Traditional / folk music of Venezuela
The same as many countries in South America, Venezuela is the place to meet different cultures from different planets. But Venezuela had it's own way after the meeting of these cultures and of course with receiving and sending the influence to it's neighbors too. First of all, It is said that the estimated population of indigenous people before colonization was about 1 million. From the other side, Christopher Columbus reached to the eastern coast of Venezuela on his third voyage in 1498. He also discovered Cubagua and Margarita, two islands in the coast of Venezuela. But the beginning of the main land colonization started later by Spain. Venezuela was the first permanent South American settlement from Spanish Emperor. Part of the country also colonized by Germany. From the other side Venezuela has a long history of slavery. First by slavery of indigenous population, then by importing of Africans slaves. All these caused the music of Venezuela, become the mixture of all these musics and today you can see the marks of these mixtures in the traditional and folk music of Venezuela. Also by invading of Spanish culture, some Arabic elements also came to this culture and music.
During the many years many types of folk music invented in Venezuela. The list is large, but some of notable folk music of Venezuela is here:
This folk music related to Christmas and it is also common in Puerto Rico. It is about the birth of the Jesus, peace on the earth and wishing good will. The root of the folk music comes back to Spain in the middle age. It was a religious songs, sang by normal people.
This type of folk music can be accompanied by instruments or simply can be sing alone. Sometimes it is uses as a gift. As an example it can be sung by children in front of the doors for exchange of small gift as a reward.
The instruments which is use in this type of folk music in Venezuela are a lot. Can be selection of cuatro, furruco, maracas, violin, guitar, tambourine, mandolin, bandola, caja and marímbula.
This type of folk music in Venezuela is like a big ensembles. Solo instruments are trumpet, trombone, saxophone and clarinet. Rhythm instruments such as cuatro and percussion instruments like güiro and maracas. This music was very popular in 1920's in Caracas and the coast part. But today is not as popular as the past.
Balie de Tambor
This folk music, in fact is a kind of dance. This type of folk music is a Afro-Venezuelan dance with a poly rhythmic from different African countries.
Jorobo can be called as most important and diverse type of folk music in Venezuela. It is the most well known folk music outside of Venezuela. It comes from the plains of Venezuela and it has many many different types. It is said that the origin of the music is Spanish Fandango dance and melimatic Arabic. Melimatic in short is a group of notes which sing in one syllable. This music accompanied with a dance of couples, in which woman holds both man hands. So in fact it is national dance of Venezuela too.
This folk music is played fast, and it permits poly-rhythmic improvisation to the performers. The main solo music instrument usually is different type of harp (and the most famous one is called llanera harp) and it is accompanied by a cuatro and maracas. The singer usually play the harp or just sing without playing anything. In this music on the central coast sometimes the ensemble is smaller and it is just a harp or bandola and a singer who plays maracas. And in these areas, the music is different from plain parts, it has more improvisation and the structure is different. Different type of joropo which can be named are central joropo, eastern joropo, guayanés joropo, quirpa and the most famous type of this folk music is llanero. Historically this type of traditional music referred to social events, which could take for hours or even a week. People came from different places for trade and main act was music and dancing.
Joropo music was developed and popularized by the effort of many musician like Juan Vicente Torrealba, Ignacio Figueredo, Eneas Perdomo, Angel Custodio Loyola, Simon Diaz and many more.
The list of folk music in Venezuela are a lot more than this, some other folk musics which can be named are Andean music and Afro-Caribbean music.
Maybe the most important music instrument which can be named in traditional music of Venezuela is harp because of its usage in joropo. Cuatro which simply means four is another instrument, it's a small instrument similar to guitar and it has just four strings. Variation of percussion instruments also uses in folk music of Venezuela like güiro, maracas and furruco. Bandola is another guitar style instrument which is used in llanera and also other type of folk musics in Venezuela. As mentioned above, violin, guitar, tambourine, caja, marímbula trumpet, trombone, saxophone and clarinet also uses in Venezuela folk music.
Venezuela has a huge type of folk music, if you have any interesting information about folk music in Venezuela, please kindly drop us a line from contact page, or please let us know about some songs and artists in each genre of it's folk music.
Traditional / folk songs for Venezuela
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