Peruvian music: colorful rithyms

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The rhythms are for everyone: from the elegant marinera to the spirited huayno, Peruvian music transports us through emotions to different places. These songs are lively, connect us with emotions, and are part of our culture and way of life. Anyone who has been far away and hears a sweet waltz or a melancholic Peruvian ballad knows that they are instantly transported to our beloved Peru. Here, we delve into more about Peruvian rhythms.

Table of Contents

Types of Music

As mentioned before, the music carries various connotations that transport us to specific moments.

These genres are generally a convergence of cultural blends. Thus, there is option  for every taste. Among the genres that are distinctly Peruvian, we can mention the huayno, originating in the Peruvian highlands with Andean instruments; the marinera, elegant and rhythmic music accompanied by a pair of dancers. The Peruvian waltz, born in the Viceroyalty and still present today as Creole music; chicha, an incredible blend of huayno, psychedelic rock, and guarachera cumbia; festejo, known for its Afro-Peruvian rhythms and the use of instruments like the Peruvian cajón; and finally, tondero, a northern Creole genre.

Andean Rhythms

Andean music, is perhaps a very melancholic way to express the feelings of the people through catchy and repetitive rhythms.

These blends originate from the use of instruments such as the charango, quena, harp, and zampoña. They feature mixes of harmonies and European-rooted traditions.

Peruvian Music: Chicha Music

Chicha music has its roots in the migration period when people moved from the highlands to the coast. As mentioned in some of its song lyrics:
"...and in that poverty, how happy I was, wind, return to be like yesterday to feel the beginning of my life,
the beginning of my story."


When it comes to lively parties and musical genres, we're talking about cumbia. This genre has roots in Afro-Peruvian rhythms known for their joyfulness. Many of us, and even travelers from around the world, have danced and enjoyed these melodies.
Groups like Agua Marina, Grupo 5, or Armonía 10 are the most representative in the country.

This musical genre has evolved over time, incorporating elements from pop music, salsa, and other genres, making it an important part of Peruvian popular culture.

Peruvian Salsa?

Although salsa is traditionally associated with cultures like Cuban or Colombian, Peru also has its own salsa genre. As expected, this genre of  music is influenced by Cuban culture and has harmonious elements from Peruvian cumbia and other popular genres.

While these rhythms originated from other parts of Latin America, deriving from Afro-Latin music and Afro-Cuban rhythms, they are enriched with Peruvian melodies. These rhythms have become the most popular within Peruvian culture and have brought great pride.

Peruvian Rock

Through Peruvian rock music, many young people from the era of terrorism in Peru have been able to raise their voice in protest and bring attention to societal issues.

Clear examples of Peruvian rock include bands like Cuchillazo, Los Mojarras, and Nosequién / Nosecuantos.</p>

Peruvian Creole Music

Its Afro-Peruvian influence includes lively dances and traditional clothing typical of warm regions like Chincha, Ica, or Lima. In these rhythms, we find the joy of community gatherings, accompanied by instruments like the cajón or guitar.

Peruvian Music: Its Importance

Is a significant part of our culture and events that elevate Peru's name worldwide. Many events have recognized as among the best globally, from the International Cumbia Festival in Lima to the Huayno Festival in Ayacucho.

Prominent artists like Gianmarco, Eva Ayllón, and in their glorious times, our hallmark Yma Sumac, have been great ambassadors of our culture.

Peruvian Music: Learning to Play

A highlight for tourists is experiencing live performances of this traditional music and learning about its significance. Moreover, many local restaurants offer opportunities to learn to play musical instruments.

Activities range from charango and quena classes to percussion courses and dance lessons, especially during extended stays in Cusco. The sounds of Peruvian creole music encompass a variety of instruments, from traditional to modern, such as drums and cymbals.

Each genre is unique and has its own style; we can only enjoy and respect them. They carry histories that invite us to discover them.

Notable Singers: Peruvian Creole Music

To fully enjoy, we recommend experiencing it alongside experts. Peru boasts exceptional figures in creole music, including:

<ul><li>Chabuca Granda: One of the most significant singers in Peruvian creole music, known for her songs about life and culture in the country.

  • Eva Ayllón: A prominent creole singer who has highlighted Afro-Peruvian music over the years and popularized this style globally.</li>
  • Yma Súmac: Peru's tenor voice, internationally recognized for her unmatched vocal talent.
  • Pepe Vasquez: Composer and performer in Peruvian popular music, celebrated for his contributions to Andean and creole music.
  • Susana Baca: A highly regarded figure in Afro-Peruvian music, among the first to bring this music to a global audience.
  • </ul>The brief list showcases talented artists who have not only elevated Peru's name internationally but also contributed to preserving the tradition of Peruvian folk music, keeping this form of artistic and cultural expression alive.


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