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Peruvian Music

Peruvian Music

The Peru music is a fusion of sounds and styles drawing on Peru's Andean, Spanish, and African roots.

After hundreds years of cultural mixing, there have been created a broad musical landscape over Peru. Typical instruments used are, for example, the flute and the antara or zampoña, the box and the traditional guitar, which in Peru has also a smaller variant, known as the "charango" and mandolin. There are thousands of pre-Hispanic dances and mestizo. Central, northern and southern Andes is famous for preserving traditional rhythms and huayno parade. These represent different cultures gotten in the mountains of this country and those currently in force.

Before the Viceroyalty of Peru, much of the Peruvian territory constituted the Tahuantinsuyo uniting several of the oldest cultures such as Chavin, Paracas, Moche, Chimu, Nazca and 20 other minors, the ancient people of the Nazca culture, were the major Pre-Columbian musicians in the continent.

Andean influences can be best heard in wind instruments and the shape of the melodies, the African influences is heard in the rhythm and percussion instruments, and European influences can be heard in the harmonies and stringed instruments. For the Incas, music, dance and song were defined by the term taki, Inca music was pentatonic. The dance, music and singing were present in all community activities or rituals,

The Incas used a wide variety of musical instruments, some as:

The pomatinyas: little drums made of puma skin.
The pomatinyas
The guayllaquepas: trumpets made of Strombus
The guayllaquepas
The pinkullo: wind instrument similar to a flute.
The pinkullo
The antaras: panpipes made of different materials.
The antara
The Huancar or wankara: large drum used by men.
The Huancar or wankara
The tinya: small drum used by women.
The tinya

Drums, usually manufactured of camelids skin but there were some made with human skin of enemies vanquished or rebel leaders. Also it is documented metal trumpets made of gold, silver and copper, as well as instruments made from bones of Andean deer or dogs.

Peruvian music is dominated by the national instrument, the charango. It was invented during the Viceroyalty of Peru by musicians imitating the Spanish vihuela. In the Canas and Titicaca regions, the charango is used in courtship rituals. After the revolution in 1959, which built upon the Indigenismo movement, the charango was popularized among other performers. Variants include the walaycho, chillador, chinlili, and the larger and lower-tuned charangon.

The cajón is an percussion instrument developed by African slaves. The cowbell may also be of African origin. The rhythms played on them are often African influenced; some percussive instruments are of non-African origin. For example, of European origin is the bombo bass drum, and of Andean origin are the wankara and tinya respectively.


In addition to the ocarina and wakrapuku, there are Peruvian wind instruments of two basic types, panpipes and flutes, both of Native Andean origin. Of the former variety, there are the siku (or zampoña) and antara. Of the latter variety, there are the pinkillo, tarka, and quena flutes.

With the conquest and later colonial era, the Peruvian territory is influenced by European and later afroperuana music. Even at the time Bourbon became fashionable Italian rhythms. One of the first European rhythms merge with the folklore of the African population is the priest Juan Araujo in the carol The Negritos, including here the particular style of Spanish spoken by black communities. In Cusco highlights Hanac Pachap track with lyrics in Quechua and was scored by Juan Perez Bocanegra. In Cusco highlights Hanac Pachap track with lyrics in Quechua and was scored by Juan Perez Bocanegra. This keeps track pentaphony Andean and his score was published in Lima in 1631. Hanac Pachap is the first work of American choral polyphony.

As for the dance during colonial times there are 2, the first Austrian influence with Flemish, Italian and German influence and the second Bourbon influence with French models. Attached to the entry of these styles is initiated the Creole music, still primitive and African rhythms. The musical diversity was documented in the last years of the colony, as well as being embodied many instruments such as panpipes, trumpets, guitars, marimbas and quijadas (jaws). The rhythms that were fashionable in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were the major yaravíes, cascabelillos, Cachúas and Negritos.

Both the colony and during the beginning of the Republican era, people made no distinction between the sacred and profane music. This differentiation is initiated very loosely around 1813, finding documents that make the difference between art music and vulgar musica. During the government of Viceroy Abascal, Italian opera was very popular in Lima. By the late eighteenth century dance teachers were mostly black, but in 1790 this activity was banned accusing black teachers to invent and modify legitimate steps of the dances. Because of the ban began to proliferate dance schools with foreign teachers.

At the beginning of Peru, have been preserved, mostly Spanish music. The churches concentrated much of the music, both religious and secular. The most important cathedrals counted with their own orchestras, hired musicians other churches for their festivals and processions. After independence the Peruvians showed great fondness for local rhythms, preferring national musicians, during 1820 and 1830 were fashionable some tunes musician José Bernardo Alcedo (author of the national anthem of Peru). In turn Peruvian musicals had the predilection of Peruvians. These were changing tastes and preferences for European musical rhythms and operas displaced the national rhythms in Peruvian cities.

The preferred instruments during this period were the guitars, organs, clavelines, harps, fiddles, harps and pianos, Peru manufactured these instruments and also were exports to Guayaquil and Guatemala, in the case of the guitar, and Santiago de Chile, in the case of the salterios. With the Republican era is born Creole music influenced by the French of the minuet, the waltz Viennese, the Polish Masurca , Spanish jota and mestizo expressions of the central coast. The musical production in early twentieth century was very intense and composers were mostly people from neighborhoods that were characterized by a particular style for each neighborhood. At this time it is known as the Old Guard, and his compositions had no scores so they were not recorded and many of the authors were lost in anonymity. The industrial period of Creole music is accompanied by the mass of the phonograph, and the advent of the phonograph brought to Peru foreign rhythms like tango and foxtrot. These foreign rhythms eventually displaced the Creole music

This new generation of the 20s was adapted to musical tastes then fusing the Creole music with other rhythms but without losing the essence of Peru. The Creole industry began to evolve, are the arrangers and singers are not necessarily those that compose the songs. This is increasing the start of broadcasting in Peru in 1935, with this the Creole music ceases to be exclusive of the popular sectors and there is a creaole feeling that starts in Lima as the national. In 1944 was institutionalized "Day of the Creole Song"

Andean Music

Along the Peruvian Andes, in every town, there are a variety of songs and dances. In Inca times, the word was used taki to refer simultaneously to both the song and the dance, as both activities were not separated from one another. Andean music now is all mixed, even most used instruments in the Andes is mestizo. In Arequipa and Southern Andes has spread greatly yaraví, melancholic style of singing, which is one of the most widespread types of singing. An andean song that is the Condors passes, a traditional song composed by the Peruvian composer Daniel Alomía Robles, it was popularized in the United States by the duo Simon & Garfunkel. The original composition is a hymn to the sun, slowly, followed by a leak kashwa and Huayno.

Then there is the huaylas, a cheerful rhythm of the central Andes. This is another widespread type of song and dance. In Ancash is grown rhythms of huayno, chuscada, pasacalle and cashua. The huayno is the genre of popular Andean music, although its origin can be traced to the Inca period, so it seems to be purely a creation mestiza. Variants are grown throughout the Peruvian highlands. A similar genre is the tondero northern Peruvian coast.

Creole Music

The coast is the most influenced by Spanish culture, combines traditional European rhythms like the waltz and polka with different rhythms, especially from Africa. Current Creole music emerges in late nineteenth century as part of the process of social transformation experienced by the city of Lima, visiting different states to the present. The most popular style in Lima is the Peruvian waltz. Besides the waltz, the Creole music genres include the polka and the marinera, this last, with origins in ancient zamacueca. The marinera is the national dance of Peru, named by the writer Abelardo Gamarra in honor of the sailors who fought against the army of Chile in the Pacific War. Among Peruvian coast, is considered as representative as in tango in Argentina. It has three main variants, the northern, the Lima and the mountain.

Currently in Peru, have spread further dances; including has been realized fusion of many genres, such as the music of Jean Pierre Magnet or Damaris. The youth population is dominated by foreign rhythms, influencing young people by their economic situation. The rock in Peru was originated in the early '50s as a major influence on American and British musicians for later follow different trends like alternative rock, pop, hard rock, metal, punk (the band The Saicos is considered by many national and international media as the first punk rock band in history) among other trends. Also noteworthy Gianmarco and Pedro Suarez Vertiz. 

The Peru Specialists
Plates full of Peruvian food set Kim MacQuarrie
Plates full of Peruvian food set Alonso Cueto
Plates full of Peruvian food set Gonzalo Salinas
Plates full of Peruvian food set Javier Puente

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