Nueva Canción

Nueva canción ( ‘new song’) is a movement and genre within Latin American and Iberian folk music, folk-inspired music and socially committed music. Nueva canción is widely recognized to have played a powerful role in the social upheavals in Portugal, Spain and Latin America during the 1970s and 1980s. Nueva canción first surfaced during the 1960s as “The Chilean New Song” in Chile. The musical style emerged shortly afterwards in Spain and other areas of Latin America where it came to be known under similar names. Nueva canción renewed traditional Latin American folk music, and was soon associated with revolutionary movements, the Latin American New Left, Liberation Theology, hippie and human rights movements due to political lyrics. It would gain great popularity throughout Latin America, and left an imprint on several other genres like Ibero-American rock, Cumbia and Andean music. Nueva canción musicians often faced censorship, exile, forceful disappearances and even torture by right-wing military dictatorships, as in Francoist Spain, Pinochet’s Chile and in Videla and Galtieri’s Argentina. Due to nueva canción songs’ strongly political messages, some of them have been used in recent political campaigns, the Orange Revolution, which used Violeta Parra’s “Gracias a la Vida”. Nueva canción has become part of the Latin American and Iberian musical canon but is no longer a mainstream genre, and has given way to other genres, particularly Rock en español.