Folk / traditional music in South America
South America can be called as one of the youngest civilizations that we know about in our planet. The folk music in South America is shaped during last few centuries. We consider Mexico and Central American countries as part of South America, although politically they are not considered as South America. Because these countries are culturally and musically are tighten to their brothers in south.
As mentioned the traditional music in South America is relatively new compare to some other part of the world like Asia or Africa. But interestingly the root of folk music in this continent comes from different places in the world. Afro music has essential part in folk music in South America. Most of music genres has Afro roots or some kind of mixed with Afro music. Most of percussion and drums are exactly and directly came from Africa through slavery time and today still they exist and they have principal part in rhythmic sections of folk music. Colombian Cumbia is a big example of Afro music which was born by Afro slaves in Atlantic coast of Colombia. Or another folk/ethnic music and dance in Brazil is Capoeira which has roots in Angola.
Folk music of South America also has the influence of European music specially Spanish music. In Spanish speaking countries this happened by Spanish people and in Brazil happened mostly by Portuguese People. Folk music genres like Choro in Brazil was born with mixture of European musics (dances like polka, waltz, etc) with African rhythms like Lundo and Batuque.
Another important elements in folk music of South America is Andean music. In fact it is traditional music of indigenous people in Andean mountains. Quechua music is a big example of this which is common in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.
Folk music in South America is mostly bounded to dance. Almost most of these different folk music genres are related to a special kind of dance. The mixture of three mentioned elements above, resulted into amazing diversity of folk music and dances genres in South America.
By checking the list below for each Latin country, you will know more about each folk music genre or instrument in each Latin country. You can also listen to some traditional songs for different regions of South America.