Spanish Music: 9 Well-known Musical Styles
From the National Orchestra at Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional de Música to the hottest new up and coming acts at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival, there is no shortage of music in Spain.
In fact, some consider Spain to be the liveliest place for music in Europe. With numerous styles to choose from, there’s something for everyone within the musical variety of Spanish music.
Whether you’re a tourist or a local, old or young, Spain’s music scene welcomes you with open arms. Keep reading for 9 types of Spanish music that will keep you dancing and grooving all day and all night long.
Number one for a reason, Flamenco is one of the most famous styles of Spanish music. In its simplest form, Flamenco is a style of spirited, rhythmical and skilled guitar music accompanied by singing and dancing.
Flamenco performers wear bright, vibrant colors and dance along to the rhythm of the guitar. It can be performed without dancing, but you won’t get the full experience without the stylish movement.
Spanish people love their jazz. You’ll find a cozy jazz lounge in every city and town you go to, with performances from locals and international artists. Most of the big cities play host to various jazz festivals throughout the year.
Especially classical guitar as found in flamenco music, classical music is popular in Spain. A must-see is the National Orchestra at the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid.
Originating in Spain and Portugal in the 18th century, Fandango music went on to gain popularity across Europe. It is now a tradition deeply ingrained in Spanish music and his culture.
The style involves the music of various instruments including guitars, castanets, violins, and cellos, and is accompanied by dramatic, emotional dancing.
Jota is a traditional type of Spanish music that originated in Aragon. Similar to Fandango, Jota music incorporates various instruments and is not complete without storytelling and dancing. It is said to have begun as a sort of fertility dance.
Zarzuela is a form of opera music that is very popular in Spain. Another traditional style, it was developed as a way to entertain the people in the courtyards at Palacio de la Zarzuela in Madrid.
Like most traditional Spanish music, it is expressive and emotional. It was heavily suppressed under Franco’s rule and became widely popular after his death.
7. Latin Pop
We can’t dismiss latin pop music. Who remembers the Macarena? Pop music is alive and well in Spain, and though most of their bars and clubs play American music, there is no shortage of their own local pop stars.
Before Ibiza became what it is, the place to party was Valencia. Back in the ’80s, the music you’d find in Spanish clubs was referred to as Bacalao.
Basically, it was Spanish DJs (notably Carlos Simo) importing post-punk and new wave hits from abroad, adding a bit of edge to the clubbing scene. You can still find clubs in Valencia playing Bacalao if you look hard enough.
9. Indie Rock
Like everywhere else on the planet, Indie Rock has its place in Spain. Widely credited for its popularity in Spain are indie darlings Los Planetas.
To get your fill of the latest and greatest in indie and pop, check out Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona.
Spanish Music at Weddings
Getting married? Consider booking a Spanish band, or hiring a Spanish-focused DJ for your big day. What better way to celebrate love than with the passionate, emotional sounds of Spain?
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