A BEAUTIFUL VOYAGE INTO THE SOUNDS OF BARCELONA
Do you love music as much as we do? If so, welcome to our musical route, a journey into the sounds of Barcelona.
Music has always been part and parcel of this city’s lifestyle. Experience Barcelona through its music with your ears and your eyes wide open!
A melting pot of musical cultures
Barcelona is a melting pot of musical cultures owing to its geographical position as a port city in the northeast of modern Spain.
This city has always been a gateway to music from Europe, the Mediterranean, and even the Caribbean.
A very rich musical heritage
Barcelona is internationally renowned on the music scene for its opera house, known as the Teatre del Liceu, on the Ramblas.
Not far from it, in the Sant Pere quarter is the Palau de la Música concert hall, a spectacular UNESCO listed Modernista or Catalan Art Nouveau building.
However, it’s not all classical and opera; Barcelona has long been home to all sorts of music, from the most refined classical compositions to the catchy popular tunes played in the streets.
Classical music and popular music as equals
In order to better understand the local approach, just have a look at the statuary that adorns the main entrance to the Palau de la Música. It’s a visual manifesto of musical philosophy.
There, the busts of the four great composers Palestrina, Bach, Beethoven and Wagner preside like protective spirits of this temple of music.
Just below at the corner of the building, you can’t miss a huge modernista sculpture, an allegory of Catalan popular music.
To us it’s reminiscent of a figurehead on the prow of a ship. Popular music leads the way and guides us through the past and to the present of Barcelona!
The Catalan Rumba
If there’s a local genre that immediately pops into our minds, it’s definitely the rumba catalana, or the Catalan Rumba. For us it’s the joy of life, distilled into street music.
The beating heart of the rumba world
We inevitably associate the uplifting tunes of the rumba with the lively streets and squares of the Gràcia neighborhood of Barcelona.
We see Gràcia’s plaça del Raspall and its environs as the beating heart of the rumba world.
A distinctive sound
The local gitano or gypsy community, long established in Barcelona, has developed an energetic style to suit the city.
The rumba catalana came to life in the 1960s between Gràcia, the Raval and Hostafrancs neighborhoods.
This genre, though owing much to Afro-Cuban rhythms, flamenco and even rock ‘n’ roll, has its own very distinctive sound and a characteristic guitar strumming technique called el ventilador.
Legends of the rumba catalana
Great patriarchs of the rumba such as Peret, Gato Pérez and el Pescadilla were born in or lived and composed their music in the city.
This genre never stopped evolving with new generations of artists like los Manolos in the 1980s and Ojos de Brujo in the late 1990s.
Today, the rumba scene is very much alive and kicking and remains a source of inspiration for many Catalan bands.
Local groups like Estopa and the rumba and ska group La Pegatina have been fusing rumba with pop sounds for many years, and to great effect!
Want to dance, sing, play or just watch a music show in Barcelona?
Do you fancy a tour of the past and present of music in Barcelona? Do you want to dance, sing, play or just watch a music show?
Just ask us. We’ll be very happy to assist you!