The Music and Dance of Peruvian Culture

The people of Peru really enjoy their music and dance. Exploring Peru with its rich culture of music and dance would be a great experience for anyone to have. Music and dance is influenced by the rich history of the region incorporating aspects of Spain, the Incas and Moches.

The Music

The music varies from one region to another with music of the lowlands being more upbeat and cheerful in sound than those of the highlands. The people living in the highlands of Peru that speak Quechua and Aymara have a musical sound that is very distinctive and contains elements of Spanish music. Peruvians have some wonderful indigenous musical instruments, such as the antara, panflute, and zampoña. They also use a flute-like instrument known as the quena. Many of these instruments are cleverly built using the reeds that grow in the lakes. You can still hear the sweet sounds emanating from the Andes as these instruments are still being played in Peru to this day.

Political change in the country over time as led to an increased appreciation for and interest in preserving the culture and traditions of the Peruvian music. This has also led to bands being formed as people have moved to more urban areas. The Andes area of Peru developed a musical style called cumbia that drew from elements of Columbian music. This style sounds more modern as it has the electronic percussion and electric guitars as added elements.

The Dances

They have many traditional dances in Peru. These include the La Marinera, which is really a dance between two lovers, a courtship dance. A popular dance of the people of the Andes Mountains is the Huayno. This dance consists of rhythmic foot stomping, and the dancers wear brightly coloured traditional Andean clothing.

Another traditional Peruvian dance is the Supaypa wasin tusuq, which is danced with the music, played on harps and violins. What is very unusual about this dance is that the people dance while holding pairs of scissors in their hands. The Tondero is a dance accompanied by someone playing a guitar. It is similar to the La Marinera in also being a courtship dance. The Wititi is a dance about the coming of age of young people. Dancers wear traditional clothes again but what may really surprise you is that the men actually wear woman’s clothes while doing this dance.

The El Val Criollo is a waltzing type of dance and the Tarkada is a dance that is only performed during a carnival festival that is held in the Takna region of the country. The Zamacueca is a dance that includes elements taken from African dance in addition to Andean and Spanish influences. Peru is really a great place to experience some interesting music and fascinating dances. The sounds and sights of Peru are sure to delight a person who is visiting the country. Learning about the history and culture through Peruvian music and dance is a worthwhile adventure for a person to undertake.