What Types of Music Do People in Spain Listen to?

Spanish music is as varied as the many regions that make up the country. Flamenco is often thought of as the national music of Spain.‌ Although it is heard throughout Spain, flamenco originated in the southern province of Andalucía. From traditional music to popular contemporary music, Spanish music genres reflect the country’s rich tradition and culture.

1 Flamenco

Flamenco music is a form of music that originated in the Andalusia region of Spain‌ and was created in the wake of the defeat of the Islamic stronghold by Christians in 1492. Andalusian Flamenco music blended aspects of Christian, Jewish, Arabic and Gypsy music to combine this distinct musical form. Over the next few centuries the Gypsies developed it into the type of music that is now synonymous with Spain and a major musical tradition. ‌It blends musical instruments such as classical guitar with tambourines, castanets, and beautiful vocals.‌ Sometimes even accordion. It is most popular in Valencia.

2 Basque Music

The Basque region of Spain has a very distinct culture, even including its own language. ‌Basque people have been known for their melodic singing since the Middle Ages, a type of classical music with a gregorian twist‌. At the end of the 19th century a rise in nationalism helped establish the popularity of large Basque choirs that preserved the songs and language of this region. During Francisco Franco’s fascist rule, when the Basque language was prohibited, folk music songs were sung in secret and as a result are still widely listened to, along with more contemporary Basque pop music.

3 Popular Music

Contemporary Spanish music has been evolving since the 1980s, when the country used music as a way to express its new-found freedom after Franco died‌. In the decades since then, Spain has developed a wide array of popular music that is as diverse and experimental as the music in the United States. Spanish pop radio stations play a wide variety of music, ranging from Eurodisco to home-grown blues, punk, ska, reggae, hip-hop, rock and shiny electronica. These can be found in populated cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, which is in the catalan region.

4 Latin American Music

Old colonies of Spain in Latin America do have an influence on spanish music.‌ ‌For example, reggaeton is a popular style‌ not just because its spanish language songs but because it implements 20th century beats and world music artists such as Bad Bunny and Spain native, Rosalia. This type is very popular for music festivals. Also, latin musica extends to other styles of music such as merengue or rumba which is more of a caribbean or cuban beat. Important countries contributing to the music scene include colombia, cuba, and argentina, sometimes even portugal which is outside latin america. One major artist from latin america is Enrique Iglesias, which most spanish speakers are familiar with and will probably pop up on more than one spanish song playlist.

Julia Kitlinski-Hong graduated from Emmanuel College in Boston, majoring in English. She is a freelance writer and blogger, and is currently writing as a social media editor for iTourNow, a travel media website. If she could be anywhere, she would be traveling abroad, processing everything through writing.