Andean Music

Traditional band

Music is the art of mixing sounds, and expressing feelings and emotions.

It is proven that people have created music from the beginning of time. The history of music begins with the Egyptian Culture. They used instruments that were very difficult to use and to build, such as the harp. Because of its soft and soothing sound, this instrument was used mainly while praying to the gods.

Music was born when we started using our voices. The voice is a perfect sound; people discovered music just by imitating animal sounds like whistling, but also clapping and using other objects that sounded like the sounds of the nature.

For the indigenous people, music is magic because it calls luck, drives away evil spirits, calms the dead, calls loved ones who died and they want to see again; overall music is tied with many everyday activities.

Andean music is part of the South American continent. Even though in each country mostly the same instruments are used, they all have their own style. The instruments that were used before the arrival of the Spaniards are the ones that are used most in Andean music. Current or contemporary music has overshadowed the Andean music. Especially younger people listen to it less, but that doesn’t mean it has disappeared completely. In little towns’ celebrations, you can listen to Andean music groups who are also being accompanied by dance groups.

instrumentos tradicionales

Quena and Rondador

Some of the instruments of Andean music are:

  • Rondador: This is an instrument that represents happiness; this is why all the indigenous houses have rondadores inside. People who work the land usually have this instrument to warm up on the moor. The size of the rondador depends on the situation or what it will be used for.
  • Paya: This is a typical instrument of the indigenous people of Ecuador. It is a wind instrument made with 7 or 8 tubes. It is a very easy instrument to play and this is why every young Ecuadorian learns to play it. It is made of bamboo, a material that can be found everywhere in the mountains.
  • Pingullo: This is a unique instrument for the indigenous people; it was made of bamboo from the Tungurahua volcano before.
  • Quena: This instrument was really important in 1960 when popular Andean music groups appeared. It has something special that makes it the favorite instrument for the people in indigenous communities.

Just like a painter expresses their art through colors, a writer with words, and a dancer with movements, the musician expresses their art through sounds coming out of their heart, and represents the environment where they live, the people around them, and their overall culture.

Listen to one example of Andean Music from Ecuador:

You do not only like music but move to it as well? Read about the different Ecuadorian Dances in our blog post.

Pictures:

  • Ensamble Andino Community of San Juan (Province of Chimborazo)
  • Quena, fabricada per Dabiel d’Amico (Argentina) by Jordi Coll Costa
  • Rondador instrumento de viento de Ecuador by Inti-sol

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