Essay about Peruvian Heritage

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Music is among many things that is passed down from generations to generations which becomes part of a culture’s heritage. In my Peruvian heritage, the Peruvian music is a heavily influenced by other cultures. The dominant cultures that influenced the Peruvian heritage were the Incas, the Spanish, and the Africans. Each of these cultures blended with one another to help shape the Peruvian heritage of music. With the contribution of each culture, it was able to introduce instruments, create music genres and choreograph traditional dances that the Peruvian locals continues use.

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Instrument’s origins exposes people to their native country’s heritage. In my Peruvian heritage, many of the instruments origins begin before the era of the Incan empire. The era before the Incan Empire was called the Pre-historic Peru. In my understanding, the Pre-historic Peruvians were possibly an independent village that became under the Incan rule centuries later. According to Harry Tschopik Jr., the reporter of “Music of Peru”, the Pre-historic Peruvians had already developed instruments that were later modified by the Incas.

The instruments that the Incas had were wind instruments like the pan-pipes, flutes, whistles and trumpets. They also had percussion instruments which are the instruments that you beat or shakes like rattles, bells, drums and tambourines. During the time of the Incan rule, these instruments were made from materials like bamboos, clay, bone from animals, metal, shell, and wood. The Incan empire soon fell under the rule of the Spaniards, settlers that came from Spain. When the Spaniards came, the music of the Incas began to change and the Incas were introduced to a new instruments.

The new instruments were the stringed instruments which was harp, the mandolin, the guitar and the violin. Years later, the Mestizo Music, the combination of Incan and Spanish music, soon had a mixture of the African music with the introduction of more percussion instruments. These percussion instruments was a jawbone of a donkey, a cowbell and Cajon which was a wooden box drum. The introduction of these new instruments from different countries was the starting point of developing the modern-day Peruvian Folk music.

With new instruments from the Incas, Africans and Spain, the people in Peru would soon start composing some new songs that will create new musical genres. The Huayno is one of the musical genres that was created in the Seventh Century and it was originated from the Incas. This music genre are played by guitars, mandolins, lutes, violins, flutes, and occasionally harps and plucked bandurrias. This type of music can be sung in the native language of the Incans which was Quechua or it can be sung in Spanish. In the Eighteenth Century, there was another music genre that was called the Yaravi.

The Yaravi is a Mestizo Music which was a mixture of Incas and Spain music. This Mestizo Music contains sad melodies which are played by all the instruments in the Huayno genre but the pan-pipe and the flute are the leading instruments. Lastly, the Afro- American music was introduced in colonial times during enslavement of Africans in Peru. The musical genre became popular in the Nineteenth Century. This type of music genre contains instruments of caj??n, the donkey jawbone and a cowbell. These three music genres were just a few examples that were influenced by the introduction of new instruments and helped mold the Music of Peru.

In the Peruvian Folk Music, some of the music genres are accompanied by a traditional dances that the Natives of Peru choreographed. For example, the Marinera de Norte is a Mestizo folklore dance that was created during the colonial period of Peru between year of 1532 to the year of 1821. The Mariners tells a story of the courtship of young Cabellero and a young Dama. Through this dance, the couple expresses advance footwork while elegantly following the beat to the guitar and the drums which are the main instruments for the Marinera.

Another example of a folklore dance, is the Afro-Peruvian dance called ” Festego”. Festego was also a couple dance similar to the Marinera, but the dancers avoided contact from one another. The Festego instruments were the guitars, caj??ns and the jawbone. The steps to this dance involves vigorous movement of the hips and footwork. Lastly, the Sarawja dance, which was originated from the Inca traditions with some modern-day dance moves.

The instruments played for the Sarawja dance is the pan-pipe, trumpets and drums. The moves to the Sarawja dance involves the male dancers to do a tap-like step to form a circle while playing an instrument and singing. The women dancers, during this dance, sing while twirling in a circles. Along with the new instruments and music genre, the traditional dances help keep the music of my ancestors alive which made my Peruvian culture stand today.

In conclusion, cultural blending between the Incas, Africans and the Spaniards helped create my Peruvian heritage. Each of these culture has introduced many different types of instruments like the pan-pipes from the Incas, the guitar from Spain, and the Carjon from Africa. These different instruments created different types of musical genres in the Peruvian music like the Huayno, Yaravi and the Afro-Peruvian music. Without these musical melodies of these genres, the people of Peru would not have create a traditional dance to the Peruvian music. Although the Peruvian music is diverse, without these cultural influences the people in Peru would have lost their musical heritage.

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Essay About Peruvian Heritage. (2019, Oct 14). Retrieved from