What Makes Spanish Music

Spanish music is one of the most diverse that you will ever encounter, having been influenced from the German, French, Arabic and Moorish cultures. It has a varied form and style, although for most people, they consider Spanish music as synonymous to flamenco which is a music genre in Andalusia.

Music in Spain has a long history which shows a heavy influence of the Christian era and Roman culture during the first centuries. Later on, other cultural influences slowly made its imprint on the local music such as Greek culture, the Visigoth which is a tribe in Germany, the Jews during their Diaspora and then the Arabs and Moors. During the Renaissance period, Spanish musicians traveled throughout Europe where they learned more about the music of other lands, and then returned back to their homeland to share their newly acquired knowledge.

The 18th and 20th centuries have seen further developments of Spanish music, where opera, guitar, popular, and other genres emerged. These different influences led to the musical traditions that are unique to the Spanish.

In Spain, the different regions have distinguishing music genre using varying instruments. Andalusia is well-known for flamenco which is the most popular form of Spanish dance and music. Aragon is where the jota music originated where they usually use the tambourines, bandurria, castanets and the guitar as instruments.

In Northwest Spain, the music has a distinctive Celtic influence and the popular instruments used are the gaita, tamboril, fiddle, harp, rebec and zanfona. The Xeremiers is typical in the Balearic Islands where the bagpipes and flabiol are used. The Basques are known for their choirs, the trikitixa dance and the musical instruments txisu, alboka and txalaparta. Isa is a musical genre that is actually a local type of jota which is traditional in the Canary Islands where the charango, tabor pipe and drums are used as instruments.

The music in Castile, Madrid, and Leon has a unique sound which is influenced by the Jews, Romans, Italians, Moorish, French, Visigoth, and the Gypsy. Catalonia is where the sardana music originated while Portuguese music is distinctive in Extremadura. In Murcia, Moorish music influence can be heard in most musical compositions in this area along with Christian songs often performed in accapella. Lastly, the music of Valencia has a Mediterranean origin although the region is also well-known for its musical innovation.

Despite the differences of the music from the various regions, you will notice that these have a distinctive sound which identifies them as Spanish. Also, aside from keeping their traditional music alive, the Spaniards also excel in classical, opera, techno, jazz, rock, pop, hip hop and all the other music genres. There are a lot of Spanish artists and musicians who have risen to fame worldwide because of their talents. Father and son Julio and Enrique Iglesias are among them as well as Alejandro Sanz, Maria Jimenez, Victor Manuel and a lot more. Some well-known music groups are Las Ketchup, Los Bravos, Tequila, Tierra Santa, Tote King and others.

Traditional Spanish music has indeed evolved and to this day it shows various styles and forms. It indeed blends perfectly well with modern music, which makes it all the more interesting. With music and dance an integral part of Spanish life, learning about Spanish music is necessary for you to fully understand the Spanish society.