Vocabulary for Final Review

You should be familiar with all of these terms for the Final exam. The underlined terms are essay topics.

ACCORDION ~ German-derived instrument used in several genres in Latin America, including vallenato (Colombia), tango and chamamé  (actually with the accordion relative the bandoneón, from Argentina) and música norteña (México).

ANDEAN MUSIC ~ A vast genre of musical styles from several countries surrounding the Andes Mountains, including Perú, Bolivia, Ecuador, Northern Chile, Northern Argentina and Southern Colombia.  Primary instruments include the quena (notched flute), zampoñas (panpipes), bombo (bass drum), charango (small 12-string guitar) and the harp.  Andean music may be best described as having a heartbeat-like rhythm supporting beautiful, pentatonic melodies.

BANDONEÓN ~ Signature instrument and accordion relative used in the Argentine tango as well as chamamé styles.

BERIMBAU ~ The primary instrument of Brazilian capoeira, the berimbau is an African-derived bow which is struck by a small stick.  Attached to the bass of the bow is a half gourd which acts as a resonator.  The berimbau dictates the tempo and style of capoeira games.

BOMBO ~ Indigenous bass drum used in Argentine and Andean music.

BOSSA NOVA ~ A slow form of romantic Brazilian music pioneered in the 1950s by pianist/composer Antonio Carlos Jobim (and others) that featured a relaxed, nasal vocal style and simple rhythmic accompaniment along with lush, jazz-inspired harmony.  Bossa nova was derived from samba, and came to worldwide fame during the 1960s as American jazz musicians embraced the style.

CAPOEIRA ~ An Afro-Brazilian martial art disguised as dance developed during the colonial period by male Angolan slaves.  Capoeira takes place in a circle called the roda, and is accompanied by several instruments including the berimbau as well as call-and-response singing.  As slaves were not permitted to arm themselves and fight, capoeira allowed them to train physically while giving the slave masters the impression they were merely entertaining themselves.  Capoeira is now practiced internationally by men and women as well as children.

CHARANGO ~ A guitar relative used in Andean music containing 12 strings.

CORRIDO ~ Mexican revolutionary song form regarded as an epic narrative ballad.  The corrido evolved as a story in song with a detailed lyric structure that includes a formal introduction and farewell, and often told stories (real and fictional) of the exploits of revolutionary heroes.  The musical accompaniment began with simple instrumentation, and later evolved as the style became popular throughout Mexico; any Mexican ensemble can play corridos.  In recent years, corridos began to depict stories associated with illegal drug and human trafficking, and are referred to as narco corridos.

CUMBIA ~ A courtship dance of African-Indigenous origin from Colombia’s Atlantic Coast, the cumbia was a traditional music and dance form accompanied by percussion instruments and cactus flutes (called gaitas).  The two types of traditional instrumentation are: conjunto de cumbia and conjunto de gaita.  As cumbia evolved and became modernized, small to large ensembles began to simplify the rhythm while maintaining the basic syncopated drum and maraca part.  Cumbia is one of the most popular styles in its adopted home(s) throughout Central America.

LATIN ROCK ~ A combination of blues and rock influences combined with Cuban rhythms and instruments, Latin Rock evolved in East Los Angeles from the early Chicano Soul sound, and was later pioneered in the San Francisco Bay Area by Carlos Santana.

MARIACHI ~ A style of group or instrumentation of regional Mexican son, specifically the son jaliciense.  The mariachi ensemble consists of violins, several types of guitars, the guitarrón, trumpets and sometimes a harp, and is one of the most popular expressions of Mexican regional music.

MARIMBA ~ An instrument derived from the African balafon (or balaphone) found from Southern Mexico to Ecuador, and extremely popular in several Central American countries. It is also the national instrument of Guatemala.

NORTEÑO (TEJANO) MUSIC ~ Mexican regional music from the Northern states as well as on the Mexico-Texas border.  Norteño music (or música norteña) evolved as a direct result of German influences with the adoption of the button accordion as well as the polka and waltz rhythms.  The instrumentation evolved – from duos with accordion and the Mexican bajo sexto to the Texas-Mexican conjunto of the 1930s.  Today, this regional form is one of the most popular and successful sounds, and features styles such as the ranchera and corrido.

NUEVA CANCIÓN ~ The socio-political musical movement of Latin America, Nueva Canción was born out of Cuba’s Nueva Trova movement and fueled by the political uprisings of South America in the 1960s and 70s.  Nueva Canción drew attention to the plight of the impoverished Indigenous population and the oppressed workers, and sought to raise international awareness and solidarity for all Latin American peoples.  The musical foundations ranged from Andean and regional folk music styles to North American rock influences. Nueva Canción can be seen as optimistic, anti-imperialist, revolutionary, ideological, metaphorical as well as literal.

PALO DE MAYO ~ A traditional May celebration of Indigenous origins celebrated in Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast, palo de mayo evolved as a popular music and dance style largely influenced by Trinidadian calypso, Jamaican reggae and other Caribbean influences.

PUNTA ~ Traditional music and dance for wakes developed by the Garífuna people of Honduras and Belize, punta has recently become modernized into a popular style played by electronic instruments.  The traditional instrumentation includes hand drums, maracas, a tortoise shell and the caracol (conch shell), and includes call-and-response singing.

QUENA ~ A notched flute used in Andean music.

ROCK EN ESPAÑOL ~ Rock-and-roll in Spanish.

SAMBA ~ Afro-Brazilian music and dance for Carnaval, samba evolved from Congolese styles and developed as one of the most popular styles ever to emerge from Brazil.  In Rio de Janeiro, there are two basic styles of samba used in Carnaval: samba batucada (referring to the percussion rhythm) and samba de enredo (referring to the lyric form or theme song).  In Carnaval, each group – called an escola (school) – participates in the annual celebration by performing their particular enredo in competiton.  Each escola contains thousands of members and hundreds of musicians.  Among the important samba percussion instruments is the cuica, a friction drum that produces a squeaking sound resembling a monkey.  The samba dance is quite vigorous and voluptuous, featuring fast hip-churning moves and fancy footwork.

SON (REGIONAL MEXICAN) ~ In Mexico there are numerous regional styles of son, each with its unique instrumentation, dance style and lyric structure.  Most son styles use the Spanish lyric forms such as the romance and the copla.  Among the popular forms are son jarocho (from Veracruz, featuring the harp), son huasteco (featuring the huapango rhythm), son istmeño (including banda instrumentation) and the son jaliciense, known mainly as the mariachi.

TANGO ~ The Argentine tango developed in Buenos Aires first as a dance around 1877, danced by two male slaves in the City’s brothels.  Its predecessors include the Cuban habanera, the Uruguayan candombe and the Afro-Argentine milonga, all which featured drums.  However, the tango evolved as a musical form without drums, first accompanied on guitars and later with the sexteto instrumentation, featuring two bandoneones (button accordion relative), two violins, the piano and the double bass or cello.  The tango evolved as a song form by the 1920s as the tango-canción, and later saw an experimental or Avant-Garde movement in the mid 1950s spearheaded by Astor Piazzolla.  Within recent years, musicians have explored the return of the drums to the form as well as the experimentation with more urban sounds in the Neo Tango or Tango Nuevo genre.

TRIO ~ Specifically a form of instrumentation with three singer/guitarists, the trio is regarded as the quintessential romantic ballad style, and is in fact the Cuban bolero rhythm which migrated to several countries in Latin America.  Many trios include large string sections as well as percussionists, and are characterized by flowery, ornate guitar-playing and vocals in three-part harmony.

VALLENATO ~ Accordion music from Colombia’s Valledupar region and derived from cumbia.

ZAMBA ~ A slow, regional Argentine rhythm and dance from the Northeast in 3/4 time tipically played on guitar and bombo drum.

ZAMPOÑAS (PAN PIPES) ~ The bamboo panpipes used in Andean music.

"Africanisms" in Latin & Caribbean music:

CALL & RESPONSE ~ A lead vocalist alternating with a repetitive chorus

IMPROVISATION ~ From variation to full-blown solos; making it up as you go, or "freestyling"

POLYRHYTHM ~ Layers of rhythm in a complex structure

SYNCOPATION ~ The emphasis on the upbeats (or offbeats)

REPETITION ~ Usually featured during the refrain or chorus portion of songs; the idea of a repeatetd structure with vocal improvisation is key in such styles as Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and others.

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