The Music Culture in Puerto Rico Essay

704 Words Jan 31st, 2016 3 Pages
The Music Culture in Puerto Rico during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries is poorly documented. It most likely included Spanish church music, military band music, and diverse genres cultivated by the jíbaros, who are peasants, mostly of Taino descent, and enslaved Africans and their descendants. While they only make up 11% of the population in the country, they contributed some of the island's most dynamic musical features becoming distinct indeed. In the 19th century, Puerto Rican music begins to emerge into historical daylight, with genres such as danza being naturally better documented than folk genres like jíbaro music and bomba y plena.
The African people of the island used drums made of carved harwood covered with an untreated
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By the mid-twentieth century, when it started to be recorded and filmed, bomba was performed in regional variants in various parts of the island.
Around 1900, Plena emerged as a humble proletarian folk genre in the lower-class, largely Afro-Puerto Rican urban neighborhoods in San Juan, Ponce, and elsewhere. Plena subsequently came to occupy its niche in island music culture. It is an informal, simple folksong genre, in which alternating verses and refrains are sung to the accompaniment of round, often homemade frame drums called panderetas, which are like tambourines but with no jingles, perhaps supplemented by accordion, guitar, or whatever other instruments might be handy. An advantage of the percussion arrangement is its portability, contributing to the plena's spontaneous appearance at social gatherings. Other instruments commonly heard in plena music are the cuatro, the maracas, and accordions.
Puerto Rican music was also influenced by the Caribbean music. Examples of these are bolero, merengue and salsa. The bolero originally derived from Cuba, but by the 1920s-30s it was being not only enjoyed but also composed and performed by Puerto Ricans, including such as Rafael Hernández and Pedro Flores. Merengue was the most popular dance music in the country during the 1900s. Salsa is another genre whose form derived from the Cuban\Puerto Rican melding of genre, especially Cuban dance music of

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