Canciónes / Songs

From the PANAMA collection


Canción / SongMusic of Panama--Flute Music 106 (Primitive Music of the World).

Traditional Panamanian music reflects the distinctive mixtures of Native American, African, and European influences throughout the region over time.


Canción/ SongCurrulao: Agua Grande (Afro-Hispanic Music From Western Colombia and Ecuador).

Immigrant workers from African countries brought cultural influences, including music like marimba; this afro-caribbean music style is played during an event called a currulao; members of a community gather at the house of the local marimbero. There, they eat, drink and dance the various genres and songs of the currulao, like the agua grande.


Canción/ SongUn Gigante que Despierta en la Costa (The Social Power of Music). 

A giant who wakes up on the coast.This song highlights the experience of locals, watching the land around them change through the influence of the colonizers. “between blasphemies and prayers of English and Spanish /A country other than mine was born in my own heart.”


Canción/ SongLadinos Musicians from Cotzal Playing Marimba (Music of Guatemala Vol. 2).

Ladinos are persons of non-Spanish backgrounds who speak Spanish in their homes. In the Central American colonial context, it referred to those Amerindians who came to speak only Spanish, and later included their mestizo descendants.

From the PUERTO RICO collection


Canción/ SongBomba (Folk Songs of Puerto Rico).  

This song was recorded by Loíza Aldea in 1967 and contains the traditional sound and rhythm of bomba through use of barriles.


Canción/ Song: Campo/ Yo cantaré esta bomba (Los Plenaros De La 21).

This song has a traditional sound of bomba, even though it incorporates other instruments such as the piano, which is more typical to the US. The lyrics discuss the suffering of laborers in the field, and the chorus explains that they sing and dance the bomba so that they won’t die; it describes bomba as necessary for survival and resistance.


Canción/ Song: Mayelá (Viento de Agua Unplugged).  

This bomba contains the grácima rhythmic pattern, composed by Jesús Cepeda, Roberto's brother. It features Juan Gutiérrez on the primo and Roberto Cepeda as the lead vocal. The percussion arrangement is by Tito Matos. According to Roberto, Mayeláis a neighborhood on another island of the Antilles. This song also mentions the bomba in the sugarcane plantations.


Canción/ Song: Echando un pie (Shake a Leg).

This song has new sounds based on the traditional sounds of bomba and plena, even though it sounds more like a salsa. This represents a transformation of the traditional sound to new styles related to migration (the Puerto Rican diaspora in the US). The sound and the lyrics are a mixture between the new and the traditional.

From the CUBA collection

Canción/ SongSeis Mapeyé (Puerto Rico in Washington). 

This song is in the style of Puerto Rican music called Six, also known as Jíbara music. This type of music is popular during Christian Christmas celebrations. The lyrics of the song mention the racial problem as something created by humans, since before God, everyone is equal.


Canción/ SongLos Gallos Cantaron: The Rooster Song (Jíbaro Hasta el Hueso: Mountain Music of Puerto Rico) 

This popular type of aguinaldo tells the story of the birth of Christ, including the event that culminates the Christmas season in Puerto Rico, the arrival of the Three Kings on the day of Epiphany: Words of joy were heard there/ Shepherds came up to that doorway/ With a special tone, the roosters sang.


Canción/ SongConga de Santiago (Conga de los Hoyos de Santiago de Cuba)

The Patron Saint of the City of Santiago de Cuba was Santiago Apostle. In his honor, during the colonial era, religious festivities were held every July 25, whose starting point was the celebration of a Mass in the Cathedral. At the end of the 17th century, the authorities decided to incorporate enslaved African into this holiday so that they also paid tribute to Santiago Apostle. This is how these celebrations, in their early religious practice, became pagan.


Canción/ SongYoriba- Oshun (The Yoruba Dahomean Collection)

This is a song of devotion to Oshun, an Orisha Yoruba from Santeria. This music comes from the African heritage in the Caribbean.

From the MEXICO collection


Canción/ SongSomos Hijos del Maíz (Un Son Para Mi Puebla)  

The name of this song refers to the Maya origin story, claiming that humans were formed out of white and yellow corn.


Canción/ SongHarvest Dance (Anthology of Central and South American Indian Music)

Many Central and South American cultures center celebrations around food staples, like corn, and its role in sustaining the community.


Canción/ SongEs Mayo Mi Amor: Pan Con Dignidad (Un Son Para Mi Pueblo)

This song discusses the connection between humans and the agricultural practices that form communities.


Canción/ SongEl Choclo (Traditional Music of the World, Vol. 5)

This traditional folk song about corn is played on the bandoneon, a square-headed accordion.

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