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Central America is dominated by the popular Latin music, or Black Caribbean trends, including salsa, cumbia, mariachi, reggae, calypso and nueva canción. The countries of Central America have produced their own distinct forms of these genres such as Panamanian salsa, among others. One of the well-known forms of Central American music is punta, a style innovated by the syncretic Garifunas who live across the region, in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize. The marimba, a type of xylophone, is perhaps the most important folk instrument of Central America, and it is widespread throughout the region.
Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.
Salsa music is a popular dance music genre that initially arose in New York City during the 1960s. Salsa is the product of various musical genres including the Cuban son montuno, guaracha, cha cha chá, mambo, and to a certain extent bolero, and the Puerto Rican bomba and plena. Latin jazz, which was also developed in New York City, has had a significant influence on salsa arrangers, piano guajeos, and instrumental soloists.
Cumbia[ˈkumbja] is a folkloric rhythm and dance from Colombia. Cumbia was born of a cultural melting of Black and Indígena backgrounds. The origin of cumbia music comes from the days of slavery in the late 17th century and is derived from an African word, “cumbe”, meaning dance. The basic cumbia steps originate from the fact that when the music was born, the slaves' legs were shackled and only very minimal movement was possible. Another word later derived in the Antioquia region of Colombia, caracumbe, was coined by African slaves who worked in the mines. A third variation of the word, paracumbé, emerged and then disappeared, as well as cumbancha, which in Cuba means party.
Aside from having the most active Garifuna music scene, especially the field of punta, Belize is also known for brukdown, a popular genre that developed in the mining camps in the interior of the country.
Garifuna music is a type of music found in Central America, primarily on the Caribbean coast of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Punta is a dance originated in the Central American coast of Belize, El Salvador Honduras and Guatemala in the late 18th century with African beats.
Brukdown is a genre of Belizean music. Its best-known performer and innovator, Wilfred Peters is regarded as a Belizean national icon. The word brukdown may come from broken down calypso, referring to the similarities between brukdown and Trinidadian calypso music; the presence of large numbers of Jamaicans in Belize also led to an influence from mento music.
The Punto Guanacaste is the official national dance of Costa Rica, a country perhaps best known for its own distinct variety of popular calypso music.
Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago during the early to mid-19th century and eventually spread to the rest of the Caribbean Antilles and Venezuela by the mid-20th century. Its rhythms can be traced back to West African Kaiso and the arrival of French planters and their slaves from the French Antilles in the 18th century.
El Salvador has participated in many Latin musical trends, such as cumbia, a genre more closely associated with Colombia but which has a unique sound in El Salvador. The Xuc was decreed the national dance in the 1950s, it has ever since been played in Salvadoran festivals and holidays, it is considered part of El Salvador's folkloric music. Salvadoran Native American indigenous music is very well represented inspired by the Lencas and Pipil. Salvadoran revolutionary war songs date from the events that led to the civil war. Salvadoran school and military marching bands are part of the cultural tradition of El Salvador youth, participating twice in the international Rose Parade. Salvadoran Rock and Salvadoran Hip Hop/Rap are both very well established in El Salvador as well.
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a sovereign state largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru. It shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Colombia is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments, with the capital in Bogota.
Guatemala, like its neighbors, is well known for the national instrument, the marimba. Guatemalan traditions are much more closely based on the instrument, and on ancient Mayan music, than other Central American countries.
The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples, and noted for its logosyllabic script—the most sophisticated and highly developed writing system in pre-Columbian Americas—as well as for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system. The Maya civilization developed in an area that encompasses southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador. This region consists of the northern lowlands encompassing the Yucatán Peninsula, and the highlands of the Sierra Madre, running from the Mexican state of Chiapas, across southern Guatemala and onwards into El Salvador, and the southern lowlands of the Pacific littoral plain.
Honduras is known for Garifuna music as well as the well-preserved traditions of the Lenca people.
Nicaraguan music is traditionally marimba-based, it also includes Garifuna music. The most well-known dance and music of Nicaragua is Palo de Mayo. Palo de Mayo is the name given to the dance as well as the music genre that originated in the festival of the same name that is celebrated every day of May annually in Nicaragua.
The mejoranera, an instrument similar to a guitar, is a popular instrument unique to Panama. The country is also known for the tamborito folk dance and the many international stars of Panamanian salsa and Panamanian cumbia.
El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador's capital and largest city is San Salvador. As of 2016, the country had a population of approximately 6.34 million.
The music of Latin America refers to music originating from Latin America, namely the Romance-speaking countries and territories of the Americas and the Caribbean south of the United States. Latin American music also incorporates African music from slaves who were transported to the Americas by European settlers as well as music from the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Due to its highly syncretic nature, Latin American music encompasses a wide variety of styles, including influential genres such as bachata, bossa nova, merengue, rumba, salsa, samba, son, and tango. During the 20th century, many styles were influenced by the music of the United States giving rise to genres such as Latin pop, rock, jazz, hip hop, and reggaeton.
The music of Belize has a mix of Creole, Mestizo, Garìfuna, and Mayan influences. After many centuries of Maya habitation, British colonizers arrived in the area in the 17th century. Belize was Britain's only colony in Spanish-dominated Central America until self-government in 1964 and gaining full Independence in 1981. Belize is still part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Far more influential than this presence, however, was the importation of African slaves.
Panama is a Central American country, inhabited mostly by mestizos. The music of Panama was influenced first by the indigenous populations of Kunas, Teribes, Nobe Bugle and others, and then by the black population who were brought over, first as slaves from Africa, between the 16th century and the 19th century, and then voluntarily to work on the Panamanian Railroad and Canal projects between the 1840s and 1914.
Music of Nicaragua is a mixture of indigenous and European, especially Spanish, influences. Musical instruments include the marimba and others that are common across Central America. Pop music includes Cuban, Brazilian, Mexican and Panamanian performers, as well as those from Europe and the United States.
The music of Guatemala is diverse. Music is played all over the country. Towns also have wind and percussion bands that play during the lent and Easter-week processions as well as on other occasions. The Garifuna people of Afro-Caribbean descent, who are spread thinly on the northeastern Caribbean coast, have their own distinct varieties of popular and folk music. Cumbia, from the Colombian variety, is also very popular. Dozens of Rock bands have emerged in the last two decades, making rock music quite popular among young people.
The music of El Salvador has a mixture of Lenca, Cacaopera, Mayan, Pipil, and Spanish influences. This music includes religious songs used to celebrate Christmas and other holidays, especially feast days of the saints with Tubular bells Chimes. Satirical and rural lyrical themes are common and played with Xylophone.
The music of Honduras is very varied. Punta is the main "ritmo" of Honduras with other sounds such as Caribbean salsa, merengue, reggae, and reggaeton all widely heard especially in the North, to Mexican rancheras heard in the interior rural part of the country. Honduras' capital Tegucigalpa is an important center for modern Honduran music, and is home to the College for Fine Arts.
Latin American culture is the formal or informal expression of the people of Latin America and includes both high culture and popular culture as well as religion and other customary practices.
Central America is a region of North America formed by six Latin American countries and one (officially) Anglo-American country, Belize. As an isthmus it connects South America with the remainder of mainland North America, and comprises the following countries : Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
The Salvadorans are people who identify with El Salvador in Central America. Salvadorans are mainly Mestizos who make up the bulk of the population in El Salvador. Most Salvadorans live in El Salvador, although there is also a significant Salvadoran diaspora, particularly in the United States, with smaller communities in other countries around the world.
Hondurans are people inhabiting in, originating from, or having significant heritage from Honduras. Most Hondurans live in Honduras, although there is also a significant Honduran diaspora, particularly in the United States, with smaller communities in other countries around the world. There are also people living in Honduras who are not Hondurans, because they were not born or raised in Honduras, nor have they yet gained citizenship.
This is an Index of Central America-related articles. This index defines Central America as the seven nations of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
Carlos Irigoyen Ruiz was a renowned Salvadoran musician during the 1920s-1940s. He directed the philharmonic and owned several of the most renowned marimba bands performing at the national and international level at the time.
Paranda is a music originated in Honduras and dance tradition which utilizes rhythmic ostinatos in duple meter. Similar to punta, the paranda is a slower rhythm than punta and reflects Spanish influences. Traditionally, the guitar is played in paranda and not in punta. and its melodies are soulful lamentations