The people of Venezuela boast of a history and culture that is rich in folk music. The national musical instrument of Venezuela is the “cuatro.” Ilanero is a typical Venezuelan music. It originated in the plains or ‘ilanos’ of the country and was made popular by many musical artists, including Juan Vicente Torrealba and Ignacio Figueredo. However, most of its popular music has been eclipsed by the music of its neighboring countries, especially Brazil, Trinidad, and Colombia. Merengue, salsa, and other imported styles are also quite popular in the country.
Simón Díaz and Reynaldo Armas are popular llanera folk singers from Venezuela. However, purists and the younger generation of Venezuelans are not very appreciative of this music. Neo-folklore is a form of music that takes traditional music and organizes it in an electronic style, to be played on electronic instruments.
Gaita is the name of another popular music of this country. It has its origin in the el Zulia region. It is played much fervor during the Christmas season and is even considered a national representation of the festivity.
There are several fusion artist groups such as Un Solo Pueblo, Huracán del Fuego, and Grupo Madera, who have combined Latin American music such as jazz, rumba, and salsa. Aldemaro Romero is a well-known creative Venezuelan composer of Caribbean jazz, Venezuelan waltzes, and other symphonic works. Vicente Emilio Sojo is renowned in the country and internationally for his contributions to Venezuelan musicology and music education.
Venezuelan calypso music, which has its own characteristic rhythms and lyrical style, has its roots in Trinidad. Argentinean rock groups have had a strong influence on Venezuelan rock. Cuban-American salsa music is also another variety of imported music that has achieved popularity. Rock music is also very popular. Several groups such as Desorden Público, Caramelos de Cianuro, and Los Amigos Invisibles have made their presence felt on the scene.