Sarabande Music – Its History and Features

Sarabande is a form of slow dance that originated from Central America. It is a popular performance dance that is beautifully crafted and what makes it unique is the music that accompanies it. the first mention of the dance and music was in 1539 in historical records. This genre of music or compositions was also known as zarabanda as found in poems of the poet Fernando Guzman Mexia. The poems that he wrote were the basis of the dance and music that was formed as a distinct genre later on.

Nature of this artistic form

The music helps to construct a dance that is of a triple meter formation. By the time the New World colonists were present, this dance form started to gain popularity in colonies. Nationals of Spanish origin who travelled back and forth carried the art form of sarabandes to different regions as well as into the homeland. However the form of dance was considered erotic by many. For these reasons the dance form was banned in 1583 as it was found too obscene to be exhibited in public shows. However, the music and dance form are still evident in many literary writings even today.


The Baroque period saw a resurgence of sarabande which also found its way into instrumental suites. Several compositions of sarabande genre are now mixed in modern compositions and form the base of popular dance forms. The triple meter form that is a distinguishing feature of the dance has been slowed down in speed in modern versions. Accordingly the music too has become sedated and more attuned to the modern sensibilities of the European society. In such ways a new age version of sarabande music and dance was formed.

Changes in the 20thcentury

In the twentieth century the music of sarabande saw several revisions. For instance, the tempo of the music increased from the sedated version that it had moved to. Composers like Debussy and Satie were responsible for the revival. The music was revived and brought back to its full glory as well as accompanying moves revisited to suit the tastes of the modern generation. Sarabande music is considered a treat of Spanish culture and it is said that this art form helps bring back romance into dance. Today it is still considered to be an epitome of Spanish dance though there have been considerable influences of US, English and French culture in the dance. The music composition has also undergone considerable experimentation.

In original Spanish music creations of this genre one will still find the 12/8 meter, percussions and a quick pace to it. though several changes have come about in the music since then the 3/4th time is a feature that still remains in the scores along with an accent that arises on the second beat. Those who compose or study music look around for Sarabande music scores and get inspired by the same even today which is an integral part of this romantic dance form.

Spanish music has over the years been a very important part of European music as it played a vital role in western music development. It was also a major influence on the music in Latin America.

Genres of Spanish Music

The genre of music is typically a conventional category for some music piece identification. It shows that the music is part of a convention set or shared tradition. Even though it is possible to use them interchangeably with musical style and musical form, they are different terminologies. There are various ways of dividing music into various genres. Just like most other music types, Spanish music also has a lot of genres. The most popular ones are discussed below.


Flamenco is a form of art native to Murcia, Extremadura and Andalusia in Spain. It is reputed to be one of the most common genres of music in Spain. Flamenco genre consists of pitos (snapping of finger), palmas (clapping of hands), jaleo (vocalizations), baile (dance), toque (playing of guitar) and cante (singing).The history of flamenco could be dated back to 1774.


Jota is another genre that is very popular all over Spin. The root of the genre could be traced to the Aragon area in Spain. The instruments used for the music genre include flute, tambourines, bandurria, guitar and castanets. Dense percussive elements sometimes characterize the music by the people of Aragon.


In the 60s, some young individuals who were fed up of the popular flamenco, cuple and coplagenres, had their ears retrained on England (The Beatles) and France (Sylvie Vartan) originated pop rhythms. Los Brincos and El Duo Dinamico are the most popular songs of the genre.


The Rumba is gotten from flamenco and Cuban ancestors. It is fiery dance that is popular in Catalan, mostly Rumba Tres or Peret as well as its telling stories about Los Changuitos or Los Chichos delinquency in Madrid and telling stories about passion.


This genre of music is much of fun and dancing. One of the examples of pachangueo that is very popular in many countries of the world is Macarena.


Movida is reputed to be more than just a genre of music. It is more of a contra-culture that developed from Madrid during the 80s. It is built on the new wave, punk and glam. Some of the most reputable groups that sang this music type include TinoCasal, Alaska y los Pegamoides and Mecano.


Even though Cuplesounds related to Copla, they are both different genres. The 19th century quick songs in French inspired this genre. It is known by its sensual, brazen and impish lyrics. Some popular Spain cabaret musicians include Olga Ramos and Sara Mont.


This genre of music is related to flamenco in many ways, only that it is faster. The lyrics of songs in the genre usually concentrate on passions that are uncontrollable. Some of the songs in the genre include Tatuaje and Maria de la O by Concha Piquer and Estrellista Castro respectively.


This is an electronic music version in Valencia, Spain. It features rhythms that are marked. Some examples include Viva la fiesta and Asi me gusta a mi by PacoPil and ChimoBayo respectively.

There are many more genres of music available in Spain. The different genres give the opportunity to enjoy different variety of songs and also know how you can refer to your preferred genre type.

Spanish music has over the years been a very important part of European music as it played a vital role in western music development. It was also a major influence on the music in Latin America.