Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

The folk & traditional music of Europe, Africa & the Americas explored.

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syncretism again). The elements of the two cultures combined to form inseparable units. Essentially, the tunes are European in style, but they are tunes that have a great deal of repetition and which use scales with five tones or fewer. The instruments are frequently ot Indian origin, as is the style of the percussion accompaniment
This kind of arrangement of traits seems to be the basis of the musical style of the Chunchus and Quollas dance of Peru. A dra­matic dance, it represents incidents from the period of conquest. Two sides, representing Spanish and Indian soldiers, appear; and there are individual characters such as the Fair Imilla, an Indian who betrays her people, danced by soloists. Much of the folk music ot Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador is accompaniment to dances, most ot which have Indian names.                                                             .
The special character of Brazilian folk music is due to the im­portance of the Negro population in much of Brazilian culture Not only do the Negro communities have their own traditions, which, as we indicated in Chapter 9, sometimes revolve around styles that are still very close to Africa. The folk music of the Brazilian whites is also influenced by African music, especially by the driving rhythms and the importance of percussion instruments. Thus, for instance the figure m j J), common in Spain and PortugaLseems to have been changed in Brazil to the syncopated rhythmJTl/!• In addition to the Negro tradition, the music of the Catholic church, especially Gregorian chant, is thought to have played a role in the development of Brazilian folk music. Again, Brazil has a large number of distinct folk dance forms: battique, samba, jongo, maxixe, cururu and fan­dango are the most prominent. The samba, best known of the Brazil­ian popular dances, was originally a round dance. In addition to the social dances there are popular dramatic dances in which events from the history of Brazil and Portugal are acted in pantomime; some ot these are rather similar to the candombe of the Uruguayan Negroes described in Chapter 9.
Middle America: Mexico and the Caribbean
Mexican folk music is largely in the Spanish tradition, and while the Mexican Indians retain to some extent their native musical styles, there seems to have been less influence of the Indian styles on the Spanish-derived folk music here than in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III