Traditional / folk music of Spain
Spanish folk music and culture can be named as one of the most influential music in the world. Not just in the Spanish main land, but also in many other countries in the world.
During the middle age, from 8th century, Spain conquered many times by Moorish Muslims. Many Muslims wanted to spread the “love” message to new conquered worlds and they did that with their music. The Arabian music had lots of background from Sumer, Babylon, Ugarit, Ancient Egypt, Persia, Greece and even far away India . They brought their traditional music instruments and melodies to Spain (which in that time such a name was not existing) and this lead to later development and creation of guitar and flamenco. The folk music genre that share lots of things in common with the music of Northern Africa and also Latin America.
Later, after the fall of Muslims power in Spain, Spain Empire started colonial expansion. In 1492 Christopher Columbus arrived to Latin America and Spanish Empire expansion was continuing for over three centuries . During these period they conquered at list half of South America, almost all of Central America and most parts of North America. In 1521 Ferdinand Magellan arrived to Philippines and they made Philippines as a colony of Spanish Empire. They also started to explore some parts of Africa and gained some lands there. They tried to impose Spanish culture including Spanish music to many of their colonies. But also the trading system including slavery between these colonies caused a huge cultural and musical exchanges between these colonies. Many music genres in South and Central America are created by the mixing of different style from Spain, Africa and local indigenous music. Even some Arabic elements traveled to South America under the influence of this Empire.
The folk music genres in Spain itself are really diverse and does not limited to flamenco. Back to 8th century, the Jewish, Muslims and Christians lived together and also Gypsies came to Spain from India and settled down. With this co-existence and also influence of diverse ethnic regions from Spain and neighborhood, many different type of folk music shaped. We mention some of these folk musics by region or genre here.
Music of Catalonia
Catalonia can be named as one of the most leading intellectual and artistically province of Spain. They view themselves as separated country. Folk music in Catalonia has diverse variety. Traditionally it is home to rumba gitano (gypsy rumba) or rumba catalana. It was developed when rumba and other Afro-Cuban styles arrived from Cuba in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The most well known folk music of Catalonia is sardana. It is played by a cobla. Sardana is a type of circle dance. Cobla is a traditional music ensemble. Modern Cobla consist of 11 players. From traditional music instrument catalan shawm and some more common instruments like trumpets and trombone.
Music of Basque
The music of Basque consist of variety type of folk music and dances. The most well known one is trikitixa and it is played by accordion and tambourine. There are many different traditional instrument used in Basque. Alboka(double clarinet), Kirikoketa (a wooden percussion), Txistu (kind of pipe), Txalaparta(a wooden xylophone) are some of them. There are many different types of dance exists in Basque.
The origination of this genre of folk music is return to 9th century when Ziryab traveled from Baghdad,to live in Cordoba. He was a singer, oud player, composer, poet and teacher. It is not clear that if he was Arab, Black African, Kurdish or Persian. He is credited as originator of Flamenco but of course during the centuries, his music developed, changed and mixed with other traditions until today. For example many musicologists believe that cante flamenco (singing flamenco) brought by gypsies from India and it was mixed with the Jewish and Muslims music.
The flamenco we know today is came to mid-eighteenth in south of Spain (Andalusia). In the beginning it was performed by gypsies but little by little gained popularity. Today flamenco consist of many different type of rhythms and styles and it affected many folk music genres in Spain. For example Alegría, Bulería, Siguiriyas, Tangos and etc.
Some other folk music and dances in Spain which can be named are Jota, Fandango, Bolera, Zambra, Paso Doble and Muñeira.
If you have more information about folk music of Spain, its genres or instruments or you know specific song on each genre, please kindly contact us and let us know about it or send them through “Post a Song” link on top of the page. Also if you see any wrong information about the song tags on the list below please kindly let us know.
Traditional / folk songs for Spain
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