Section Three:
Latin American Music
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Four Major Categories of Latin
American Music
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Indigenous Music
Iberian (Spanish/Portuguese) and mestizo
(mixed ancestry) Folk Music
African influenced Music
Urban Popular Music
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Indigenous Peoples
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Mexico and Central America: Aztec, Maya,
and Inca.
South America, over 100 languages and
2000 dialects.
Several conquests over the past 500 years,
Spanish or Portuguese; genocide of much
indigenous population, early 16th century
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Instruments
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Indigenous music
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Flutes, ocarinas, conches, panpipes, and various
percussion instruments
Vocal music, often associated with rituals and
hymns
Post-colonial
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String instruments, related to violin, harp, guitars
Other wind instruments including accordion, and
brass instruments.
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South America
Andes Mountain Region
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Andes Village Musicians, featuring panpipes & drums
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More panpipes
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Chilean Nueva Canción
h
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“El Aparecido” (CD 2:7)
Voice & Instruments including Charango, kena, multiple
percussion
sesquialtera = simultaneous feeling of 6/8 and 3/4 meters,
such as this Chilean “cueca” rhythm
Variants of both Major and minor scales.
Counterpoint between two different vocal parts.
Reflects (through text) political upheaval, often through
metaphor and making hero larger-than-life.
Good example of nueva cancion, a modern and socially
conscious musical style and message that draws attention
to the struggles for dignity by everyday people.
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Bolivian K’antu
h
“Kutirimunapaq” (CD 2:8)
“Hocketing panpipes, with rhythmic melodies played in parallel fifths and octaves
and a strong, steady rhythm on a large drum.”
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Instruments including multiple (over 20!) zampoña, wankara
drum, and ch’inisku (triangle).
hocket = alternating notes of melody among several voices
and/or instruments (as in the panpipes of this example).
Doubling of melodic line in parallel octaves and fifths.
Formal structure of ABC, and repeated
Continuous dancing along with the music
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The Quichua of the Northern
Andes of Ecuador
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Comunas (small clusters of houses) on
the slopes of Mt. Cotacachi
Language is Quichua
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Traditions
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Traditional agriculture and material culture
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Maize; Cabuya cactus provides fiber
Homes are one room, covered patio, mud
walls, dirt floor
Men wear white or blue shirts, white pants, dark
poncho, hats; women wear embroidered
blouses, shawls, two skirts with two belts; dress
not changed much since 16th century
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Strong sense of community
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Common language, dress, material culture
Same diet of beans and potatoes
Weekly markets
Periodic community work projects
Fiestas
Communication carried by foot; walking, or
purina, is vital to daily life
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Sanjuán
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A type of song played at the festival of
St. John the Baptist
A type of dance performed at that
festival
Now a popular song form
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Harp
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Without pedals (one scale)
In the region for hundreds of years
Initially brought from European missionaries
Typically a male occupation
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Ensemble
Harp
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Form of sanjuanes
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Strophic
Phrase length often lasts eight beats
Rhythm of first half often identical with
second half (isorhythm)
Some sanjuanes are sung, while
others are instrumental
Walking and wandering is an
important metaphor in text
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Ecuadorian Sanjuán
h Muyu Muyari Warmigu (CD 2:9)
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Imbaburu harp (& golpe) and voice
Double-couplet form
One primary motive (“A” theme)
Alternation between Major & minor - bimodal
or just two chords?
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Another Ecuadorian Sanjuán
h Ilumán tiyu (CD 2:10)
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Violin, kenas, guitars, drum, and voice
Classic sanjuán
Highly popular song in the 1980s and 1990s
Composer was saying “remember me”
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A “Hybrid” Sanjuán
h
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Me Gusta la Leche (CD 2:11)
Rhythm & lead (requinto) guitars, bomba drum, metal
güiro, and voice
Blending of many cultures– Quichua, African, Spanish–
to make Afro-Ecuadorian music
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The Andean Ensemble Phenomenon
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Widespread phenomenon in the Andes and
beyond
Music making is an important means of
socialization among Quichua youths
Featured regularly for tourists
In the United States, many groups have
become popular and widely known
Peruvian wayno
h
Amor imposible (CD:12)
Performed by Chaskinakuy
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Afro-Peruvian Landó
h Azúcar de Caña (CD 2:13)
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Full ensemble including guitar, bass, drums
and percussion instruments such as the
Quijada (cow’s jawbone), and solo voice with
chorus.
Popular music song form
Text concerned with harvesting, milling (in the
trapiche), and using sugar cane (as in
guarapo)
Sensuous music, sí?
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Dances in South America
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Many forms (chacarera, criolla, zamba,
cueca, marinera, etc.)
Joropo is the national dance of Venezuela
Another major form is the huayno, which is
call sanjuanito or sanjuan in Equador.
Some religious plays/festivals plays include
dances.
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African Influenced Music
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Sub-Saharan African influence significant.
Much stylistic integration; definition of
“black” music difficult to make.
Stronger influence than previously thought,
especially in the complex rhythms in Cuba,
Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad.
To lesser degree throughout South America.
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Carnival or carnaval festivities
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In days leading up to Ash Wednesday,
many Latin American communities have
carnaval festivals and parades
Largest is in Rio De Janiero, Brazil
Many of the spectacular outfits are
created in the poor black Favela
communities.
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Carnaval in
Rio De Janiero, Brazil
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Some forms had roots in carnival
music but also targeted tourists
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Major Caribbean forms:
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Calypso
Steel band music
Reggae
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The Salsa Phenomenon
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Cuban son, developed first in New York City
among Latino communities made up
primarily of Puerto Rican and Cubans
Combines various styles, call-response,
polyrhythm, improvisation, and strong
percussion.
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Urban Popular Music
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Through much of 20th Century, Latin rhythms
have been popular through the Americas
(Harry Belafonte, Andrews Sisters, popular
artists like Ricky Martin).
Big band era (Xavier Cugat, Tito Puente,
Cuban bands)
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Homework - due Monday, 11/28
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Online Quiz, Chapter 8 (“Tutorial Quiz”)
Define the following, using examples:
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Sesquialtera
Hocket
Nueva Cancion
Study Questions (p. 300)
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1, 2, and 11
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Music of Mexico
• Native music of Olmeques, Aztecs, Incas
• Mariachi Music
• Contemporary popular music
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Pre-colonial Music
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Instruments
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Ocarina (at left), and other flutes and
wind instruments
Drums and Percussion, such
as frame drums, rattles,
cylindrical drums, and log
(slit) drums.
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Mariachi
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Mariachi Instruments & Costume
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Guitar
Guitarra de Golpe
Vihuela
Guitarron
Violin(s)
Trumpet(s)
Voice(s)
Harp [rare]
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Costume is borrowed from Charros (Mexican cowboy).
The “traje” includes fancy, traditional attire including
boots, sombrero, snug trousers or skirt, and highly
adorned jackets.
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Mariachi Music
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Mariachi groups have an almost universal repertoire.
These include songs such as La Bamba, Cielito Lindo,
Jalisco, El Son de la Negra and El Rey.
The definitive song form is the son. The son in
indigenous to mariachi music and has several notable
characteristics. The rhythmic pattern is an alteration
between 3/4 and 6/8 with heavy syncopation.
Trumpets and violins make extensive use a grace notes
Lyrics are often humorous or nonsensical
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Latin American Music - Missouri State University