Music has played a key role in human consciousness and is one of the most popular mediums of art and culture. Our world is blessed with rich musical heritage; be it the traditional folk music or the highly popular genres of pop, rock and country music to the contemporary trends of electronic, new age and dreamscape genres. If you are hard-core music lover and have a passion for sound, then you must include the iconic destinations on your travel wishlist sooner than later.
Where: Seville, Spain
Flamenco is one of the cultural delights of Spain and forms a key element of the Andalusian culture. Flamenco combines the elements of Andalusian and Romani music along with dance style which creates a delightfully vibrant, energetic guitar tones fused with stylised and graceful body movements, wonderful vocals and synchronised clapping and finger tapping creates a wonderful music and dance routine, worthy enough to be included in UNESCO World Heritage.
Where: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina and Tango has become synonymous as the later forms a key element of the country’s culture. Tango emerged as a partner dance in 1890s along the Rio de la Plata region between the borders of Argentina and Uruguay. Tango music add the influences from various European music and became highly popular in the Argentinian slums and among the European immigrants. Today, there are variations of Tango depending on the region and is now, a part of UNESCO World Heritage.
Where: New Orleans, USA
Jazz started as an expression movement in the early 20th century in the United States of America. Jazz encompasses improvisation, innovation and free flowing of tunes of the musical instruments; rather than following a pre-set musical grammar. Jazz played a key role during the American Civil Rights Movement and today, it has several offshoot genres. The traditional Jazz is however, still intact in New Orleans and is immortalised by the works of renowned Jazz musicians – Louis Armstrong, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Wynton Marsalis and Keith Jarrett.
Where: New Orleans, USA
Blues is a genre which started with the emancipation movement of African slaves in the “Deep South” region of USA in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Blues is often confused with Jazz and Soul due to its similar music style and incorporates traditional African and European folk music along with a little bit of spirituality, chants, shouts and simple narrative fused with guitar, piano, saxophone, bass and simple arrangements.
Where: Havana, Cuba
Salsa is a popular music and dance form which originated in Cuba and is a mix of various musical genres including the Cuban styles of montuno, guaracha, chachacha, mambo, and bolero along with the Puerto Rican elements of bomba and plena. Salsa dance is another offshoot of the Salsa music and has evolved into a world class dance form and plays a key role in the contemporary and avant-garde style of dancing.
Where: Lisbon, Portugal
Fado is a highly popular music genre of Lisbon, Portugal with a history which can be traced back to 1820s in Portugal and is listed under UNESCO World Heritage. Fado incorporates deep, soulful lyrics often related to bereavement, romance and sea faring traditions using the traditional Portuguese guitar.
Where: Mexico City, Mexico
Mariachi is a folk art form which originated in the central west of Mexico and became immensely popular in Mexico City and Guadalajara. Mariachi music includes violins, guitars, harps, brass instruments, and woodwinds along with lyrics and vocals. In 2011, the deep tradition of Mariachi music is included into UNESCO Intangible cultural heritage.
Where: Venice, Italy
Venice is one of the most romantic destinations in the world and is renowned for its sheer beauty, style and class. Venice is also legendary for its soothing gondola rides and its serenades by wonderful musicians who are the main reason to make that beautiful, romantic moments more special with their soft, lyrical and rhythmic music.
Where: Istanbul, Turkey
Mevlevi Sama ceremony of Istanbul and Konya are also part of UNECO Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity and preserves the ceremony which began in circa 1312. The famous whirling dervishes dedicated their performance in praise of God and incorporates Sama ceremony featuring four type of prayers, traditional Turkish instruments, hymns, prayers and songs.
Where: Kutch, Gujrat, India
The colourful and heritage rich state of Gujrat, India is renowned for its rich traditional folk music, much of which comprises of Indian Raga infused with traditional folk elements. Each year the beautiful desert and salt flats of Rann of Kutch host the three month long event from December to March. The vibrant festival includes plenty of traditional performers, musicians, dancers, cattle displays, handicraft and local clothes and rich cuisine.