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How Latin American Music Has Developed - Essay Example

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As much as the actual origins of Latin music cannot be traced properly, this paper is going to explore the origins and developmental process of this music. Also it will present the transformations that have taken place in this field of art from the ancient times to the present…
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How Latin American Music Has Developed
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How Latin American Music Has Developed

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The actual origins of Latin American music cannot be traced easily, however, various explanations have been put up explaining this. Tiemstra (1992) suggests that one of the major explanations is cultural interactions: people from the European countries moved to America and were later followed by the African slaves. The two traditions together with the American one mixed and came up with an impure culture. Latin American music is a form of art which is associated with countries of Latin America, such as Cuba, and it is usually popular due to its unique rhythmical structures. Slonimsky (1946) explains it is both vocal as well as instrumental and formally derived from African traditional ceremonies. Its main characteristic is the unique rhythm it exhibits when numerous rhythms are played together to produce one exiting rhythm.
Traditionally, the music was played using percussion and other string instruments like the timbales, guitar, tres, congas and the bongo (Thompson & Chase, 1947). With developments in the music industry, instruments like guitars were replaced by the piano and other instruments such as trumpets, trombones, woodwinds and the bass to play riffs and also melodies. The exiting rhythm produced in Latin music is normally called “clave” which has a pattern of 2-3, and it is the basis of all the music of Cuba (Bloomington & In Orrego, 1971). The clave can be said to be a rhythmic pattern that is syncopated which is the revolution point of the band and is normally played using two sticks. In describing the form exhibited by the Latin music Bloomington & In Orrego (1971) say that it is usually played using three main forms. One starts with a long verse of introduction which is then followed by a section known as montuno; here the band plays an instrument called vamp. This instrument is blended appropriately with other instruments such as the mambo in order to build intensity (here the front line members play riffs of the contrasting nature). Finally, the whole choir members shift their focus to the verse, and close their presentation with a coda, which is a way of closing a piece which is precise and predetermined (Tiemstra, 1992). Having described and presented what Latin music is one needs to understand the developments that have taken place in this music. Bloomington & In Orrego (1971) assert that even before the colonial era the people who were involved in this music industry were mainly the Amerindian, Europeans mainly the Iberian, Mestizo as well as Africans. It was a mixed cultured scenario and the music which was played at this time reflected a multi-cultured origin. However, the emergence of the colonial era between the 16th to 19th centuries marked a major transformation in Latin music history. Majority of the people with Amerindian origin were decimated and many of their traditional musical instruments destroyed together with their Iberians people’s culture (Thompson & Chase, 1947). Currently, there is very little ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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