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Music of Peru

Peruvian music is an amalgamation of sounds and styles drawing on the Peru's Andean musical roots and Spanish musical influences.

Native Peruvian music is dominated by the national instrument, the charango. The charango is a type of mandolin, and was invented in Bolivia by musicians imitating Spanish lutes and guitars. In the Canas and Titicaca regions, the charango is used in courtship rituals, symbolically invoking mermaids with the instrument to lure the woman to the male performers. Until the 1960s, the charango was denigrated as an instrument of the rural poor. After the revolution in 1959, which built upon the Indigenismo movement , the charango was popularized among other performers.

Raul Romero's recordings of saxophone and clarinet ensembles from the Mantaro Valley have proved extremely influential.

Andean Peruvian music

Andean music is rooted in the traditional native music, the Spanish orquesta and European Church music. The southern Andean region is famous for the Huayno, a mestizo happy chant that involves Charango guitar, beautifully-toned lamenting vocals and sometimes the Andean Harp. The Huayno Ayacuchano is probably the most famous of its styles since it is played on Creole and even Spanish guitar, adding to its feel an even a more soulful and romantic expression.

The southern Andean region, also involves "La Quena", "Zampona or Zicu" the "Pinkullo", "Mocenos", "Tarkas" etc. All wind instrument sometimes performed for more than 40 or 50 people called "Tropas" ="Troups"

Cusco, Puno and Apurimac have a more pure native feeling to their music, which even incorporates violins. Famous tunes are the "Wayno Cusqueno" an Valicha or "Walicha" which is the name a Woman from Cusco Named "Valeria". But this "Huayno" is not pure native, is a "Mestizo" music, has a composer [HURTADO]from Cusco. "The "Muliza", "Huyalarsh" "Pasacalles" tunes are from Huancayo, Huancavelica, Jauja, Center Of Peru, whom are dances for farmland work. Other Andean rhythms involve a fusion of European Church music and Huaynos such as the known song "El Condor Pasa", a traditional Peruvian song composed by DANIEL ALOMIAS ROBLES (was born in HUANUCO PERU), originally this songs was an "Opereta" for Shimpony Orchestra, played later in his folk verstion, popularized in the United States by the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel and featured in the movie

"The Graduate". The original composition consists of a "Fox Incaico", followed by "Mestizo" "Pasacalle" and a Huayno fugue, three traditional Mestizo rhythms.

Jorge Bravo de Rueda's famous "Virgenes del Sol" was popularized in 1951 by Yma Sumac.

Arequipa is the region that probably that resembles best the mixing of the Spanish and the Andean cultures. Arequipa city is the proud creator of the famous Yaravi, or "Harawi" a melancholy style that involves Spanish or Creole guitar that is sung A Capela. It has been popularized to the rest of the Andean communities after the Pacific War in honor of Mariano Melgar (local hero). The music evokes to the solitude of the mountains, the miners and the Andean farmer. It is a mix of gypsy Zards and Huayno.

The Huaylasor "Huaylarsh" of the central Andes, by contrast, is a cheery, rhythmic style mostly popular around "Huancayo", "Jauja", Huancavelica.

In Huaraz, "Huayno" is Called "Chuscada"


Perhaps the purest expression of Pre-Columbian music is huayno, which is popular throughout Peru, its modern center of innovation, as well as the other Andean countries of Bolivia, Chile, and Ecuador. Modern singers like Picaflor de los Andes, Flor Pucarina and El Jilguero de Huascaran have become superstars in Latin America. The music spread from the interior to the coast in the 1950s, supplanting the musica criolla, a mishmash of tango and other Western music and dance forms. Lately other artists such as Kuyayky have defined their brand of world music looking back at the acoustic origins of huayno music.

Martha Palomino is one of the latest artists that is becoming popular with hits such as 'Yo soy el Carnaval' a DVD she released in 2006. She has been singing Peruvian folk songs since the age of five.

Coastal Peruvian music

The coast has a different feel to its music than its Andean counterpart. It is called musica criolla and it's rooted in a fusion that evokes to traditional Spanish, Gypsy (Roma People) and African influence.

It combines traditional European rhythms, strong gypsy emotional flair deriving from Flamenco and eastern European Zards, and also African based chorus and percussion.

This mixture is rooted especially in the central and northern coast, and has provided the wide range of dance and musical styles we hear today. Lima for example, is most well known musical style Peruvian Waltz known elsewhere as vals peruano and valsesito peruano. The rhythm involves a singer, a chorus, Creole Guitar, Peruvian Cajon and spoon players.

It is widely popularised by the great Chabuca Granda, who is considered the most important composer of coastal Creole music, with such songs as La Flor de La Canela, Fina Estampa, and Jose Antonio. Other commonly known Peruvian valse tunes are Alma Corazon y Vida, Odiame, Propiedad Privada, El Plebeyo, and El Rosario de Mi Madre, some of these songs are twisted to Bolero or Salsa version by Caribbean artists.

Afro Peruvian music is commonly performed by duos of Creole guitars, the Cajon, Cajita and the peculiar Quijada de Burro.

Examples of these dances are the Festejo and Lando, which are common to Afro-Peruvian communities of the southern coast. Susana Baca is a renowned singer and composer of Afro Peruvian music. She won a Grammy award in 2002 for her album Lamento Negro. Another very famous singer in this genre is Eva Ayllon. She has a career that spans over 35 years and still performs.

The Marinera or Zamacueca of the central coast Lima is the current National Dance of Peru, named in honour of the marines who fought against the Chilean military in the War of the Pacific. Among Peruvians of the coast, it is considered as traditional and representative as the Tango is to Argentina. The dance evokes from a mixture of Eastern European gypsy, flamenco and the elegance of the Peruvian Paso Horse. Many people take classes and look forward to the annual Marinera Festival held in the city of Trujillo every July, with thousands in attendance.

In the northern coast especially Lambayeque and Piura, the people are most famous for the Cumananas and the Tondero dance. These are the oldest and most mestizo expressions of Peruvian music and derive from the encountered mixture of the Gypsies, Africans slaves and migrant Andean cultures.

Peruvian coastal music has in its rich structure the participation of a local instrument called the Cajon. This instrument has been mistaken very frequently with a Spanish origin (the Cajon was introduced in Spain around the 1980s by Paco de Lucia), but the truth is that the Cajon has been utilized in Peruvian music since the colonial times. Although it might also have gypsy influence it has been proved that the instrument is strictly of Peruvian origin since it is rooted in the Tondero, the Zamacueca, the Resbalosa and Peruvian coastal Creole rhythms before any other expressions.


Chicha is a popular fusion of huayno, rock and roll and cumbia. It arose in places like Lima, Huancayo and Arequipa, soon spreading throughout Peru. The first chicha hit song was "La Chichera" by Los Demonios de Mantaro. Other famous performers include Belem, Pastorita Huaracina, and Los Shapis. One of the last recognized artists is Chacalon, who died some years ago and was known because of his hit "Soy provinciano", which its lyrics tells about the life for country people in Lima, new comers have introduced samplers and synthesisers mixing the chicha, cumbia and dance styles known as Tecnocumbia, the most recent exponents are: Deslimites, Kasualidad and Lagrimas Agua Bella.

Choro and conjunto bands are also popular, and have gained popularity in tourist strongholds like Lima and Ollantaytambo, where a fusion with Western music has resulted in new forms like Andean New Age.

See also

Musica criolla

Peruvian rock

External links

Music from the Andes and Nearby Regions

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Music of Peru

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