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Music of Latin America and the Caribbean

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The Music of Latin America and the Caribbean is the first text written on the rich musical heritage of this region specifically for the non-music major. The text is arranged by region, focusing on the major countries/regions (Mexico, Brazil, Peru, etc. in Latin America and Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, Haiti, etc. in the Caribbean). In each chapter, the author gives a complete history of the regionrs"s music, ranging from classical and classical-influenced styles to folk and traditional music to todayrs"s popular music.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Latin American Music: An Overview


Indigenous Cultures Before 1492

  • Pre-Columbian Music

1492 and the Advent of Syncretism

  • The White Legend and the Black Legend
  • The Emergence of Mestizo Culture
  • Mestizo Music
  • European Culture in America
  • The Emergence of African Culture
  • Religious Syncretism

Modern Native Societies

·        Indigenous Music Today

Latin America Today



Chapter 2: The Classical Tradition


The Colonial Period

  • Colonial Church Music
  • Instrumental Music
  • Musical Syncretism
  • The Villancico
  • Art Music in Colonial Brazil
  • The American Baroque
  • Colonial Opera
  • The Fall of the Colonial System

The Nineteenth Century: Romanticism in America

  • Romantic Opera

The Twentieth Century: Nationalism in America

  • The Aztec Renaissance
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Other Nationalist Styles
  • Latin American Modernism


Chapter 3: Mexico


Historical Overview

  • The Mayas and Other Early Mexican Cultures
  • The Aztecs
    • Aztec Instruments
    • Aztec Music
  • The Conquest and the Colonial Period
  • Mexican Independence

Mexican Celebrations

  • Patriotic and Religious Celebrations
  • Day of the Dead

Mexican Native Traditions

  • Modern Maya Music
  • Modern Aztec Music
    • Los Concheros
  • Other Native Traditions

Mexican Folk Music

  • Canción
  • Orquesta Típica
  • Mexican Dances
  • The Son

Regional Traditions

  • Southeastern Mexico
    • Danzón and Bolero
    • Son Jarocho
    • Son Huapango
    • The Marimba
  • Central and Western Mexico
    • The Charro
    • Canción Ranchera and Mariachi
    • Son, Jarabe and Bolero
  • The Borderland Region
    • Corrido
    • Dueto Singing
    • Norteño and Conjunto
    • Tejano and Tex-Mex
    • Banda

Popular Music in Mexico

  • Música Tropical
  • Pop
  • Nueva Trova



Chapter 4: The Spanish-Speaking Caribbean

Introduction to the Caribbean

  • Caribbean History
  • Caribbean Culture
  • Native Musical Traditions
  • African Religions and Rituals
  • Modern Caribbean Music


  • Introduction
  • Historical Overview
  • Instruments and Elements of Cuban Music
  • The African Roots of Cuban Music
    • Santería
    • Other Afro-Cuban Rhythms
  • The Spanish Roots of Cuban Music
  • Cuban Dance Music
    • Son Montuno
  • The Cuban Song Tradition: Trova and Bolero
  • Cuban Music Leaves the Island
  • Cuban Music Since the Revolution
    • Nueva Trova
    • Salsa
    • The 1990s

Puerto Rico

  • Historical Overview
  • Spanish Roots: Jíbaro Music
    • Décima and Seis
    • Aguinaldo
    • Danza
  • African Roots

o       Vejigantes

o       Bomba

o       Plena

    • Bomba and Plena in the 20th Century
·   Puerto Rican Popular Music ·   Reggaetón

The Dominican Republic

  • Afro-Dominican Styles
    • Palos
    • Cocolos
  • Syncretic Styles
    • Merengue
    • Bachata


Chapter 5: The English- & French-Speaking Caribbean


·   Afro-Jamaican Traditions o       Maroon Nation: Obeah o       Bongo Nation: Kumina o       Revival Zion and Pocomania o       Rastafarianism o       Rastafarian Music o       Jonkonnu ·   Jamaican Popular Music o       Harry Belafonte o       Mento o       Ska o       Rocksteady o       Reggae o       Bob Marley and The Wailers o       Dub Music o       Dancehall and Ragga Trinidad ·   Trinidadian Carnival ·   Early Song Forms: Kalinda and Lavway ·   Calypso ·   Tamboo Bamboo ·   Steel Pan ·   Soca ·   Rapso ·   Parang ·   Chutney   The French-Speaking Caribbean


  • Historical Overview
  • Sidebar: Négritude and Haitian Art
  • Vodou
  • Rará
  • Secular Dances
  • Compas and Cadence

Martinique and Guadeloupe

  • Drumming in the French Antilles
  • African-Derived Dances
    • Bamboula
    • Kalinda
    • Bélé
    • Gwo ka
  • European-Derived Dances
  • Carnival
  • Zouk
  • Contemporary Trends


The Garífuna

  • Garífuna Music
  • Punta Rock



Chapter 6: Brazil


  • Historical Overview
  • Saudade
  • Religious Syncretism

The Roots of Brazilian Music

  • Brazilian Musical Instruments
  • Afro-Brazilian Folk Dances
  • Capoeira


  • History of Brazilian Carnival
  • Samba
  • The Escolas de Samba
  • Carnival Today

The Northeast

  • Baião and Fossa
  • Forro

Other Rural Styles

Musica Popular Brasileira

  • Modinha, Lundu and Maxixe
  • Choro
  • The Golden Age of Musica Popular Brasileira
  • The Bossa Nova Phenomenon
  • After the Bossa Nova
  • Tropicália
  • The Post-Tropicália Explosion



Chapter 7: Colombia & Venezuela

Introduction to South America


  • Historical Overview
  • Music of The Interior
    • Bambuco
  • The Caribbean Coast
    • Cumbia
    • Modern Cumbia
    • Porro
    • Vallenato
  • The Pacific Coast
    • Currulao
  • Popular Styles
    • Salsa
    • Champeta


  • Historical Overview
  • Venezuelan Instruments
  • Música Llanera 
    • Joropo
  • Venezuelan Christmas Music
    • Parranda and Aguinaldo
    • Gaita
  • Afro-Venezuelan Music
    • San Juan Bautista
    • San Benito el Moro
    • San Antonio de Padua
    • Corpus Christi
  • Caribbean Styles
    • Calipso
    • Música Tropical



Chapter 8: The Andean Region


The Incas

  • Inca Music

The Modern Andean Region

  • Andean Music
  • General Characteristics
  • Andean Instruments
    • Notched Flutes
    • Panpipes
    • Other Wind Instruments
    • Charango
    • Drums
    • Percussion
    • Other Andean Instruments
  • Andean Ensembles
  • Andean Rituals
    • Inti Raimi
    • La Fiesta del Apóstol Santiago
    • La Fiesta del Gran Poder
    • Pachallampe
  • Andean Song: Yaraví
  • Andean Dances
    • Huayno
    • Sanjuán
    • Danza de las Tijeras
    • Carnival Dances
  • Andean Music in a Modern Context



  • Historical Introduction
  • Afro-Peruvian Music
  • Música Criolla
    • Criollo Songs
    • Criollo Dances
      • Tondero
      • Zamacueca and Marinera
      • Vals Criollo and Polca Criolla
    • Estudiantinas
  • Peruvian Popular Music
    • Chicha



Chapter 9: The Southern Cone Region



  • Historical Overview
  • The Gaucho
    • Payada
    • Milonga
  • Tango
    • Origins
    • Guardia Vieja
    • Guardia Nueva
      • Carlos Gardel
      • After Gardel
    • Nuevo Tango
      • Ástor Piazzolla
  • Other Folk Dances and Songs
    • Zamba
    • Chacarera
    • Chamamé
  • Música Tropical
    • Cuarteto
    • Bailanta
    • Cumbia Villera


  • The Huaso
  • Chilean Folk Songs
    • Poetas Populares
    • Tonada
  • Folk Dances: Cueca
  • The Popularization of Chilean Folk Music
  • Nueva Canción
    • Origins
    • Nueva Canción’s Political Outlook
    • The Peak of Nueva Canción
    • The 1973 Coup d’État
    • Canto Nuevo
    • The 1990s


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