Music of Ecuador
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The music of Ecuador has a long history. Pasillo is a genre of indigenous Latin music. It is extremely popular in Ecuador, where it is the "national genre of music." Pasillo as a genre is also present in the highland regions of Colombia and to a lesser extent, Panama and Venezuela.
Today, it has incorporated more European features of classical dance, such as waltz. As it spread during the Gran Chaco period, pasillo also absorbed the individual characteristics of isolated villages. This gives it an eclectic feel; however, the style, tone, and tempo of the music differ in each village.
In its waltz, pasillo alters the classically European dance form to accompany guitar, mandolin, and other string instruments.
Pasillo, Pasacalle, and Yarabi are popular styles of folksong. Pasillos are played with guitar and rondin, the latter being similar to a flute, and is usually downtempo; it is descended from the waltz. Pasacalle is a form of dance music, while the sentimental Yarabi is probably the most popular form in Ecuador.
The instrument of the indigenous communities of the Ecuadorian highlands is largely the flute. Guitar and brass bands are also found throughout the area. Popular performers include Peguche, Benitez-Valencia, and Ñanda-Mañachi.
The mountainous, Andean region of Ecuador, the Sierra, is home to a style of music called Sanjuanito. The music of the Otavalo people is well known worldwide. A small panpipe called the rondador is the most distinctive instrument, but ensembles are typically groups of wind instruments, guitar trios, or brass bands. Folk rhythms include cachullapi, yumbo, and danzante Musicians like Huayanay, Jatari, Pueblo Nuevo, and Andes Manta have helped to popularize Andean-Ecuadoran music.
People from the Coast of Ecuador, or Costeños, listen to music of Afro-Ecuadorian or Afro-Caribbean descent such as Salsa, Merengue, and Mapalé. All the cities on the coast of Ecuador, such as Guayaquil and Esmeraldas, listen to this type of music.
- cunuca: a percussion instrument similar to a conga drum
- Pingullo: a wind instrument similar to a wooden recorder. Native to the Quichua people in the Napo province
The Fundación de Desarrollo Social Afroecuatoriano (AZUCAR) has existed since 1993, and offers a variety of workshops for all ages in music and dance, as well as handicrafts and other topics. More information can be found on their website here.
Ecuador has many annual festivals, with nearly every village celebrating a Roman Catholic Saint. The annual festival in August held in San Antonio de Pichincha is particularly well known, as is the independent music festival Quito Fest.