Essay on The Music of Puerto Rico

3161 Words13 Pages
Music, in the history of Puerto Rico, has played a role of great significance as a means of cultural expression. The five centuries of musical activity shows that Puerto Ricans have created, developed and promoted a variety of genres ranging from folk music, concert music and new genres. The Puerto Rican music and native musicians have shaped and enriched the identity of the Puerto Rican people and their roots.
Puerto Rican music was the ultimate expression of the “Areito” (indigenous artistic traditions) combined in a unitary fashion, oral narrative, dance and music. By the end of the fifteenth century, the Taino Indians had already developed musical instruments used in their ceremonies, religious rituals and daily life. Some of the
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Slaves who arrived on our shores were characterized by a strong attachment to their traditions and ancestral beliefs, intimately linked to their dances and music. Among the African groups that influence ethnic and cultural formation of the island are the Ashanti and Fante of Ghana, Carabalis southern shore of the Niger River, the Congos and Equatorial Africa from the late eighteenth century until the middle nineteenth century and the Yoruba of West Africa.
Africans cultivated their traditions and dances in several coastal towns and municipalities that are currently Loiza, Guayama, Ponce, Cataño. The current African music has been preserved in the instruments that are still heard in the characteristic method of executing them, and in some songs, rhythms and dances that have been preserved by oral tradition. Around the eighteenth century, one of the factors that caused considerable impact on the formation of the Island Music, was the arrival of a group of musicians with a Spanish military regiment in 1765. The activity of these bands, which included public concerts and the music of nature based, religious and social activities, along with traditional festivals at the center of town squares, prosecutes a favorable environment for musical development.
By the end of the eighteenth century, popular music evolved by converging sectors of the church, community, urban and rural society emerging beyond the capital, San Juan. During the eighteenth
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