Latin America

Countries and ethnic groups:

Cultural notes:
The music of Latin America is a synthesis of indigenous, African, and European (especially Spanish) styles. It is almost impossible to separate the styles, which have been influencing each other for hundreds of years.

Music genres and characteristics:
Here is a taste of the many diverse styles of Latin America.

Argentinian Tango:

Brazilian Samba:

Brazilian Bossa Nova:

Chilean musicians playing for tourists:

Colombian Cumbia
(from the video info: Cumbia is believed to be a variant of the African Guinean cumbe music. Cumbia started in the northern region of Colombia, mainly in or around Cartagena during the period of Spanish colonization. Spain used its ports to import African slaves, who tried to preserve their musical traditions and also turned the drums and dances into a courtship ritual. Cumbia was mainly interpreted with just drums and claves.

The slaves were later influenced by the sounds of Amerindian instruments from the Kogui and Kuna tribes settled between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Montes de María; like the millo flutes, gaita flutes and güiros. Africans and Amerindians working together as slaves created a mixture from which the gaitero (cumbia interpreter) appeared, with a defined identity by the 1800s. )

Mexican mariachi

Peru-Andean flute playing
This clip mixes beautiful images of Peru with a modern-folk band featuring the Andean pan flute.


Videos and sound clips: