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Musica criolla

Musica criolla is a Peruvian genre of music, which combines mainly African, Spanish and Andean influences. The most popular style of musica criolla in Peru is the marinera, said to be the national dance of Peru. Other main genres are Peruvian vals and Tondero, festejo, polka, zamacueca, coplas de amor fino, lando. Musica criolla is a type of Mestizo music. Currently, some of the most famous musica criolla musicians are Carlos Hayre, songwriter Manuel Acosta Ojeda, performers like Lucy Aviles,Eva Ayllon, Alicia Maguina and Peru Negro. The national "Day of Criolla Song" (Dia de la Cancion Criolla) is October 31 in Peru. This date coincides with the death of Musica Criolla icon Lucha Reyes, who died on that date in 1973.


Lando is a form of blues music popular in Peru. Musically the Lando is slower than the Festejo. Victoria Santa Cruz (who directed the National School of Folklore in Peru), worked to developed this genre around 40 or 50 years ago.It is related to South American dances of courtship because of its sensual movements on the dance and the soft tempo to sing. Since it is based lightly in a 3/4 time, it has become a popular choice for new Peruvian songwriters. It has origins in the Angolan londu, and is related to the Brazilian lundu.


Festejo (from Spanish 'fiesta') is a festive form of music. It can be seen as a celebration of Peru's independence and the emancipation of slaves, or as an attempt to reinvent diaspora African music without reference to slavery. Composers of all races have contributed to the development of festejo repertoire. Its origins are in a competitive circle dance performed by men playing cajones. Nowadays, people of all ages and races participate in a witty dance accompanying the festejo.


The vals criollo is a unique musical form characterized by 3/4 time, originating in the coast of Peru. The vals criollo is a variation of the European Waltz brought by Spaniards to Peru, played with Spanish instruments by criollos or mestizos all races since the Peruvian Colonial Period.It was around the 30' when city neigborhoods or barrios starting developing their own styles. It was not much promoted by the media until the 50's when Chabuca Granda the most important composer of the Musica criolla started touring heavily. Other singers, songwriters and ethnomusicologists were compilating old interpretations and began recording songs that were never recorded before. The Musica criolla includes elaborate Spanish guitar work accompanied in recent years by cajon and castanuelas whith lyrics that talk about love, social dilemmas and nostalgia. This form is known outside of Peru as vals peruano (Peruvian waltz).

Carmencita Lara

Arturo "Zambo" Cavero

Alicia Maguina

Lucy Aviles

Olga Milla

Felipe Pinglo Alva

Pedro Espinel

Oscar Aviles

Luis Abelardo Nunez

Jose Escajadillo

Polca Criolla

Is similar to the vals, only it is a much faster rhythm. The style and lirics are an expression of mischief and joyous celebration of life. It is also called "polquita", an endearment term, which shows the warm feelings that these songs evoque among Peruvian people. Like the vals, it is also typical of the coast and shares with it instruments, interpreters, and songwriters. Some of the most popular ones are "La Pitita", "Callao", and "Tacna".

See also

Afro-Peruvian music was created by African slaves in Peru during the Colonial Period and beyond. The rhythms include Festejo, Lando, Socabon, Pregon, Zamacueca, and Alcatraz. Many of those were played with a mixture of Spanish and Indian instruments and used the Spanish coplas as lyrics. There were practiced only in private black gatherings until the 1950s, when efforts of some scholars of the Peruvian community as Victoria Santa Cruz and Jose Durand compiled songs and dances after struggling with racism and poor recognition. Interpreters such as Lucila Campos, Susana Baca, Eva Ayllon, and the Peru Negro dance company, among others, have brought these genres to the world's attention.

Nicomedes de Santa Cruz

Victoria Santa Cruz

Cesar Calvo

Caitro Soto

Ronaldo Campos

Carlos Hayre

External links

Afropop.org article on Afro-Peruvian music

Musica Criolla del Peru - Canciones y videos

Peru Profundo Dance Company - folkloric dance company in Chicago that performs Afro-Peruvian and Andean dances.

Peruvian Dance Company - Dance Company in California specialized in dances from the different regions of Peru.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Musica criolla

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