The History of Andean Music

When the Spanish sailed to the Americas in the early 1500's, their intentions were to conquer the natives by converting them to Catholicism and by introducing the Spanish language and customs. With them they brought African slaves who became important contributors to the new music of the Americas. Perhaps the worthiest contribution of the Spanish invasion was the incredible music that was made by mixing:

the Spanish and their guitars,
the Africans and their percussion instruments and
the Native Americans and their flutes.

South American music is often referred to as Andean music because the Andes Mountains of South America are the homeland of the Inca people who created what is now the most popular music.

Criollo and Afro-Peruvian Music

After the Spaniards arrived in Peru they established themselves primarily along the central and northern coastal areas. They brought a lot of new elements and rhythms to Peru, along with the Spanish guitar.

The Black people were brought to Peru after the Spanish conquest as slaves initially, and they finally settled along the southern coast of the country. They also brought to Peru all their African traditions, rhythms, and roots.

The existing native music in Peru started mixing with these new foreign elements and it evolved into very unique new styles called Criollo (Hispanic influenced music) and Afro-Peruvian (Black influenced).

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