Musical Heritage

The knowledge of a Latin American rich musical heritage, in addition to providing the opportunity for exposure to such musical offerings, will further cultural understanding and help close a cultural gap which still separates North and South, as far as the Americas are concerned. It is a fact that most people would be able to recognize the names of European and perhaps a few North American composers, yet very few would be able to identify one single Latin American composer of serious, art music. The highly developed, sophisticated cultural bedrock and influences from Western civilization in the music of Latin America, which are paramount, allow for the appreciation of its artistic accomplishments beyond folklore or purely indigenous forms.

In the understanding that the creation of great art in general and music in particular attest to the cultural development of a nation or people, an awareness of such creative strength in Latin American cultures and societies contributes to the appreciation of these societies as being highly culturally advanced.

Just as Beethoven transformed German folk songs into hallowed symphonic achievements and Gershwin incorporated jazz in concert music, Latin American composers have weaved their malambos and mariachi sounds into their orchestral masterworks. Exclusively Latin, original sounds and instruments such as the Argentine bandoneon and a myriad Caribbean and Mexican percussion instruments are also represented in these compositions. These masterworks should be known and appreciated.

Only the dissemination of these works can help create a cultural balance needed in a multi-faceted society, whose values and principles aim to encourage such diversity. Therefore, the discovery of this rich cultural heritage in its most developed forms is an important step towards a fair appreciation of a major cultural contribution to our social landscape.





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