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Music from the Natives

-The marimba, used mainly for sacred music, is debated as to whether it was native to Guatemala or brought over by African slaves. Guatemala was and ideal place for it though because of the wood available to create them. -Percussion instruments such as chinchines and sonajas (relates to maracas and rattles), as well as the tortuga (turtle shell drum) or lower pitched drums such as the primero and segundo were used for folk music.-Aerophones such as tzu, tzicolaj, ocarina, and the chirimia (like an oboe) were also used.

Guatemala was invaded throughout the 1500s by Spain and the kingdom controlled by them included the Chiapas, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. There was a large earthquake in 1773 which moved the capital of the kingdom to Guatemala city. Guatemala was introduced to the European style of music before the rest of the New world, beginning in the mid 1500s. Missionaries brought sacred music in Spanish and Flemish including choral singing. Below is the first Cathedral in Guatemala.

History of Guatemala

The Story about ...

Why ?

Franco is one of the earliest known composer in Guatemala; his two pieces in the archives of the Guatemala cathedral, a Lumen ad revelationem and a Benedicamus Domino, are the earliest surviving manuscripts from the area. He was a composer who headed a Spanish chapel choir, but no traces of written masses have been found under his name. Franco wrote 20 motets that survived, as well as 16 Magnificat settings.

Hernando Franco

-Manuel Jose de Quiros served as a chapel master at the Guatemala City Cathedral for almost thirty years. There, he conducted music for services and was responsible for educating church choirboys and apprentices. He also composed villancicos, cantatas and sacred songs. -Rafael Antonio Castellanos succeeded Quiros as chapel master. He composed many works, 175 of which have survived today. His works bridged the Baroque and Classical Eras and were known for incorporation of folk melodies.

Much of the start of American music can be attributed to the people who settled the land, Europeans. This included people from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Italy, and even the slaves brought over from Africa. Hardly any original music from the native americans in the 1600s was preserved. The puritan settlers, due to their values, brought traditional sacred music as well as a cappella. Instruments such as the violin and the flute were popular from europe and introduced in America. The puritans banned dancing originally, but later tunes introduced by Great Brittain including reels, minuets and jigs often accompanied by the vioin were popular among colonists. Military music also was atradition brought over from Europe in which professional musicians played in parades and marches.

European Influence

Some significant musicians


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