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Peru Music - Cusco Music, Andean Music, Cumbia Music
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How would you define Peru music? Peruvian music, like music from
other countries, is a mixed bag; some old, some new.
coffee, much of Peruvian music combines various flavors and has been
recognized as a special blend between
music from ancient as well as many newer cultures, of course with a
strong influence from the Spanish.
While various styles have arisen throughout the country, let's
at just the most
popular types of music in Peru.
On this page:
(also known as
Cumbia of Peru - Peru
Originally almost a folk music of Colombia, cumbia has gained
popularity throughout the world. Taking the sound rhythms and sounds of
popular cumbia, Peru music now has its own style of cumbia with many
cumbia bands and recordings available.
Cumbia seems to have gained more popularity in northern Peru,
Criolla and Afro Peruvian music being more popular in central Peru and
huayño being more popular in the Andean region.
Cumbia in Peru was created using styles from Andean music and
along with traditional Cumbia from other countries in Latin America.
A special aspect of this Peruvian music is its blend of
and modern rhythms, as well as its messages of hardships and struggles.
The melody is created using electric guitars and electronic
Since this is the Latino version of "crying in your beer"
is also called Chicha Cumbia, referring to the cheap corn beer found in
the numerous dark drink-and-desintegrate djves found in every hamlet in
On the other hand, good cumbia is really finely-tuned and
listening - and dancing - music.
Criolla Music - Peru
In contrast, Criolla (pronounced cree-o-ya or cree-ole-ya) music was
created with a strong influence from the Spanish, although Peru criolla
music also incorporates some influences from Andean and African styles (afro-peruvian
La Marinera - Peru
While criolla music includes quite a few genres, we can say that the
most popular genre is the marinera, a romantic style that has become
the national dance of the country.
Here is a really nice video of a couple dancing the Marinera Norteña,
or Northen Style Marinera:
An interesting fact about Criolla music, including the Marinera, is
that it is celebrated on a
specific day: October 31.
That, of course, doesn't mean the dancing doesn't happen the rest of
the year, it's just that special date that is dedicated to the Criolla
Although Criolla music is similar to Afro Peruvian music, the latter
has origins tracing back to African slaves in Peru. Thus, Afro-Peruvian
music is based on more of an African influence than Criolla music.
Esther Baca de la Colina (born Chorrillos, Lima Province, Peru, 1944)
is a prominent Peruvian singer-songwriter; two-times Latin Grammy Award
winner. She has been a key figure in the revival of Afro-Peruvian music.
July 2011 she was named Peru's Minister of Culture in the Ollanta
Humala government, becoming the second afro-peruvian cabinet minister
in the history of independent Peru.
This music is often appreciated for its Spanish and African style
rhythms and messages concerning slavery in the country.
Criolla and Afro-Peruvian music are created using guitars and drums,
such as the cajon.
However, Afro-Peruvian music also uses sound created from the teeth of
an animal jawbone.
Huayño - Andean
Andean music from Peru is, to most people, Peruvian flute music.
Indeed, pan flutes are an integral part of nearly all Andean music. The
pan pipe known as the zampoña has two rows of pipes, while the antara
has one row.
Differing from Peruvian cumbia and musica criolla, huayño (pronounced
wine-yo) music is largely based on Andean music traditions and is
generally sung in the Quechua language.
Huayño has been expressed in its richest form throughout Andean cities
such as Cusco. A visitor to Cusco will certainly want to
Cusco music in his/her itinerary, and there are plenty of opportunities
to enjoy this Andean music.
From an early age, "Cusqueño" learn to love Huayño songs and are
taught to dance Huayño with enthusiasm.
At nearly every social gathering, you can expect to hear Huayño and,
within a short time, everyone will be dancing to the songs. The songs
are danced in pairs, with small hops and stomps characterizing the
The original Huayño songs are in the Quechua
language, with more recent
songs being written in Spanish.
A special feature of Huayño is the way people have used this art as a
means of expressing themselves. Many of the lyrics speak of the sadness
felt by the Andean people who led difficult lives.
Peruvian Flute Music
To this day, the sweet melody of Peruvian
(quena flutes), harps, and violins,
along with the raw emotional lyrics still bring tears to the eyes of
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