On Venezuelan Independence Day Skempi Celebrates Venezuelan Music!
Today July 5th marks the celebration of Venezuela’s Independence Day. Although the country is embroiled in a crisis, it still would behoove us to remember that this is still a Latin American country with a rich musical tradition.
In Aruba this music tradition comes into especially stark focus during Christmas time when Aguinaldo music groups fill the decorated streets of Oranjestad.
But there is another Venezuelan music creation that is popular all year round, that is the music genre called the “Joropo”, and it is quite a heavy player in Venezuelan culture. The well-known song “Alma Llanera”, considered the unofficial anthem of Venezuela, is a Joropo.
The name itself can denote an event at which the music is performed, the music itself, or the dance that accompanies it. It is a fast-paced musical style and that pace is conducive to improvisation on the part of the dancers. The leading instrument is the arpa llanera, or plains harp, accompanied by a cuatro and maracas. The singer, who carries the melody in tandem with the harp, does not play an instrument.
Curious to know what the Joropo sounds and looks like?
Well, look no further: