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Hispanic Music

             Since the Renaissance, music in Spanish-speaking countries has been a focal point in every culture. From the classical composers to the modern pop music, great musicians have influenced the language and spirit of Latino culture.
             In the early 16th century a famous Spanish composer and priest by the name of Juan del Encina composed his famous Cancionero de Palacio, a songbook of containing courtly love-songs. Some of his pieces were for occasional use, and some intended to be sung at theatrical productions. By uniting popular and artistic elements, he broke new ground in the field of Spanish music in the Renaissance.
             Through the 17th and 18th centuries, the Muslim influence in Spain added a new flavor to the music. Organ music began to become popular through such composers as Aguilera de Heredia. Juan Hidalgo used the organ accompaniment to back extremely strong voices in his operas and became one of the most renown composers of the baroque era.
             In the New World, Spanish and Portuguese settlers brought the music styles of their homelands to the colonies they established. The feel of the music changed with the mixing of the natives and slaves. The African slaves brought a syncopated style with them to the settlements and the natives kept their chanting styles. These combined with the already energetic Hispanic genre to create the modern feel that we often hear today.
             Today, Hispanic styles have evolved to a point where completely different genres have been created throughout their cultures. Cuban rhythmic and percussion styles are completely different from the festive music of Spain, and Brazil has developed a more sonata-type style typical in older baroque music. Modern pop culture has also influenced the ballads and love-songs that have been popular in the past. In turn, Hispanic music has been more important to Latinos than any other aspect of their culture.

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