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Traditional / folk music of BOLIVIA


Folk Music of Bolivia has similar roots the same as it's neighbors. Bolivia is a high country mostly covered with Andes mountains and it has several uphills and downhills and also tropical area. La paz, the capital is highest capital in the world. As many Andean countries Bolivia has the same history of colonization from Spain, and also culture affected by slavery comes from Africa. So the folk and traditional music of Bolivia is mixture of Spanish music, Afro music and the music of Indigenous people who lived in Bolivia before colonization. This music has it's own diversity and it's total bounded to the dance styles and rhythms in Bolivia and it's furnished by Bolivian clothing and also other culture factors. There are many carnivals and festivals exists during the year which represents these music and dances. These folk musics and dances are part of the proud of the country as there is folk department in the Bolivian Ministry of Education. You can listen to some of folk music of Bolivian on the list below after this text.

The folk music of Bolivia changes from valley to valley or mountain to tropical area. The dance and music are the heartbeat of the culture. Pre-colonization music still exists and played in the towns and villages. The original music had an odd pentatonic scales but during the years, Bolivian musics adopt these musics to seven notes scales and cause Andean music evolve and more suitable for western ears. 

Bolivian folk music brought to urban population by a quartet called Los Jairas. They brought this folk music to radio and make it popular through Boliva. The bound was founded by Gilbert Favre. Later this folk music evolve and refined more by bands like Khanata, Paja Brava, Savia Andina, and especially folk music bands Los Kjarkas and Kalamarka. They made many concerts and tours in the world and made folk music of the Bolivia known to the world and make a mark for themselves as Andean music in the history of music.

The instruments uses in the folk and traditional music of Bolivia are huge. Originally, before the invade of Spanish people, it was only consist of wind and percussion instruments. Zampolla or Siku (pan pipe), quena with their variations are main wind folk music instruments. Bombo, huancara, reco reco are some of the percussion instruments. If you travel through Andean mountains in Bolivia, it is rate to find an indigenous Bolivian who cannot play one or some of these instruments. Guitar and Charango (string instrument with it's family) is another instruments which are used in folk music of Bolivia. The history of Charango is not very clear and it is not known when it was created first. Ernesto Cavour  charanguista, composer, and consulting music historian for many museums around the world, has noted characteristics of the charango in various vihuelas and guitars of the 16th century, and maintains the charango is the direct descendant of the vihuela (an ancestor of the classical guitar). On the more modern versions of traditional music of Bolivia violin and accordions also used.

Some of the notable Bolivian music or dances are:

Saya - Caporal

Saya comes from Afro Bolivian communities in High Andeans mountains, The music named saya and the dance named "Negritos". Caporal is one of the branches from saya. Caporal means "ranch manager". It is one of the most well-known traditional music and dances of Bolivia. One of the most famous songs of saya is "Llorando Se Fue" which later changed by Braziliam singer "Kaoma" to "llambada" and got famous all around the world.

Cueca

Cueca is a traditional music from Valleys of Boliva. It is also common in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru. But of course they have their own differences.It is played with charangos, guitars, violins and accordions.

Huayno

Huayno is a traditional music of Boliva belonged to indigenous and Quechua people. It is also common in Peru and Ecuador. In Bolivia Huayno played with quena, zampolla and charango. In peru it is also played with violin.

Chacarera

Chacarera is a traditional music of Bolivia which is also common in Argentina and Paraguay. It is played with the guitar, violin, accordion and bass drums. The dance is very hard and needs lots of flexibility and it has many acrobatic jumps and spins.

Taquirari

This traditional Bolivian music is from Tropical area. It is believed that it is originated from dance of warrior. "takirikire" means "dance of the arrow".

Copleo

This is not exactly a traditional music. This Bolivian music type originates with the European tradition of the troubadours (minstrels) who settled the region. It's a duel done between duelers in the "chapacos" parties. Each singer, sing his/her own part and the other respond until to see who do this better. This singing can be accompanied by some small drums or violin or guitar or non of them.

Some other folk or traditional music of Bolivia which can be noted are Morenada, Diablada, Llamerada, Cullaguada, Pujllay, Chovena, ..

The traditional music of Bolivia is huge and diverse. If you have more information about folk music of Bolivia, it's genres or instruments or you know specific songs on each genre, please kindly contact us and let us know about it. Also if you see any wrong information about the song tags on the list below please kindly let us know.

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Traditional / folk songs for BOLIVIA


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Nilo Soruco
Song:  La Tragedia del Chapaco
By:  Nilo Soruco
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, copleo, chapaco
Los Jairas
Song:  Par par palomita
By:  Los Jairas
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, huayno, Quechua music, charango, siku, zampolla, quena

Rumillajta
Song:  Flor de Caña
By:  Rumillajta
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, charango, siku, zampolla
Rumillajta
Song:  Zuriki
By:  Rumillajta
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, charango, siku, zampolla, quena

Rumillajta
Song:  Iscanwaya
By:  Rumillajta
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, charango, siku, zampolla, quena
Los Kjarkas
Song:  Llorando Se Fue
By:  Los Kjarkas
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, saya, caporal, charango, siku, zampolla, ronroco, bombo, quena

Los Kjarkas
Song:  Negrita
By:  Los Kjarkas
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, saya, charango, siku, zampolla, ronroco, bombo, quena, reco reco
Los Kjarkas
Song:  Quejas Del Alma
By:  Los Kjarkas
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, cuenca, charango, siku, zampolla, ronroco, bombo, quena

Savia Andina
Song:  Flor de un Día
By:  Savia Andina
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, charango, siku, zampolla
Savia Andina
Song:  Tempestad
By:  Savia Andina
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, charango, siku, zampolla

Alejandro Camara
Song:  Aires Vallunos
By:  Alejandro Camara
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, charango
Ernesto Cavour
Song:  Leyenda de la Kantuta
By:  Ernesto Cavour
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, charango, siku, zampolla

Ernesto Cavour
Song:  Ofrenda al Culto
By:  Ernesto Cavour
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, charango
Ernesto Cavour
Song:  Leño Verde
By:  Ernesto Cavour
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, charango, siku, zampolla

Los Jairas
Song:  La Culpable
By:  Los Jairas
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, Cueca, charango, quena, siku, zampolla
Los Jairas
Song:  Carahuata
By:  Los Jairas
Bolivian folk music, folk music of Bolivia, taquirari, charango, quena, siku, zampolla


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