latin American nueva canción (canto nuevo'new song'). With the exception of ranchera and nueva canción, they have emerged as dance music. The origins of music in the slums and taverns of immigrants have influenced the forms of dance. These are often highly sensual or erotic embedded couples, either with close body contact or no contact at all and with a wealth of variations. The dance is a constant competition for greatest virtuosity, endurance, manhood and femininity, and much of it is offset by the complexity of the music and the tradition of improvisation, especially in Afro-Latin music. Many of the dances have also become popular in Europe, and five of them dance at official Latin American dance tournaments, see Latin American dances on

Nueva canción represents a renewal of the singing tradition, an opening to non-Latin American musical forms and a protest. It can be traced back partly to the ballads and boleros that became popular in the 1950s, and partly to the protest song movement that arose in Chile in the 1960s with Violeta Parra (1917-67) and Victor Jara as the leading names, partly to the new song movement in Cuba, la nueva trova('the new troubadour movement'), which grew out of the experimental music environment of the 1960s. The new song differs from the other Latin American music by not being country specific; It covers the entire area and ranges from Cuban sophisticated songs by Pablo Milanés (b. 1943) and Silvio Rodríguez (b. 1946) to Brazilians like Milton Nascimento (b. 1942) and Chico Buarque de Hollanda, folk-rock singers as the Argentine. León Gieco and Guatemalan Ricardo Arjona for pop singers such as Mexicans Juan Gabriel and José José. It is a cosmopolitan music with influence from eg. rock and jazz, but it's not dance music. The music and lyrics, ranging from high quality modern poetry to banal and predictable pop lyrics, are at the center.

The European church music of the colonial period forms the basis for both contemporary church music and other forms of compositional music. The most famous church musical work is Argentinian Ariel Ramírez ' Misa Criolla (1963), written over Argentine and Andean folk music. Until around World War I, compositional music was almost exclusively copies of European music. Since then, several composers have written original Latin American works, first national romantic works, often inspired by folk music. by Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos and Mexicans Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940) and Carlos Chávez. Since the 1960s, inspiration has increasingly been drawn from the cosmopolitanism of the modern metropolis. Experimental music includes created by the Argentinian Alberto Ginastera, the Spanish-born Mexican Rodolfo Halffter (1900-87) and the Cuban Leo Brouwer (b. 1939).

Countries in South America
  1. Argentina
  2. Bolivia
  3. Brazil
  4. Chile
  5. Colombia
  6. Ecuador
  7. Guyana
  8. Paraguay
  9. Peru
  10. Suriname
  11. Uruguay
  12. Venezuela

Country Reference Copyright 2007 - 2020 All Rights Reserved