Spanish music is very rich in history and origin. It has a big role in the development of western music and has been influential on Latin American music. Spain is often associated with flamenco and classical guitar, especially by people who live outside of the country. However, Spanish music is in fact very diverse and it reflects the many differences among its regions and their traditional songs and dances.
Flamenco is a style from the south areas of the country while bagpipes are very popular in the north western regions. Spain played an important part in the beginnings of western classical music.
Origins of the Music of Spain
Spanish music has been influenced by areas around the Medditerrenean Sea including some European countries. Roman rule brought with it the music and ideas of the Ancient Greece before the Christian period began. The Visogoths, who were the early Christians of that time, followed their own versions of church music and took control of the peninsula when the Roman Empire fell. Simply put, there are about two thousand years of influences and developments that have affected the musical practices of the Spanish people.
Music by Region
Andalusia. Flamenco is the most popular type of music in this region. However, there are other music traditions that are practiced in Andalusia such as the gaita rociera (tabor pipe) and the panda de verdiales (violin and plucked-string type). The Sevillanas are usually related to flamenco which is why flamenco performers will always have at least one classic sevillana in their repertoire. Andalusia’s pride for songwriters and singers include Javier Ruibal, Carlos Cano, Aurora Moreno, Luis Delgado and many more.
Balearic Islands. Xeremiers or often called colla de xermiers is a traditional music in this region. It is characterized by the use of fabiol (five-hole tabor pipe) and xeremiers (bagpipe). Maria del Mar Bonet of Majorca is one of the most popular artists because of her political and social lyrics. Other well-known artists from this region are Tomeu Penya, Biel Majoral and Joan Bibiloni.
Catalonia. This region is most popular because of its sardana music that is characterized by the use of a cobla and other traditional styles of dance music. Music is a big part of any celebration and cercaviles in this area. People here are fond of using the flabiol, gralla, dolcaina, sac de gemecs and other traditional folklore instruments. The Catalans are also well-known for their creation of their own style of rumba which is referred to as rumba catalana.
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