Music of Ecuador

The Music of Ecuador reflects the rich ethnic and cultural diversity of this country. The most popular rhythm is the "Pasillo".


The music in Ecuador has been influenced by African rhythms, Andean music and Indian music from the Amazon Rain Forests.

In Ecuador one of the more popular styles is the Pasillo that originated along the Ecuadorian coast. One famous example of this style was Julio Jaramillo known as the RuiseƱor of America.

The Ecuadorian Pasillo still continues captivating people of all the ages. For sure the Pasillo will be always present in most of the parties and homes that enjoy Ecuadorian music.

Another popular style in the music of Ecuador is Sanjuanito. This rhythm is typical of the Ecuadorian Andes.

Sanjuanito originated as a cultural expression of indigenous tribes in the Andes Mountains. Its tone is happier, very danceable and very old.

But this music is still very popular in street celebrations and occasionally this kind of songs are accompanied by traditional dancers.

Currently in Ecuador Rockola music gains more followers every day, by its content and social realism this music represents the typical Ecuadorian life.

It embodies ideas such as the treason of love, the migration of relatives to other countries, and other social contents that allow it to be easily identified by those who listen to them.

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Ecuador Music History

Ecuador is home to a number of cultures, including the Mestizo culture and a unique blend of Afro-Ecuadorian culture.

Afro-Ecuadorians are the descendants of African slaves who worked on the coastal sugar plantations in the sixteenth century.

The Afro-Ecuadorians that are present in Ecuador today are famous for their marimba music as well as their many music and dance celebrations.

Long before the Spanish had conquered Ecuador, and even before the rise of the Inca civilization, the diverse native cultures of the region had rich musical traditions.

It is clear that music in Ecuador has always played an important role in the ancient Andean people's lives.

Archaeologists have found some very old instruments, such as drums, flutes, trumpets and other musical artifacts, in ancient tombs.

When the Spanish, conquered Ecuador in the 16th century, many other musical styles were introduced.

The mixture of the Indigenous, Spanish and African music and sounds have formed in the music of Ecuador distinctive styles that are present today.

Ecuador is well-known for marimba, a unique form of music that is present in the Esmeraldas Province

It is an unchanged import from the Western Africa region. Marimba is played on a musical instrument of the same name.

The instrument features wooden bars tuned to produce a chromatic scale and with resonators, and these bars are played with small mallets.

People living in Esmeraldas, located on the northern coast of Ecuador, have retained much of their African cultural heritage.

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Ecuadorian Rhythms

Other popular rhythms in the music of Ecuador are the Albazos, Pasacalles, Tonadas, Danzantes, Yaravies, Carnavales, etc.

Many of them originate in rhythms that come directly from the music of the indigenous population.

There are a great many brass bands with wind instruments in almost all the cities of Ecuador. They are an essential part of celebrations, funerals, carnivals, and other social events.

A group of black people very different from the rest of the Andean population inhabits the Chota Valley near the City of Ibarra

In this area the combination of African, Andean, and European cultures produced a very particular kind of music, that has become popular even outside of the region.

It is called "Bomba", which is also the name of the drum that creates the rhythmic base of the music and dance.

The music of Ecuador is being accepted more and more not just in Latin America but in also in many countries around the world.

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