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International Music

Resources for research and listening for folk and popular music from around the world.

Reference Books

The following reference books are shelved to the right of the Music Collection Counter, on Range 37, and some are also available online:

Latin American Classical Composers: A Biographical Dictionary, by Martha Furman Schleifer, 3rd. ed., 2016
ML 105 .S35 2016

The Garland Handbook of Latin American Music, edited by Dale A. Olsen and Daniel E. Sheehy, 2nd ed., 2008
Online: Online (BSU log-in required)

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, 1st ed., 2002
ML 100 .G16 1998 (Volume 2 is the Latin American volume)
Also Online: Online (BSU log-in required)
Compact Discs: Compact Disc 4713

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed, 2001
Call Number: ML 100 .N48 2001, vols. 1-29
Also available online as Grove Music Online (BSU log in required)


Latin American Music

You can search by genre or country, but there are many genres that occur in more than one country

Mexico has diverse regional traditions as well as popular music styles that are performed throughout the United States.  The iconic Mexican style is Mariachi, known for big hats, violins, trumpets, and groups with matching outfits, but there are also solo stars, such as Vicente Fernandez, who sells out stadium concerts in both the United States and Mexico..  This solo song is also called ranchera.   Conjunto and Banda are styles of music from the border area between Mexico and the U.S. states that used to belong to Mexico.  Corridos were originally ballads that told the story of a local or regional hero, but today the term is used loosely.  "Tejano" is the term for music of Mexican-Americans in Texas, and includes a wide range of artistic styles.  Artists include Selena, Lydia Mendoza, Freddy Fender and his group, The Texas Tornados.

Argentina is best known for the tango, composed as classical music by Astor Piazzolla.

Brazil's traditions combine African, native, and European sensibilities, and the results range from the classical music of Heitor Villa-Lobos, to popular dance music such as the Samba and Bossa Nova. The best-known jazz musician from Brazil is Joao Gilberto, who made "The Girl from Ipanema" famous.

Colombian superstar Shakira crossed over from Latin to mainstream pop, singing in English after becoming a star in Latin America.  The most popular male artist from Colombia is Juanes, who has won seventeen Latin Grammys.  Colombia is also the home of cumbia music, which spread to other parts of South America and to Mexico.

Reggaeton is Spanish language rap, developed by Puerto Ricans living in New York but also popular on the West Coast.  Lyrics may be all Spanish or a mix of Spanish and English. Stars include Daddy Yankee and Wisin & Yandel.

Latin jazz becan with Afro-Cuban music popularized by Americans such as Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Kenton.  Stars of Latin jazz include Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Cal Tjader, Bebo Valdes,

"Salsa" can mean anything from piano-oriented Latin jazz to any popular music in Spanish.