Nov 01

The Other Colombian Music – with Videos!

Colombia Beach by Josmi Amin Marltelo


I believe that we may have mentioned it once or twice before, but Colombia is bursting at the seams with music. Of course, there are the usual suspects of that great old friend of Old Parr, Vallenato; Cali`s favourite, Salsa; and the perenially infamous Reggaeton, all of which you can hear pretty much everywhere and every time. But, the tapestry of Colombian music is far richer than that, and today I want to have a look at a few of the other threads in this musical carpet. Here are a few other genres that I like to think about, if not actually listen to.


Popular Music


Now, by this, I don`t actually mean One Direction, or even that famous vexillologist, Justin Bebieber, no matter how pretty or good at Spanish those nice young girls, sorry boys, may be. Mùsica Popular in this instance refers to a genre born on the railroads of Antioquia and its little country towns. A modern manifestation of guasca, a kind of music which numbers amongst its afficianados a veritable army of moustachioed fans of aguardiente, not to mention the charming Juanes, who`s still working on his mo. My favourite part of this genre are the moustaches on the singers, and the models that feature just as prominently in the music videos, and who never quite manage to look completely comfortable. Good times.


Music for Ironing



Although not strictly a purely Colombian phenomenon, this music has accompanied many a trouser-crease in this country of passion. Nothing can stir the emotions more than straightening out the crinkles of a business shirt while pouring your soul forth in the ecstasy that only these tear-jerking ballads can evoke. Stirring stuff.


Plains Music


Heavily featuring moustaches just as impressive as those in Popular Music, as well as, unexpectedly, the music of the Colombian Plains, or llanos, is cowboy music with a twist. Enjoyed best while either riding a horse, or drinking a couple of shots of Llanero aguardiente. Don`t drink and ride, now, pilgrim.




Bambuco is Colombian folk music as its purest, a rich blend of indigenous, Afro-Colombian, and European influences. With the timing of a European waltz, it`s the perfect accompanient for embarking on a futuristic space odyssey, or, indeed, to engage in a graceful traditional Colombian dance. Neiva, the capital of San Agustin`s Huila, is the proud host of the Bambuco festival between June and July of each year.


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