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Folklore cuyano: between the cat, the cueca and the tonada

It's a broad concept, but we Argentines unfailingly relate it to music. A genre as national as Cuyano.

In our country, the first association that we deal with the word  folklore  is to think about “music”. In  popular and traditional music  of the Argentines. Exponents of the stature of  Horacio Guarany  or  Soledad Pastorutti  are the first to come to our mind when we hear that word. However, folklore is much more than that. Folklore is the  tradition    itself. It is the set of cultural customs that make a nation. That is why, among other topics, when referring to our mother sport, we will often hear the term “football folklore”, especially when we refer to our  puffy  and the color that contextualizes each match, added to the typical rituals of the court. However, folklore as poetry, dance and sound is what represents us. To all Argentines, but to  Cuyanos  (born in the region of San Juan, La Rioja, San Luis and Mendoza) and Mendoza in particular. Cuyano folklore is a historical genre and never goes out of fashion, although it is always adapting to new proposals. Take the traditional to incorporate new features, such as technology at the service of music and stages.

 Folklore: from conservatives to avant-garde 

 Traditional Flokloric Music : respects folk  instruments  in each area, as well as its performance. Such is the case of Los Chalchaleros, Los Tucu Tucu or Los Trovadores de Cuyo.

 Folk Music Projection : Use traditional instruments and add drums, keyboards, electroacoustic guitar, vocal arrangements. It is the example of Los Nocheros, Luciano Pereyra or Soledad.

 Folkloric Music of Fusion : It joins with other musical styles such as rock, tango, pop , etc. From the timbre, incorporating electric guitars, synthesizers. Even musical with rhythms, melodic twists and new harmonies. The example of these artists are Fito Páez, Divididos or Andrés Calamaro.

 Cuyana identity 

Land of  eximios guitarists , Cuyo presents high quality in the instrumental and vocal treatment of his songbook, which is a true example of popular good taste. Instrumental formations in which cordals intervene are common. Cuyo has developed a real guitar school, mainly with the technique of the pica. Cuyana regional music has a strong  relationship with Chilean  music and both with Spanish originals that were Americanized or acriolladas.

 Cat : “There is no cueca without a cat...” reads the saying. While the cueca is an invitation, the cat is a positive response to it, hence the saying. The cat is a joyful Creole dance that was danced in Cuyo since before 1820 and arrived from Peru. It represents a discreet love play of courtship. The man chases the woman with the best techniques of his shoemaking until he gets his correspondence.

 Cueca : It is a musical and dance genre of fixed choreography. A cueca cuyana is a song, but it is also a dance. Descended from the Peruvian “zamacueca”, acquires the form of cueca or “Chilean” in Chile and from there he enters our country through Cuyo. Already like cueca cuyana, this genre develops more in the form of a song than in story to dance.

 Tonada : It is known as sad and has an intimate character. It consists of one or two voices and the accompaniment of guitars. It is no longer so much about a dance with traditional music, it is rather a statement of feelings to someone in the form of a song. It has two or three stanzas and a “bud” that is the axis of the tonada, the part where the singer improvises his message. He's got something about the Spanish romancero. It is a genre that was nourished from different parts of Latin America and took sound characteristics that are their own.

Rating: 3.50/5.