Music From and Inspired by Spain and Latin America

Music in Spain has a lengthy history. It had a significant impact on Latin American music and was crucial in the evolution of Western music. Flamenco and classical guitar, two traditional styles of Spanish music, are commonly associated with the country. While these genres of music are common, the regions also have a diverse spectrum of music and dance traditions. The northwest’s music, for example, is primarily reliant on bagpipes, while the jota is popular in the country’s center and north, and flamenco originated in the south. Spanish music played an important influence in the early development of western classical music from the 15th to the early 17th centuries. Composers like Tomás Luis de Victoria, genres like Spanish opera’s zarzuela, Manuel de Falla’s ballet, and Francisco Tárrega’s classical guitar work all illustrate the breadth of musical invention.

The origins of Latin American music may be traced back to the 16th-century conquest of the Americas by the Spanish and Portuguese when European settlers brought their music from abroad. Latin American music also includes African music from enslaved Africans carried to the Americas by European colonists from West and Central Africa. As well as music from the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Latin American music encompasses various styles, including cumbia, bachata, bossa nova, merengue, rumba, salsa, samba, son, and tango.

El Amor Brujo

This exciting arrangement of Manuel de Falla’s ballet suite El Amor Brujo, including the striking Ritual Fire Dance, is the perfect way to introduce the impressionistic style to your students. For string orchestra with optional piano, the Andalusian melodies (Spanish and gypsy) are shared throughout all sections. Perfect for festivals and school concerts alike, students will thrill your audiences with this great concert closer.

The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came

“The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came” is an ancient Basque Christmas carol of unknown authorship. It originates from the 13th century and tells the story of the Angel Gabriel’s Annunciation to the Virgin Mary. This carol is also known by the title “Gabriel’s Message”.

Capriccio Espagnol

With this arrangement, Dr. Dackow has pushed the boundaries of the type of writing that was considered the norm for young string orchestras into a completely new realm of color possibilities. There are a considerable number of divisi passages, as well as some concertmaster solos. The illusion of the full symphony orchestra is present to a surprising degree. Best suited to larger groups, this title is a blockbuster!

El Choclo

This Argentine tango has a romantic character that challenges the expressive capacity of any ensemble.

Cuidado con Quien Hablas (Be Careful Who You Talk to)

Tango! Students will love this imaginative work for string orchestra.

La Danza

Great for counting, this exciting mixed-meter piece for full orchestra has a Spanish flare. The middle tango section includes a solo string trio section (2 violins, cello), with an important marimba part.


Chabrier’s romantic interpretation of traditional Spanish music has been arranged for string orchestra. Features castanets and harp or piano.

Hoedown (Recercada Segunda)

Passamezzo Moderno, a favorite bass line of the 16th century, includes improvisation over a repeated bass line/chord structure. This edition consist of fiddling string crossings, and the use of melody in canon over the ground bass. Bass is optional.

El Niño Perdido

With a title meaning “The Lost Child”, this piece is performed with a soloist who begins off-stage, and get closer and closer with each entrance. Ending on-stage, it symbolizes that the child has been found. This mariachi standard gives low strings a chance to play the melody.

¡Nunca te Rindas!

On a recent trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico we learned of the incredible resilience of the native people of the region. The stories of colonization, slaughter, and assimilation were poignant reminders of the resilience of the Otomi people. ¡Nunca the Rindas! pays tribute to these remarkable people.

Solace: A Mexican Serenade

This grade 3 work is a fresh and exciting arrangement for strings. This instantly recognizable melody is sure to be a hit!

Spanish Dance No. 5 from Ten Spanish Dances

One of Granados’ most popular works, originally for piano, and more famously transcribed for several other instruments, including guitar. The Spanish Dance No. 5 is a study of contrasts: lyrical, expressive melodies over staccato accompaniments, dramatic changes in dynamics, and tempos which fluctuate from Allegro con brio to Andante. Careful attention to all of the details inherent in making these contrasts will help to infuse the music with its characteristic Spanish flair and bravura.

Tango from España

The Tango from “España” was initially written for piano by Isaac Albeniz. The composer was known for his conducting and his virtuoso piano playing. Graceful melodies, rich harmonies, and classic tango rhythms characterized this piece’s understated elegance. This elegance and quiet beauty can be enhanced by an unhurried tempo and expressive melodic playing. All parts can be played in first position except the first violin which has a high C.

Tango del Sol Brillante

Tango del Sol Brillante, or “Tango of the Bright Sun” is an exotic, engaging and playful dance with catchy melodies and a fun rhythmic pulse enhanced by percussion instruments. Its suave feel and instant appeal to the ear will transport you to Argentina and back.

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