Origins Of Music In Argentina

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PART I HISTORY AND OVERVIEW OF AN ARGENTINE MUSICAL CULTURE The origins of folk music in Argentina are a result of three main cultural influences – Inca, Spanish and African. Combined in various ways, these cultures provided a varied folk music to Latin America in the mid-nineteenth century. These native sounds were the building blocks of many composers in Argentina of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in their quest to establish a nationalist, musical language. The Incas inhabited the territory now known as Argentina well before the Spanish arrived in the early 1500s. Though no evidence through musical notation has survived, the Incas were believed to be a strong musical civilization. Their instruments, which included flutes, panpipes, drums, bells and gongs, rattles, and a one-stringed bow, - were used for various ceremonial events such as burials and preparation for war. Through sixteenth-century Spanish chronicles, most scholars suggest Incan music comprised of two-bar phrases, tritonic melodic patterns and pentatonic scales. This group, known also as Quechua, inhabited much of what is now known as western and northwestern Argentina. The Spaniards established a colony on the site of present day Buenos Aires in 1580. The missionaries, sent to convert the population to Catholicism, realized the Incas love for music and used this as a means to attract their interest. In many cases, these missionaries adapted evangelistic messages to fit Inca tunes, and once converted, used them to provide music for church services. Through the education provided, the Indians developed a refined musical skill by learning to sing, read and play music. Although the Spanish explorers brought African laborers into the country, slavery was generally unpopular and the Black population, small. Therefore unlike many other Latin American countries, the

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