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 reflects the country's rich tradition and culture.
Flamenco music originated in the Andalucía region of Spain and was created in the wake of the defeat of the Islamic stronghold by Christians in 1492. 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.
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. 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 songs were sung in secret and as a result are still widely listened to, along with more contemporary Basque pop 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 radio stations play a wide variety of music, ranging from Eurodisco to home-grown blues, punk, ska, reggae, hip-hop, rock and shiny electronica.
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