The music of Argentina
includes a variety of traditional, classical and popular genres. One of the country's most significant cultural contributions is the tango
, which originated in Buenos Aires
and its surroundings during the end of the 19th century and underwent profound changes throughout the 20th century. Folk music was particularly popular during the 20th century, experiencing a "boom" in popularity during the 1950s and 1960s thanks to artists such as Atahualpa Yupanqui
and Mercedes Sosa
, prominent figures of the Nuevo cancionero
movement. In the mid-to-late 1960s, the countercultural
scene of Buenos Aires originated Argentine rock
(known locally as rock nacional
, Spanish for "national rock"), considered the earliest incarnation of Spanish-language rock
for having an autochthonous identity that differed from that of England or the United States. It was widely embraced by the youth and since then has become part of the country's musical identity as much as traditional music. According to the Harvard Dictionary of Music
, Argentina also "has one of the richest art music
traditions and perhaps the most active contemporary musical life.
Atahualpa Yupanqui, 1968
Los Chalchaleros quartet, 1958
The Ábalos brothers, 1945
), President of the Argentine Society of Authors and Composers, with eminent folklore vocalist Mercedes Sosa
—called música folklórica
in Spanish, from the English folklore
—comes in many forms, developed in different parts of Argentina with different European and indigenous influences.
Among the first traditional folk groups to record extensively in Argentinia, three of the most influential were from the northwest
- Los Chalchaleros from the Province of Salta
- Los Fronterizos also from the Province of Salta and
- the Ábalos brothers from Santiago del Estero Province.
Folk music quartet Los Fronterizos, 1959
Between 1960 and 1974, Leda Valladares
created a documentary series, known as the Mapa musical argentino
(Musical Map of Argentina), taping traditional folk music throughout the country. The recordings she made were funded by the National Endowment of the Arts
and directed by Litto Nebbia
for Melopea Records.
Notable Folk Music Festivals
A well-known venue for Argentine folklore music, the Cosquín National Folklore Festival
, has been gathering musicians from the genre annually since 1961. A modest event at first, the festival has grown to include folk musicians from neighboring countries and Asia, as well as from throughout Argentina, itself. Focusing on folklore music, the festival nevertheless features talent from the worlds of tango, acoustic music and international culture.
On the same time of year is made the Cosquín Rock
Cosquín National Folklore Festival typically includes representatives from all musical genres created or developed in Argentina:
Variations of Argentine Folk Music By Region
An Indigenous Argentine quena
, a traditional Andean instrument
Originating in Santiago del Estero
, this folk music
is accompanied by Spanish guitars and bombo legüero
. The name originates from the word "chacra"
("farm"), as it was usually danced in rural areas, but it slowly made its way to the cities of that area. It is one of the few Argentine dances for couples where the woman has an equal opportunity to show off.
arose in the northeastern region (provinces of Corrientes, Chaco, Formosa & Misiones) a mostly mestizo area with many settlers from Poland, Ukraine and Germany. Polkas
came with these immigrants, and soon mixed with the Spanish music already present in the area. Chamamé was not very popular internationally in the 20th century, though some artists, such as Argentine superstar Raúl Barboza
, became popular later in the century. In the early 21st century Chango Spasiuk
, a young Argentine of Ukrainian
descent from Misiones province
, has once again brought chamamé to international attention.The main basis of all the music of this area on the banks of the Paraná River is its roots in the music of Paraguay
across the water.
arose in the brothels, bars and port areas of Buenos Aires, where waves of Europeans poured into the country mixing various forms of music. The result, tango, came about as a fusion of disparate influences including:
That combination of European rhythms, brought to Argentinia and Uruguay
by traders and immigrants, developed into the swinging milonga
quickly became the popular dance of Buenos Aires
and slowly evolved into modern tango
; since 1930, tango
has changed from a dance-focused music to one of lyric and poetry, thanks to vocalists like Carlos Gardel
, Roberto Goyeneche
, Hugo del Carril
, Tita Merello
, Susana Rinaldi
, Edmundo Rivero
and Ignacio Corsini
, was equally well known as a folk singer. The golden age of tango (1930 to mid-1950s) mirrored the golden age of Jazz
in the United States, featuring large orchestral tango groups, too, like the bands (known as "Orquestas típicas
") led, in particular, by Francisco Canaro
, Julio de Caro
, Osvaldo Pugliese
, Aníbal Troilo
, Juan d'Arienzo
, and Alfredo De Angelis
After 1955, as the Nueva canción
and Argentine rock
movements stirred, tango
became more intellectual and listener-oriented, led by Ástor Piazzolla
's new tango
. Many of the musicians that helped Piazzolla promote nuevo tango
went on to develop important careers of their own, like violinist Antonio Agri
, fellow bandoneón
virtuosi José Libertella
and Rodolfo Mederos
and pianistsHoracio Salgán
and Pablo Ziegler
, who earned a 2005 Grammy Award
. Today, tango continues to produce new exponents, has experienced a major revival, and the rise of neo tango
is a global phenomenon with groups like Tanghetto
and Gotan Project
Rock and roll
Argentine rock and roll
is commonly known as Argentine rock or Rock Nacional
(national rock). In common use, the term includes also rock and pop from Uruguay, due to the common culture, and the existence of many bands with members of both nations (for example, the website Rock.com.ar
lists many bands from Uruguay, and YouTube playlists of Argentine rock commonly include bands from both countries). Though the Rock Nacional
usually includes hard core bands, in general terms it incorporates the following genres:
- Pop; (Virus, Los Abuelos de la Nada, Fito Páez),
- Ska; (Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Los Auténticos Decadentes),
- Reggae; (Los Pericos),
- Funk; (Sumo),
- Country; (Sui Generis, Las Pastillas del Abuelo, Pedro y Pablo, León Gieco) and
- Blues; (Manal, Memphis La Blusera).
Ballad crooner Sandro
, 1966. "The Gypsy", as he is popularly known, was popular with female audiences.
At the time (late 60s), popular music was a style called ritmo latino, a mainstream pop genre. Bohemian hangouts in Buenos Aires
were the cradles of the genre, relying heavily on British rock
influences, but in the mid-1960s musicians began exploring local musical roots, creating a local sound. Musicians like Litto Nebbia
of Los Gatos
began recording their own kind of rock. Los Gatos' "La balsa
", released early in their year, established the distinctive sound of Argentine rock.
In 1967, in the city of Quilmes
, formed one of the most important bands in the history of Argentine rock and roll: Vox Dei
From that decade become a staple of popular culture with many cultural/social styles: underground, mainstream oriented, some associated with:
- the working class (La Renga, Los Violadores, Hermética, Divididos, Attaque 77, Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota) and
- underclass youth (Viejas Locas, 2 Minutos, Flema, Jóvenes Pordioseros, Intoxicados, La 25, Los Gardelitos).
Argentine rock and roll
was the most listened-to music among youth in the late 80s and 90s; its influence and success has expanded internationally owing to a rich and uninterrupted evolution.
Popular bands and solo singers include Charly García
, Indio Solari
, Xavier Moyano
, Skay Beilinson
, Fabiana Cantilo
, Andrés Ciro Martínez
, Andrés Calamaro
, Javier Calamaro
, Sandra Mihanovich
, Litto Nebbia
, es:Pequeña Orquesta Reincidentes
, La Renga
, Vox Dei
, Enanitos Verdes
, Las Pelotas
, Los Tipitos
, Tren Loco
, Jóvenes Pordioseros
, Attaque 77
, La 25
, El Otro Yo
, Los Auténticos Decadentes
, Casi Justicia Social
, Rata Blanca
, Mancha de Rolando
, Viejas Locas
, La Beriso
, Catupecu Machu
, Bersuit Vergarabat
, Massacre Palestina
, 2 Minutos
, Los Piojos
, Él Mató a un Policía Motorizado
, Salta la Banca
, Alejandro Toledo
, Cadena Perpetua, In Corp Sanctis, Enanitos Verdes
, Banda de Turistas
, Los Frenéticos, The Tormentos, The Broken Toys, Satan Dealers, Pelea de Gallos, Valle de Muñecas, Autopista, normA, Bôas Teitas, Los Barreiro, Los Primitivos, El Violinista del Amor & los Pibes que Miraban, Chillan Las Bestias, Crema del Cielo, Thes Siniestros, Los Lotus, The Hates, The Vulcanos, Cuadros Invitados, Error Positivo, Fantasmagoria, Los Acetones, Viaje an Ixtlan, Agente Naranja, Satélite Kingston
, The Tandooris, Gram D Mori, The Jacqueline Trash, Los Alamos, Rubin y Los Subtitulados, Sick Porky
, Hacia Dos Veranos
, Caballeros de la Quema
, Ciro y los Persas
Former bands include Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota
, Soda Stereo
, El Reloj
, Pescado Rabioso
, Serú Girán
, Los Gatos
, Los Violadores
, Ratones Paranoicos
Pop bands have seen great popularity, topped by Bandana
, the most popular. Other artists in this genre include Miranda!
with a touch of "electro" sound, Alejandro Lerner
, Axel (singer)
, Valeria Lynch
, María Jimena Pereyra
, of lasting popularity. Artists combining experimentation with glam
and Juana la Loca, in addition to Arbol
, an artist combining hardcore with pop and violins. In the 2010s, Lali
became the biggest exponent of pop music in Argentina.
Following her debut in 2013, many artists have incursed in the genre, including Tini
, J Mena
, and Emilia
Trap music, although a recent novelty in Argentina and the rest of Latin America, in reality, is nothing new. It’s been around since the early 90s, when the unique mixture of electronic and hip-hop genres was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Usually including lyrics that are harsh and bleak, trap artists often use the genre as a platform for expressing their tough experiences on the street, the stark realities of a life spent in poverty, and their personal struggles for success. The word ‘trap’ refers to the places where drug deals are made. Telling the stories of the North American lower class, the emerging genre gave a voice to a generation that felt marginalized by society.Hhe The use of social media has also allowed Argentine trap artists to achieve fame and recognition much more quickly than their North American predecessors. One of these artists is Duki
, who boasted over 47 million views with his single ‘Si Te Sentís Sola.’ As one of Argentina’s biggest names in trap, Duki combines rhythms found in both reggaetón and rap; his music is a unique blend of trap’s tough original sounds and more rhythmic electronic Latin American genres. Córdoba-born Paulo Londra
is another young trap artist. Still living with his parents, the 20-year old rose to fame back in January 2017 with his single ‘Relax.’ Countering aggressive stereotypes often associated with trap music, Londra is keen to do things his way. His songs, which are all about positivity, good vibes, and gratitude, avoid the usual trap references to violence and drugs. Keen to push the boundaries and stray beyond the boxes of traditional trap, he’s probably the most polite trap artist around. Having already worked with the likes of Bad Bunny and J Balvin, his videos often push the view count beyond the 100 million mark.
Cumbia is an important part of contemporary Argentine music, originally derived from the Colombian cumbia
. This genre become popular slowly from the 1960s with the irruption in Argentina of the important Colombian bands Los Wawancó
and Cuarteto Imperial
. Argentine bands and soloists of cumbia originated in the north of the country and in Santa Fe province
, the first regions where cumbia become popular. In the next decades cumbia widespread by all the country, becoming in the late 1990s the most popular music in the lower class. In 1999, in the north of the Greater Buenos Aires
, originated a lyric style of cumbia named cumbia villera
(slum cumbia), who is aggressive and explicit (similar to punk rock
or gangsta rap
). From the 2000s to nowadays, cumbia become the most listened music genre among the youth.
Current popular acts
, Los del Fuego
, Damas Gratis
, Los Leales, Agapornis
, La Nueva Luna
, Amar Azul
, Los Lamas, Flor de Piedra, Meta Guacha, Mala Fama
, Supermerk2, La Liga, Ráfaga
, Grupo Trinidad, Antonio Ríos
, Daniel Agostini
, Sebastián Mendoza, Mario Luis, Mario Pereyra
, Sonido Mazter, Antonio Rios, Organización X, Los Astros and Grupo Green. Popular defunct bands and deceased solo acts include: Los del Bohío, Los Wachiputos
, Los Wachiturros
, Yerba Brava
, Pibes Chorros
, La Base Musical
, Grupo Sombras
, Leo Mattioli
, also known as Cumbiatón, is a form of Argentine cumbia
heavely influenced by Reggaeton
which became popular in Argentinia during the 2010s. Artists and groups such as Los Wachiturros, Nene Malo and others became popular in mid-2011 foreign countries spreadly popularity in countries such as Bolivia
. DJ Fer Palacio would start bundling up famous Reggaeton songs and would remix it to make it his own version in his "Previa and Cachengue" containing Cumbiatón with EDM
influences which his video reached millions of views. Following new producers such as DJ Alex and many others would start creating this sound in Argentina.
, or Cuartetazo, is a form of dance music
similar to Merengue
. It became popular in Argentinia during the 1940s, beginning with the genre's namesake and innovator, Cuarteto Leo and underwent a revival in the 1980s, especially in Córdoba
. A national idol emerged in the brief career of Rodrigo
in the late 1990s. The most popular and enduring cuarteto singer is La Mona Jiménez
, who has released more than 100 albums and continues recording; his work inspired other musicians in the genre.
Other Genres and Their Representative Artists
Tito Alberti, 1957.
Tenorman Gato Barbieri, 1970.
Among the first to garner a wide audience was guitarist Oscar Alemán
who, after performing with Brazilian artists, moved to Paris and performed for legendary dancer Josephine Baker
; his swing style earned him a loyal following through the 1940s and 1950s. The popularity of mambo
and latin jazz, generally, during the 1950s opened doors for drummer Tito Alberti
, who recorded frequently with Cuban "mambo king" Dámaso Pérez Prado
and popularized the genre locally with his renowned "Jazz Casino." The later emergence of the use of synthesizers in jazz found an Argentine adherent in Jorge Anders, whose quartet became known for modal jazz
compositions like Suave como un amanecer
in 1965. One of his frequent collaborators, pianist
Gustavo Kereztesachi, became acclaimed for his airy interpretations of John Coltrane
and Oliver Nelson
standards, as well as for compositions of his own like the swinging The gun
and Como luces esta noche
Following the emergence of "new tango" in the 1960s, one of Piazzolla's fellow bandoneónists
he influenced most became a noted jazz composer in his own right. Rodolfo Mederos
' 1976 album Fuera de broma 8
and acoustic rock
; Mederos has since recorded numerous albums and film scores. His success with jazz fusion
inspired others, like fellow bandoneónist Dino Saluzzi
, guitarist Lito Epumer and alto sax
man Bernardo Baraj.
1970s to 1990s
Notable Argentine Jazz Music
The best-known Argentine jazz musician internationally is probably Leandro Gato Barbieri
. The tenor saxophonist
worked with renowned big band
orchestra conductor Lalo Schifrin
in the early 1960s, shortly before Schifrin became internationally known for his composition of the theme to Mission: Impossible
. Hired by jazz trumpeter Don Cherry
, the two recorded Complete Communion
in 1965, an album that secured their reputation in the jazz world. Barbieri went on to record his influential Caliente!
(1976), an album combining latin jazz and experimental work such as his own and jazz fusion
great Carlos Santana
's, as well as Qué pasa
(1997), which draws more deeply from Argentine folklore roots.
, widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the second half of the 20th century
Prominent Argentine composers in the genre include symphonic
composer Juan José Castro
, Alberto Williams
, who was known for his early fusion of nativist
and classical genres, Carlos Guastavino
, known for his romanticist
works, Judith Akoschky
and Alberto Ginastera
, a composer considered one of the most important Argentine contributors to classical music. Internationally known performers include pianist Martha Argerich
, violinist Alberto Lysy
, guitarist María Isabel Siewers
, tenor José Cura
, mezzo-soprano Margherita Zimmermann
, and pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim
, who has directed the Orchestre de Paris
, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
and the Berlin State Opera
. Les Luthiers
are included in the genre.
- Fuga y misterio. Ástor Piazzolla, music. Dancers: Vincent Morelle and Marilyne Lefor. (New Tango)
- Por una cabeza. Carlos Gardel, music and vocals; Alfredo Le Pera, lyrics. (Classic Tango)
- Medley. John Michel, cello and Mats Lidstrom, piano. (Milonga)
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