A History of Western Music

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AHistory of Western Music

AHistory of Western Music

TheSpanish Music

TheSpanish music has a long history with influences stemming fromdifferent cultural streams. Spain has nurtured diverging styles ofmusic over the years, for example, the Galicia in Northwest of thecountry and the Flamenco, which is the most famous style inAndalusia.

Flamencois the southern Spanish art that exists in three forms, that is,cante (the song), baile (the dance), and guitarra (the guitarplaying). Flamenco originated in the lower levels of Andalusia.Therefore, it lacked popularity among the middle and higher groups(Washabaugh, 2013). Andalusian culture was affected by the history ofthe Iberian Peninsula Muslims who were persecuted and expelled by theSpanish inquisition. This influenced the Flamenco directly andindirectly. Although the Andalusian culture greatly influenced theearly Flamenco, the Gypsies also played an important role in itscreation.

Generally,the cultures in Spain have played a great role in the shaping thecountry’s music. Besides, the Spanish music traditions are alsobeginning to find their way into the airplay. I perceive that theunique popularity of the Flamenco has greatly influenced the modernday pop. Its popular and exotic dancing styles have not only helpedthe Andalusians express themselves but also made their liveswonderful. In my opinion, the Flamenco music has led to theflourishing of the Spanish songs.

TheHaiti-French Caribbean Music

TheHaitian music combines a wide range of influences from the differentpeople who have settled there. Their musical expressions reflect theinfluence of various cultural practices(Hodgson, 2016). It is acombination of African rhythms, French, Spanish, and other elementslike the Taino group, who have inhabited the island. The Haitianmusic was previously linked to the Vodoun religion. The Vodoun musicinvolves heavy drumming, spiritual chanting, and dancing. The Haitiandance music is known as Konpa (compas). The young people play it bybeating their bottles using the can openers. My view is that theyoung people in Haiti like their music, as they replace the realKonpa tune instruments with others in a bid to sing along and makethe songs lively.

Throughthe influence of the westerners, some of the Haitians adapted theCatholic culture. This led to a whole new style of music from themixture of tribal melodies. The music in Haiti is either in the styleof Catholic, Vodoun or a mixture of the two. Haiti celebrates manyreligious festivals and ceremonies associated with their music. Someof these ceremonies include the Vodou rite where worshippers dance tothe songs and traditional drumming meant to communicate with the Lwa,(spirits) of Africa (Stroud, 2015). The Haiti celebrations useinstruments such Kone, the makeshift trumpet. In my view, theHaitians appreciate their music because they did not change theircomposition culture even after the influence of the westerners.

Generally,the Haitian music plays a great role in the lives of the Natives asit helps them feel a sense of community, express their religiousbeliefs, and celebrate holidays (Butler, 2014). I believe that themusic makes the Haitians happy as their lives are full of melodies.The music industry in Haiti has grown as the locals are now venturingin other genres such as hip-hop, reggae, and rap among others.

TheDominican Republic Music

TheDominican Republic is located in the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola.Their music is greatly influenced by the West African traditions,although other groups such as the Taino and the European alsomanipulate it (Mora, 2014). The Dominican Republic is well known forits bachata, a romantic guitar based style, and meringue, itsnational dance. My take is that its connection to West Africa isbecause of the inhabitants, most of which are Africans.

Thebachata was previously the music for the underprivileged people. Thereason they had much devotion for it is that it helped them expresstheir feelings. However, the music was disregarded by the country’selite because they considered it vulgar. Its lyrics were heavy withsexual innuendo my perspective is that this is the reason why itbecame popular in bars and brothels.

Thebachata is now the trending rap music among Latino youths in thestreets of New York, giving great competition to the merengue andsalsa as the preferred tune among the Latinos (Hernandez, 2016).Iconsider that because many people are playing the bachata music, thishas improved it significantly. One of the most popular musicians ofthe bachata is Luis Vargas who is a guitarist, songwriter, and asinger.


Aguilera-Gonzalez,A. Flores, J., Fitch, M. P., Sontag, N. J., &amp Wilk, K. J. (2016)MusicRitual and The Struggle for Haitians and Afro-Dominican Rights in TheDominican Republic.

Burkholder,J. P., Grout, D. J. (2014). AHistory of Western Music:Ninth International Student Edition. WW Norton &amp Company.

Butler,M. L. (2014). Haitian Djaz Diplomacy and The Cultural Politics ofMusical Collaboration.In Music and Diplomacy from Early Modern Era to The Present(Pp. 209-229). Palgrave Macmillan US.

Hernandez,D. P. (2016).Dominican Bachata.Revista (Cambridge).

Hodgson,K. (2016). RevolutionaryPolitics in Nineteenth Century. Haitian Creole Popular Music.Small Axe.

Mora,O. V. (2014). TheContemporary Portrayal of Blacks in Mainstream Media and PopularMusic in the Dominican Republic.(Doctoral Dissertation, Arizona State University).

Ribera,J. (2013). Musicin Spain.Read Books Ltd.

Stroud,W. B. (2015). Musicin Haiti: An Annotated(Doctoral Dissertation, Texas State University).

Washabaugh,W. (2013). FlamencoMusic and National Identify in Spain.Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

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