The Similarities and Differences in Dance Music between Costa Rica and the United States By Taylor Anderson

This past week, there was a dance party sponsored by Club International welcoming new international students to Veritas.  Because I am a music education major, I have studied various genres of music from Baroque to Modern.  However I have not yet had the opportunity to study Latin American music.  At the party, I was expecting only salsa music to be played.  Instead, American pop music and popular music from Costa Rica and Latin American was being played by the DJ.  It even seemed that many Costa Rican students knew the American songs and the American students even knew some songs from Costa Rica.

The music that was being played at the party was very easy to dance and move to. I can be pretty uncoordinated at times and am not that great of a dancer, but I noticed that other students, including myself, found it much easier to dance to the Latin music than the American pop music. American pop music mainly focuses on very repetitive rhythms and beats with the same chord progression, which is usually a combination of I, IV, ii, and V chords. With Latin Music, there are more instruments being used to create a better dance feel, mainly with brass and percussion. In Latin Music it is more common for the meter to change periodically to throw a dancer off and to give a different feel to the music.Usually in the U.S. almost every popular dance song is set in 4/4 meter so that it is much easier to rock back and forth to while at a club or party.  Also, there are more specific dances in Latin American than in the U.S. and in my opinion they are much more interesting than ‘twerking.”  The music is what gives Latin America and other countries in that region life and as George Carlin once said, “Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.”

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Carlin, George. “Quotes About Music.” Good Reads. Google, n.d. Web. 15 July 2013.

By Taylor Anderson, Social Media Journalist

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