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Our rhythms: southern folk music

Southern or Buenos Aires folk music has its peculiarities that distinguish it from the rest of the regions. We invite you to listen to it.

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Nuestros-ritmos folklore sureño

Our  folklore  is deployed in the different regions of our country, and in each one of them it has its own rhythms and sounds.  Southern or Buenos Aires music  includes the provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, the south of Santa Fe and the south of Entre Ríos. Within southern folk music, different rhythms appear:  milonga, footprint, figure and style.  

Here, singing is introspective and sententious. The singer, usually soloist, is accompanied only by the guitar. His lyrics speak of the social-rural problem, although, of course, love or picaresque themes also abound.

This is the region par excellence of the   payadores  , who bring improvised singing or repentista. Alone or with a companion, who does the counterpoint, sing their improvisations under the chords of a milonga, a figure, a triumph or even a waltz.

Another characteristic character of the area is the   Creole Reciter , who expresses the social theme through Creole costumbrista poetry. In addition, the region is very rich in dances: there are more than a hundred different types, between traditional and original dances, almost all of a loose couple.

In the latter time, new exponents of folklore added unconventional musical instruments, such as the traverse flute, saxophone, organs and keyboards, and drums.

The musical tradition that gave rise to Buenos Aires folklore was Creole-eastern, coming from the Atlantic through European mixture and African-American rhythms, which converged in our country through the maritime and river coast and the port of Buenos Aires. Its diffusion in the pampa was facilitated by transhumance (passage of people and livestock, forced to move through a vast territory and repeating landscape).

Land of tango

This region is also a territory of   tango  . Although it is generally related to the Buenos Aires, it is important to note that tango was enriched by musicians and poets from the interior. Singers, always soloists, interpret evocative, familiar, love and testimonial themes. They are accompanied by sets of guitars or orchestras of varying numbers, consisting of bandoneons, violins, piano and double bass.

“Come from afar to narrate” or Atahualpa Yupanki

To talk about Buenos Aires folk music, payadors and poets singers is to talk about Don Atahualpa Yupanki. Although this outstanding singer-songwriter, guitarist and writer was born in the province of Buenos Aires (in the town of Campo Cruz, Pergamino), he has represented the whole country with his art. The stage name by which it is known worldwide comes from the  Quéchua language: Ata means “come” - hu, means “far” - alpa is the “earth” and Yupanqui is “make narrate,” that is, Atahualpa Yupanqui means “Come from afar to narrate.” Part of her artistic career spent in exile and in hand, nothing more and nothing less, than from Parisian singer Edith Piaf.The story tells that it was she who discovers it in Paris and invites him to sing in a club.

Considered by many “father of Argentine folklore,” Atahualpa Yupanki managed to reflect the soul of the genre. His music, with a poetry with a simple and profound message, knew “calar deep” to tell (and sing) the everyday and Argentine customs. To relate his work, we could dedicate entire pages and pages, as his vast repertoire spans a work of decades. And it's not only about music, if any, also books and movies. However, it is enough to say that from his pen were born “Luna tucumana”, “El arriero”, “Coplas del payador persecuted” or “Milonga del solitaire” among hundreds more, to understand its important seal in the history of national folklore.

Publication Date: 27/11/2019

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We suggest you continue reading the following notes:

Atahualpa-Yupanqui 10 phrases by Atahualpa Yupanqui
Las Milongas en casa The milongas, at home

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