Nueva canción

Nueva Canción (Spanish for 'new song') is a movement in Latin American music that was developed first in the Southern Cone of South America - Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay - during the 1950s and 1960's, but also popularized shortly after in Central America. It combined traditional Latin American folk music idioms and some had popular rock music, with progressive and often politicized lyrics. It would gain great popularity throughout Latin America and sometimes called a precursor to rock en español.


"La Nueva Canción" also known as the "New Song Movement" or "Trova" is a type of protest/social song. Its lyrics characteristically talk about poverty, empowerment, the Unidad Popular, imperialism, democracy, human rights, and religion. There are some hundreds of songs with influences from British and American pop rock that was popular with college youths.

Nueva canción largely draws upon Andean music, Música negra, Spanish music, Cuban music and other Latin American folklore. The most important source for nueva canción, however, is Chilean cueca, a rural song-form.

The '73 Chilean coup impacted the genre's growth in Chile, the country where it was most popular, because the whole musical movement was forced to go underground. During the days of the coup, Victor Jara, a well known singer, songwriter and maybe the most popular figure of Nueva Canción, was tortured and killed by the new rightist military regime under General Augusto Pinochet. Other groups, such as Inti-Illimani and Quilapayún found safety outside the country. The military government under General Pinochet ruled until 1989 and went as far as to ban many traditional Andean instruments, in order to suppress the Nueva Canción movement. Following the deposition of Pinochet, the Estadio Chile in Santiago de Chile where Victor Jara was murdered bears his name.

Most songs feature the guitar, and often the quena, zampoña, charango or cajón. The lyrics are typically in Spanish, with some indigenous or local words mixed in.

While Chile has produced the largest number of Nueva Canción artists, its popularity has been great in almost all Spanish speaking Latin American countries, and it enjoyed some popularity in Spain during the 1970s.


Nueva Canción: Argentina

Nueva Canción: Brazil

Nueva Canción: Canary Islands

Nueva Canción: Chile

Nueva Canción: El Salvador

Nueva Canción: Guatemala

  • Alux Nahual
  • Canto General

Nueva Canción: Nicaragua

Nueva Canción: Paraguay

Nueva Canción: Puerto Rico

Nueva Canción: Uruguay

Nueva Canción: Venezuela

Nueva Trova: Cuba

Nueva Canción: Perú

Canto Nuevo: México

Nova Cançó: Catalunya

Nueva Canción: Los Angeles, California, United States

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