CumbiaIn the 1990s, cumbia first found a place among the lower classes, who attended large dancing locals called bailantas, often to listen and watch live concerts by cumbia groups. Some bands, most notably Ráfaga, chose a glamorous style with theatrically-presented messages about romantic love and sensuality, hope and despair. Others took to more explicit themes, such as sex, alcohol abuse and the cumbia subculture itself, often in a very light, irreverent style, sometimes intentionally humorous.
The rhythm and themes of cumbia then spread to the whole of society, as its romantic and humorous manifestations were adopted to lighten up parties and other social events.
Around the beginning of the 2000s, probably influenced by the Argentine economic crisis, romantic cumbia drifted slowly away from the spotlight, while the rest of the bands slowly gave way to the much more aggressive cumbia villera ("shantytown cumbia") -with lyrics that explored the themes of crime and drug abuse-, which was from the start mostly restricted to the urban lower classes.
Over 60 years of history, cumbia in Argentina was heavily influenced by other Argentinian folkloric kinds of music, like chamamé, guaracha, and cuarteto. Cumbia songs tell stories about love and experiences of common people. Cumbia in Argentina also has different styles depending on the country region, like norteña, santafesina, cordobesa, sonidera, and other more recent styles like cumbia-rap and cumbia villera. In the present, cumbia bands play electric guitars, bass guitars, electronic percussion and synthesizers, all common instruments of rock bands, and there are also other instruments like bongos, trumpets, accordions, etc... The clothing is also a very important characteristic of cumbia bands. Each bands has its own way of dressing, usually all members of the band wear the same special costume or exclusive clothes.
Cumbia is taught by:
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