Essay on Music Has Been Around For Over A Hundred Years

1430 Words Oct 27th, 2016 6 Pages
Despite the fact that plena music has been around for over a hundred years, this should not imply that it is primitive or weak when compared to other musical genres. There’s no doubt that we can find traces of our favorite songs in plena music. When listening to a basic plena song, it will be common for the verses to be broken down into different topics (Manuel 258). This is unique because in the American music that we listen to, it is uncommon to have more than one major topic in a song, but with plena music’s structure it is possible to have multiple topics depending on how many verses a song contains. This can also be helpful when trying to improvise or extend a song. Alternating with a topical verse is normally a simple choral refrain which is often accompanied with a small round frame drum known as the pandereta which is very similar to the tamborine (Manuel 258). The list of instruments used for plena music also include the guitar, accordion, the guicharo (idiophone), the cuatro (smaller version of a guitar), bass, trombone, saxophone, and vocals. The pandereta is considered to be the cornerstone of plena music so it could be argued that a plena song without the pandereta isn’t actually plena music at all (Manuel 258). Its’ importance isn’t simply traditional or aesthetic. In fact, the pandereta is key to the meter of a song and normally two panderetas are used to reiterate a basic duple meter, while another musician improvises on his drum with syncopated…

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