# This is the second of three parts of this article; the first part is available here, the third will be published soon.
Music is an integral part of the culture of each place and is usually described as a universal language.
Even if you don’t understand the lyrics of a song, you can feel touched or transported elsewhere thanks to it. It is also a way of celebrating life, conveying ancient stories and traditions. Perhaps that’s why an enormous amount of a place’s soul is reflected in the music.
To help you get to know the soundtrack of our destinations, we have prepared a series of 3 articles that will take you discovering some of the sounds of local folklore. The classics from the most popular artists and some of the new music which has been getting more airplay in recent years. A collection of world music!
Have a lovely (sound) trip!
Traditional Guatemalan music has its origins in the ancient Mayan culture, whose elements merged from the sixteenth century with components of Spanish and Afro-Caribbean cultures. This is evident in the use of the marimba (considered the national instrument), which contains elements from each of these three cultures.
During the colonial period, with a strong influence of religion, developed a type of Baroque compositions, known as vilancico das matinas. These were written mainly in Spanish, but also in pseudo-African, Galician, Italian or French dialects, and occasionally in indigenous Guatemalan accents.
In recent decades, as in other Latin American countries, Guatemala has produced many pop artists – from rock bands, hip hop and reggaeton, to bachata, salsa and merengue groups, as well as DJs and mariachi bands.
Indian music is made up of diverse musical styles, from classical Indian music to the pop music of Indian Bollywood music films.
Its melodic system is based on ragas, which are the basis of musical creation with 5, 6 or 7 notes related to the seasons, hours of the day, emotions, castes, etc.. Among the most used traditional instruments are the sitar, tablas and flutes. Although instrumental or vocal music is often linked to dance in India, it is hardly linked to theatre, unlike other Asian music in the Buddhist area.
Although music is part of high caste education, it also remains popular because of its association with Bollywood cinema, dotted with dance music videos.
The hundreds of Indonesian islands have their own history and cultural and artistic character. This results in hundreds of different forms of music, which is often accompanied by dance and theatre. Over the years music from Java, Sumatra, Bali, Bali, Flores and other islands has been documented and recorded, but music in Indonesia extends well before these historical records.
Today, Indonesian contemporary music is popular throughout the region, including neighbouring Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. The influence of these cultures is visible in the Dangdut, a traditional style of popular music. In addition, several Indonesian indigenous tribes often incorporate songs and songs accompanied by musical instruments into their rituals.
Iranian music includes the tradition of Persian artistic music, with origins in the Sassanid period from the third century, and which developed with Arab music after the conquest by the Arab Abbasids from the seventh century.
At the beginning of the 16th century, Iranian music culture entered a phase of stagnation and isolation due to the seizure of power by the Safavids, who elevated Shiite Islamism to the status of a state religion. In the 18th century, the oldest classical music collapsed.
Its current form, which includes the establishment of the twelve dastgahs (modes), dates back to the 19th century, when Western influences arrived, initially through the military bands. Classical and popular Western music was very popular in the 20th century until it was completely banned by the Islamic Revolution in 1979. After the gradual relaxation of the ban, a lively pop and rock scene now exists in Iran.
In general, Malaysian music can be classified as classical, folk, syncretic (or acculturated), popular and contemporary art. Classical music and folklore existed in pre-colonial times and were presented in the form of vocal, dance and theatrical music such as Nobat, Mak Yong, Mak Inang, Dikir Barat, Ulek mayang and Menora. Syncretic music developed in the post-Portuguese period (16th century) and consisted of local and foreign musical elements from Arab, Persian, Indian, Chinese and Western theatrical and musical sources. Some of the musical genres are Zapin, Ghazal, Dondang Sayang, Kantiga, Joget, Jikey, Boria, Keroncong and Nobles.
Both popular music and contemporary Malaysian art, in particular, are Western music combined with various local elements. In the 1950s, musician P. Ramlee helped form Malaysian music, which combined folk songs with the rhythm of Western dance and Western Asian music.
More than a thousand years before any contact with Europeans in the 16th century, the region was dominated by Aztec culture, which maintained an important and complex musical tradition.
Mexico remained under Spanish rule for the next two hundred years, which is why the traditional music we know today incorporated its pre-Columbian (Aztec) roots with Spanish culture and also with the music of African slaves brought by the Spanish.
Today, Mexican music is often associated with mariachi, with their ponchos and sombreros. A mariachi orchestra is composed of at least two violins, two trumpets, a Spanish guitar and two other types of guitars, the viola and the guitar. In fact, the mariachis play many different types of music, although the style is closely linked to ranchera music.
Moroccan music is characterized by its great diversity from one region to another. It includes Arabic music such as the chaâbi and the aita of the Atlantic plains (Doukkala-Abda, Chaouia-Ouardigha, Rehamna), the melhoune of the Andalusian cities (Meknes, Fez, Salé, Tetuán, Oujda) and the Hassani of Moroccan Sahara.
There is also the Amazigh music, by the Tuareg nomads, such as the Rif reggada, the ahidus of the Middle Atlas and the ahwash of the Souss region. Today many young artists synthesise the Moroccan spirit with influences from all over the world (blues, rock, metal, reggae, rap, etc.).
Each genre and musical group is composed of regional subgroups, and is divided between “modern” and “traditional” music. Moroccan music is an important part of everyday life and is present in births, religious ceremonies, weddings, funerals and festivals.
Travel with The Wanderlust and discover the sounds of Guatemala and Mexico, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Morocco. Then return to this page and confirm that your soundtrack is the same!