Mentioning about Latin American music, people can almost immediately think of Salsa, Latin Pop or Tango because of their reputations all over the world. However, the music of Latin American countries can’t be that normal and simple. Talking about it means a colorful and cheerful world of sound and that’s the reason why we should know more about other types of this interesting traditional music genre so as to add more types of songs to our gallery for sure.
However, the number of traditional styles worth listening to is countless. Each one has its own unique features such as rhythm, beats, vocals or instruments, so how can we know what is suitable for us to get familiar with? Don’t worry, guiding you to the best ones is my job, and that’s why I write this article just for you! This post will help you go on a tour that defines the best of traditional Latin music in order to help you find out some interesting facts about this colorful and energetic type of music.
The Colorful Diversity of Latin American Music
- Zamba and Murga
This name might sound unfamiliar to you though it has the same place of birth as Tango. It might be because of the reputation of Tango, this type of music is not noticed well, though the tune and the melody is quite interesting. Many people know about Zamba through dances from Chile and Argentina, not about its music, that’s why it is often mistaken with other types of traditional music from the South.
The sounds of Zamba are created by using guitars and drums. This combination is classic in many types of traditional music since it creates happy and cheerful beats for the audiences. People use a special type of drum called bombo leguero to create the beats.
On the other hand, when talking to Murga, people don’t see it as a street performing art because the main stage is the theater in Uruguay and Argentina. Murga is often performed in Carnivals.
- Andean Music
The name of this traditional music style is based on the place which it was born – the regions by the Andes. Because of this geographic location, Adean music gains popularity among people of countries such as Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
This type of music might not be heard often worldwide, but no one can deny the attraction of this music style once listening to it. There are many special and rarely seen instruments that are used in this type of traditional music including panpipes, charango, and bongo. That’s the reason why there are not many people know how to play this type of music.
- Choro and Sertaneja
In Brazil, these are the marks of Latin American traditional music. They are very popular with a citizen of this country. Choro is the type of traditional music formed in the 19th century mainly in Rio de Janeiro and surrounding areas. In the 1930s, people considered this type of music as the main theme for most of the songs, but during the Bossa Nova boom, it lost its reputation heavily. The main musical instruments used in a Choro song are flute, cavaquinho, and guitars. Talking about the melody, it is very attractive and impressive that you can stay still and listen to the songs for hours. This traditional music style is really magical and is a must – hear performance when in Rio.
Sertaneja is a slightly different form Choro since the style is quite similar to Country music from the US. This style is quite popular in Brazil, but outside this country, no many people know about it. Talking about this style of traditional music, we should know about sertao caipira music – two traditional types of Brazillian music. In addition, we shouldn’t forget to mention about other types of traditional music such as Maracatu, Afoxe, and others. Brazil is not the hometown of Carnival but also the country of beautiful and colorful traditional music.
Talking about Traditional Latin American music in Columbia, we can’t forget to mention about Cumbia – one of the greatest music styles in this country. This rhythm was born in the Atlantic coast during the 19th century and is considered the most successful combination between percussion and gaita flutes. Though this style was born in Columbia and has no relation to another Latin American country – Mexico, people often see that this traditional style of music is quite similar to Mexican pop music. You can play some of them to see the similarity between them.
- Llanera Music
Audiences from Venezuela and Colombia often see the Musica Llanera as the connection between these two countries. The sounds of this music are produced based on the natural sounds of the country life in plains and hills with the wind, the streams and other sounds of animals. You can feel like standing on an enormous plain above the Amazon when listening to a piece of Llanera music. That’s the reason why people love this kind of music and find it as a way to escape from the hard working hours.
The instruments used in this kind of traditional music is special, too. The combination of harp, string family (cuatro and bandola) and maracas is the best one to stimulate the melody of life and nature. That’s why we can hear the music as a blow to the wind or the movement of water in streams.
Besides these types of traditional Latin American music, we shouldn’t forget to mention Ranchera and Sones from Mexico or Danzone from Cuba. There are magnificent tunes and rhythms created by the most imaginative and energetic people in the world. In fact, it displays the rich in the spiritual life as well as the beauty in the culture of Latin American culture. Therefore, if you really want to dig deeper into the culture and the hidden charm of these countries, you should try listening to their music first. Touching to the soul is better than sight – seeing!