Music of Costa Rica - Folk Music

Folk Music

The Caribbean coast shows a strong African influence in the complex percussion rhythms like sinkit. Like its northerly neighbors in Central America, the marimba is a very popular instrument, and Costa Rican marimba music is very popular. In modern times, groups like Cantares have helped to popularize Costa Rican folk music, and were a leading part of the New Costa Rican Song movement .

Costa Rica's pre-Columbian population has contributed a large part of the country's folk heritage, include rare musical scales, certain ceremonial songs and ocarinas. The Guanacaste region, in the Nicoya Peninsula, is home to the best-known folk traditions. Along the Atlantic coast, the African musical heritage is more pronounced, and Afro-Caribbean music like rumba, calypso and reggae are popular.

In most of Costa Rica, ancient instruments like ocarinas are being replaced by international instruments like accordions and guitars. There are still folk styles, even outside of Guanacaste, such as the Talamanca (canton)'s Danza de los Huelos and the Boruca people's Danza de los Diablitos.

Guanacaste is the major center for Costa Rican folk music, especially pre-Columbian styles like the Danza del Sol and Danza de la Luna of the Chorotega, who also popularized the ancient quijongo (a single-string bow and gourd resonator) and native oboe, the chirimia .

Costa Rica's population never developed a major rhythm or style that became a major part of popular music, but there have been exceptions, such as the Costa Rican landscape school of painting in the 1920s. The Andean peña tradition (an international gathering of like-minded persons) is strong in Costa Rica as well, introduced by immigrants from Chile and Argentina.

In the late 1980s some local artists and bands became famous for having their own style and original material, such as José Capmany, Café con Leche and Inconsciente Colectivo; some of them had fans from outside of Costa Rica, like Editus, a Grammy winning contemporary jazz ensemble. At around that time a popular Latin genre developed, chiqui-chiqui (a mixture of merengue, cumbia and other Latin rhythms along with afro-pop influences) as it was known, led by bands such as Los Hicsos and La Banda. After losing popularity around the 90's, chiqui chiqui has resurfaced and established itself as one of the most popular and recognizable music among Costa Ricans, thanks in part to the release of CD re-editions of many classic hits.

From the late 90's to present time, there has emerged a newer local rock style led by bands such as Gandhi, Evolución, Tango India, Suite Doble, Alma Bohemia, and Kadeho, all of which have been accepted positively by Costa Rican youths. There are Metal bands, like Grecco, Advent of Bedlam, Corpse Garden, Catarsis Incarne, to name but a few. The rock bands begins a new standard to CR's music with bands like Time's Forgotten, Pneuma and Sight of Emptiness making really high albums and concerts. The international community starts to take a look at Costa Rica where bands like Time's Forgotten plays in BajaProg (Rock Festival) and have several reviews in the best progressive magazines, sites, and radios. For example Dividing Line put the album "Dandelion" between the best 15 album in the 2009.

Fortunately, Costa Rica has become a centerfold for international Metal concerts. Bands such as Anthrax, Cannibal Corpse, Gamma Ray, Masterplan, Kreator, Epica, Therion and Sodom have come to play in the country. It became better with the coming of Iron Maiden back in 2008. With that concert, Costa Rica is now becoming an important stop for Metal bands. Examples of this are Metallica, Amon Amarth and Megadeth.

Also bands venturing into Reggae and Ska are popular, one example is Mekatelyu and Michael Livingston.

Malpaís, a band emerging from the Guanacaste-area, is one of the central bands of the Costa Rican rock and music scene of today, mixing traditional Costa Rican folk and Latin music with jazz and rock and has met great success in Costa Rica and surrounding countries.

For all the fanfare of rock, electronic or world music, Latin music is somehow the most common music genre in some specific sectors, and visitors will find that most Costa Ricans of certain generations favor Latin music (Cuban, Mexican and Colombian).

Read more about this topic:  Music Of Costa Rica

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