Saturday, January 07, 2006

Music of Colombia

" As a country, Colombia encompasses many physically different regions --- there are the islands of San Andrés, Providencia, the Islas del Rosario and San Bernado in the Caribbean and Gorgona and Malpelo in the Pacific; the western part of the country is mountainous, with the three Andeans chains --- the Cordillera Occidental, Cordillera Central and Codillera Oriental --- running roughly parallel north-south across the entire country, making for arduous travel; the eastern country is divided into the rolling savannahs of Los Llanos in the north and the rainforest of the Amazon in the south. This geography had made Colombia look like a collection of city-states rather than a single nation until recently.

As a result, there came to be many forms of music that were popular in specific regions. These regional musical forms evolve out of the local cultural traditions, which represent a synthesis of the cultural heritages of descendants of the local Indian inhabitants, the Spanish settlers, the black slaves and even some English-speaking smugglers, who exist in different proportions by region. Here, we describe some of these forms:

The music that is most commonly identified with Colombia is the cumbia. The cumbia song "La Pollera Colora" is practically a national anthem for Colombia. In its original form, the cumbia ensemble consists of percussion and vocals only. Inevitably, modern wind instruments have been brought in --- the conjunto de cumbia includes a clarinet called the pito, the conjunto de gaitas has two flutes made from the cardón plant as well as maracas and the commercialized cumbia bands have saxophones, trumpets and trombones. According to the myth, the fast rhythm of the cumbia was developed by black slaves to dance in quick shuffle steps while being fettered in leg irons. "

A rather battered copy of an LP on the Fuentes label from the 60's I would guess. A compilation of the varied musical styles from that part of the world throbbing with the authentic latin rythyms that one expects. I particularly love the mad laughing in A Lo Loco!

Orquesta Solera De Espana - A Lo Loco!

Orquesta Emisoras Fuentes - Gaita Sabanera

These You Send It files are available for seven days or 25 downloads.

1 comment:

Cocaine Jesus said...

Hmmmm, Columbia and I seem to have a connection!