Latin American Music’s Influence
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The purpose of this paper is to discuss the influence Latin American music has had on popular music and the music business in the United States. Describes the growing popularity of Latin American music; the music, dance and visual style.
Latin American Music\'s Influence on American Music There has been a virtual explosion of popularity of Latin music alongwith the Latin population of the United States in the last few years Latino artists inhabit a sense of racial and ethnic identity that remainsliterally untranslatable into North American English and they are groundedin a Latin-American literary and artistic canon to which most monolingualNorth Americans do not and often cannot have access Their music danceand visual style has swept the planet This is what
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It has a very tropicalsound, utilizing fast beats from the tombora, melody from accordions andpercussion from maracas (rattles). Popular Music and Society 21(2): 17-45. (1997). The meringue was a folkoric music inthe Dominican Republic and spread through the Caribbean and Latin America,becoming popular in Europe and the United States. The Cuban song"Guantanamera" figured into the repertoire of most of these artists, havingbeen popularized by Pete Seeger's version and recorded by him and a hoardof other Anglo artists. The United States has experienced differenttypes of Latin music in what has been termed "waves": these came aspopularity rose and then fell off for certain styles such as the habanera,maxixe, tango, rhumba, samba, conga, mambo and bossa nova. Given the estimated $35 billion Latino buying power and tremendous population surge, the mainstreammarketers saw the financial potential in the new Latino market. Her husband and producer Emilio Estefan reports that two decadesago, a recording label asked him to leave because he wanted to use congas,horns, and timbales in a song. Though thesongs made the Central and South America charts, the band remained unknownin the U.S. No decade has seen such a variety of Latinomusicians going platinum and topping the charts, however. American Theatre 21(5): 2 4.Levin, J. It is soft and slow and dramatic, with syncopated rhythms thathave made it a favorite of romantics. Are we dancing to our own beat? This is what North American culturalphenomena tend to do--they sweep the planet. "There was something in the air thatnight/The stars were bright/Fernando./They were shining there for you andme/for liberty/Fernando./Although we never thought that we wouldlose/There's no regret" (van der lee, 1997). The Estefans' band, Miami Sound Machine,released four Spanish-language albums between 1981 and 1983. American music reflects the makeup of its population, and it can bereferred to in the same way some refer to its people: "a melting pot".Latin music is one of the most vital of American musics, and brings intothe larger culture a constantly evolving amalgam of European, African,indigenous and popular influences that can only grow in importance (Levin,2 3). (AN 6417679)Cortinas, J.I. (2 3). In conclusion, Latin music has been around for decades, but lack ofattention kept it in a niche. It wasn't so long ago that Latin American music was a strange andexotic animal to American tastes - classical fans recognized Latin beats,but most of the public was introduced to Cuban music via the 195 'stelevision show "I Love Lucy". In the course of time, these wave rhythms became assimilated into themainstream, and even softened for American tastes, this is why it isdifficult to trace the genetic makeup of exact family trees. Rock andpop are of distinctly American origins: today's artists grew up in theUnited States listening to The Cure and Metallica, speaking Spanglish. The first thought of influence is in concert or in dance, but LatinAmerican musicians have also been influential, performing as "troubadors"in other venues, such as restaurants, pubs and pizzerias in which theycreated their own styles mixing Latin cultural rhythms with Americanmelodic familiarities to provide acceptable entertainment. In this "obscure" andunnamed manner, Latin rhythms became known to Americans in a kind ofsubliminal way (van der Lee, 1997). In popular music, the greatest weight goes to the genres andtraditions that have had the widest impact. There's CypressHill with English and Spanish rap releases; Nu Flavor and Mariah Carey inthe R&B category; and many enormously popular Latin dance and pop singers,including Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and ChristinaAguilera (Levin, 1997). Thus the Cuban and Braziliantraditions get the most attention, followed by jazz and alternative, allvarious ways that Latin music has influenced American popular music andculture. Gloria Estefan wasthe first Latina to make it into the Anglo culture. outside Latino markets until the English single Dr. Beatclimbed to number ten on the U.S. Monkeyshines on Music and Great Musicians, 2 1: 124-125. References(2 1). Salsa became popular thanks to greatperformers such as Ruben Blades from Panama, Wili Colon and Jerry Riverafrom Puerto Rico and Oscar de Leon from Venezuela. Variety Supplement 367(3): 35.Levin, J. These influences havebeen present in American music for the last hundred years, as itperiodically informed rhythms in Tin Pan Alley. El Tango issultry dance music from Argentina born of African and Andean musicalinfluence. Latin American Music's Influence on American Music There has been a virtual explosion of popularity of Latin music alongwith the Latin population of the United States in the last few years.Latino artists inhabit a sense of racial and ethnic identity that remainsliterally untranslatable into North American English and they are groundedin a Latin-American literary and artistic canon to which most monolingualNorth Americans do not, and often cannot, have access. Their music, danceand visual style has swept the planet. Latin Pop is the most recent example of Latin influence on Americanmusic. The Cuban timba, Caribbean reggae and salsa beats come from theLatin American countries and communities not because they have a monopolyon pulsing beat, but to the radical asymmetry between the Northern andSouthern hemispheres in terms of cultural and financial capital. Hollywood cinema did, rock-and-roll did. Latin American influences in Swedish popular music. Theyunderstand two markets and create sounds that appeal to both of them.Chain stores have already begun to carry wider varieties of Latin music,and that has helped spur the popularity of Latin pop (Terry-Azios, 2 ). (2 4). El Mambo musicwas a famous ballroom dance in the 194 s, characterized by moderate torapid rhythms made with a group of voices and brass instruments. The twentieth century alone has popular Latinmusicians in nearly every decade--such as Xavier Cugat in the 3 s, RitchieValens in the 5 s, Tito Puente and the 7 s salsa craze, and Carlos Santanaand Gloria Estefan in the 8 s. You cantell these styles apart by their beat; el Mambo's accents fall onunexpected beats while la Rumba starts with a soloist singing a group ofimprovised verses with Conga drummers singing the chorus. At the time of Chilean political protests, Abba hadno connection with the movement, and was actually considered to be anestablishment "enemy" of socialist support, yet they borrowed the rhythmsto influence their song "Fernando". Following her success,Selena, the "Queen of Tejano music," who was murdered after a short butincredibly successful career, captured media attention and garneredinterest in what was going on with Latin music. Gloria Estefan, an early crossover star helped to break culturalbarriers. The genre's explosion started after Ricky Martin, former Menudo bandmember and soap star, grabbed attention at the 1999 Grammy Awards, but mostLatinos and music fans know La Copa de la Vida didn't really give birth toAmerican Latin music. Latin American music is a cultural blend of various types of musicfrom different countries and locales; diverse rhythms, beats and soundsfrom Spain, the Caribbean, Central and South America have mixed and form adistinctive "Latino" sound. Salsa became popular inthe United States, beginning in New York and Miami, and is characterized byurban lyrics and the use of trumpets and other brass instruments ("LatinAmerican Music", 2 1). It'sinteresting to see the global marketplace and North American identitypolitics working in such synchronicity (Cortinaz, 2 4). Latin American music. Comparingmore recent Latin influences with their driving rhythms and intense,passionate melodies with the simplified and highly Americanized versions ofXavier Cougat, Edmundo Rios or Sergio Mendez shows a startling culturalevolution and change in acceptance levels and enculturation of the Americanpublic (van der Lee, 1997). Music critic keeps up with Latin beat. (1997). But new factors including a growing Hispanicpopulation, an increasingly diverse adolescent audience with deep pockets,and growing Latino buying power and population give Latin music fans andcritics a strong feeling of certainty that Latin music will not onlycontinue to grow in acceptance in the United States, but will extend itsinfluence further into other musical genres. The purpose ofthis paper is to discuss the influence Latin American music has had onpopular music and the music business in the United States. Los Incas gave music of Andean and Crillo origincredibility with recordings including their 1963 "classical" version of "ElCondor Pasa"; Simon and Garfunkel's subsequent recording was a hugecatalyst for success. Desi Arnaz, better known as Ricky Ricardoplayed Lucy's Cuban bandleader husband, playing traditional Afro-Cubanmusic such as El Mambo, la Rumba and the danzones or boleros. Miami Herald, 15 December.Van der Lee, P. The term "Latin American" usually describes styles having Spanish-Afro-Caribbean origin, but for the purposes of this paper, we will use itto describe influences from Latin America overall. Emerging beats leaving labels rocked in espanol. La Rumbacomes from the music of the 193 s but has been popularized more recently bymusicians including Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and Willy Chirino. dance music charts.
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