What Kind Of Music Do They Listen To In Belize?
Music lovers will find much to appreciate in Belize. The music of the original Maya has blended with Mexican, African and European styles to create many intriguing new genres. There are also many venues playing modern music such as metal or Latin pop. Whether you want to party with friends, waltz or polka with your sweetheart, relax over drinks or go to a concert, you will find what you’re looking for in Belize.
Mestizo and Maya Music
The villages in the north and west of Belize maintain many traditional Maya celebrations which feature Maya Pax bands. One of the liveliest festivals is the Cabeza del Cochino , or Hog Head, which signifies a productive year. The Hog Head dance showcases authentic Maya music.
There are also Mestizo influences in this region due to immigrants escaping Mexican wars. Their music is characterized by marimba, a xylophone-like instrument that originated in Africa. Drums and double bass are also commonly used. One popular marimba band that performs today is the Benque Marimba Youth Academy.
Another genre that blends Mestizo and Maya traditions is cumbia, which has much in common with salsa and merengue.
Developed by the descendants of African slaves, Kriol has unique genres such as brukdown, a type of calypso. Two types of brukdown are buru and mento. Mento is heavily influenced by the calypso music of Jamaica and Trinidad. Buru is fascinating as it was originally performed with the jawbone of a donkey as well as banjo and drums. “Boom and chime” is a popular modern form of Kriol which features an electric guitar.
Garifuna blends indigenous Caribbean culture with African rhythyms. It includes numerous traditional folk dances and musical styles with unique names such as matameurte, laremuna, gunjai, sambai, and arumahni. The most popular modern music influenced by Garifuna is punta rock which is known for its danceability.
The key elements of Garifuna are the drums, whether made from local hardwoods such as mahogany or from more modern materials. They are often accompanied by a maracas-like instrument called the sisera.
Modern Musical Styles
Whether you enjoy hip hop, heavy metal, reggaeton or reggae, you can also find more modern music throughout the country. Top 40 music can be found in many clubs.
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