Heitor Villa-Lobos On Latin American Culture

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Nationalism and The Impact of Heitor Villa-Lobos on Latin American Culture
Undoubtedly, music is one of the most powerful forms of expression human beings have at their disposal. While composers and musicians often use music to communicate emotions, thoughts and feelings, music can also reflect the traditions, history and beliefs of a culture. Historically, some composers have used music to protest the actions of their country, but many nationalist composers have used music to reflect pride in their country. Music and folk songs are a large part of every culture’s identity. During the twentieth century, Heitor Villa-Lobos impacted the cultural identity of Brazil through the creation of compositions that reflect his upbringing and cultural heritage. Not only were his works considered historic moments in the establishment of a truly Latin American identity, his compositions also blazed a new path for a new generation of innovative Latin American artists. The music of Heitor Villa-Lobos reflects the history of his culture and his identity as an individual. Villa-Lobos respected his heritage and culture while continuing innovate and inspire his peers. The works of Heitor Villa-Lobos are an integral part of Latin American culture, yet he is often overlooked in the repertoire of Western classical music. This composer used his heritage, background and individuality to create classical music that reflects his experiences and the society in which he lived. Villa-Lobos captured the spirit of the nineteenth century nationalist movement and transcended the established rules and expectations of Western classical music in order to create music that was a true expression of his identity and culture.
Heitor Villa-Lobos is a monumental figure in B...

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...the global popularity of groups such as Calle 13 and The Buena Vista Social Club reflects the globalization of the world and the increasing level of acceptance of Latin American culture in the United States. In order to continue to push the world of Latin American art music forward, modern musicians and composers must learn from composers like Villa-Lobos in order to create music that reflects their own culture, identity and experiences. Just like Villa-Lobos, a new generation of composers may need to fight against today’s musical traditions in order to impact the world of art music with new and original Latin American voices. For the Latin American people, Heitor Villa-Lobos was an authentic expression of the Hispanic condition. He composed works that everyone in the world can celebrate because they were true expressions of Latin American culture and individuality.
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