Being the Currulao or baile de marimba (marimba dance) the principal object of this work, I present this multimedia with some examples of different performers from the South West of Colombian Pacific Coast. This zone possesses a rich variety of rhythms and melodies. It is important to clarify that because of their secular nature, the currulao or baile de marimba can be involved in many different kinds of celebrations of daily events. Diverse genres are played in the baile de marimba and they are known among others as: bambuco or bambuco viejo, pango, patacoré, berejú, juga grande, juga corona bambara negra. According to Genaro Torres all of them are different. Nonetheless, one can see that some musicians, who live in the municipality of Guapi and its surrounding area, believe that many of these genres are similar and differ only in their lyrics (Birenbaum, et al., 2008). Also, Guillermo Rios Benites and Silvino Mina, who also live in Guapi, claim that pango, patacore and bereju are the same genre . On the other hand, the currulao or bambuco viejo as a genre has its main protagonist on the marimba de chonta like other genres as well. Its major traits are African and they can be found present in their drums and responsorial songs. The currulao can also be both sung and performed instrumentally. It can be found in a variety of religious and secular celebrations. The performance on the marimba de chonta in the currulao is composed by two principal parts: the bordón and the requinta. The bordón is an ostinato pattern played in the marimba lower register as a backbone for the whole song. It has several variations that are played in different moments of the song . The requinta is played in the middle and higher register of the instrument. It is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the currulao genre. Different patterns of the requinta played on the marimba de chonta could be included in each song, and these patterns are seen as the hallmark of each marimbero (performer) .

Instructions on how to use this multimedia:

You will find four main links which are:

⊚INTRODUCTION: Main purpose of this work.

⊚THE CURRULAO: Geographic position, Musical analysis, Instruments description and Musical description.

⊚PERFORMERS: There are twenty links for each marimba performer with support video and musical transcription.

⊚LEGAL: Copyrights.

Also, at the bottom of the multimedia window, there is a pop-up menu that you can use to navigate through the media.

About the Author

Carlos A. Arcila holds a Masters of Ethnomusicology at York University, in Toronto, Canada, in 2012; a Masters of Orchestra Conductor at Juan N. Corpas University in Bogotá, Colombia, in 2004; and a bachelors' of flute performance at the Conservatoire of Antonio María Valencia in Cali, Colombia, in 1999. His research focuses on oral tradition music from the South West Pacific Coast in Colombia. He started his research about this music in 1999. In 2001, Carlos won a National Award of Music Composition with the work “Homage to Left-Handed Julian for a Symphonic Band and Pacific Colombian Folk Group”, to honor his recently deceased friend that introduced him to the rich and beautiful oral tradition music of the Colombian Pacific coast. During his masters in orchestra conductor (2003-2004), he continued his research and collected data from the field. His master's thesis in Colombia “El Currulao” included a CD-ROOM. Then, Carlos MA Ethnomusicology thesis at York University involved the work presented in this webpage: “A Multimedia Stylistic Analysis of the Marimba de Chonta Performance Practice in Guapi, Cauca”.

In addition to research and composition, Carlos has a large trajectory as flute performer, teacher, as well as symphonic orchestra and wind band conductor. During 20 years, he played with the Symphonic Band of the Banda Departamental del Valle in Cali, Colombia and performed numerous seasons with the Symphonic Orchestra of Valle in Cali, Colombia. Besides, Carlos performed Latin Jazz music and other traditional music genres with different ensembles. He was conductor of the Symphonic Band and teacher at Juan N. Corpas University, in Bogotá, Colombia.

Carlos has been interested in sound arts during his long career as a musician. In Colombia, he developed his skills in music post-production working in several recording companies and later on in his own private audio-postproduction studio. In 2010, he obtained a Graduate Diploma in Audio Post-Production in Fanshawe College in London, Canada and has continued working as audio-postproduction specialist. Acquiring these skills has provided him with resourceful tools in his journey as researcher.

The links below provide some samples of Carlos A. Arcila's works:

Children from Buenaventura, Colombia.

Left to right; Jonathan Zamora, Antonio Mina, Doña Ninfa.

Left to right; Doña Julia, Antonio Mina, Doña Ninfa.

Silvino Mina.

Silvino mina and "pupil".

Left to right; Guillermo Rios Benitez, Carlos A. Arcila C.

Torres' house.

Francisco Torres and "Pupil".

Left to right; Francisco Torres, "Pupil" and Carlos A. Arcila C.


Left to right; Francisco Torres and Genaro Torres.