Latin Sebastian
January 03, 2023

Ted Gioia: Did Bach draw on Native American musical traditions?

"There’s a long history of feared or conquered foreigners as musical innovators. But their new musical styles are initially attacked and suppressed, although they eventually enter the mainstream. This seems to be the case with the Aztec zarabanda... The chaconne, too, probably originated in Latin America before showing up in Spain in the late sixteenth century. Early source documents describe the dance as Peruvian, although some believe it came from the Caribbean coast areas of Mexico. As with the zarabanda, the chacona was viewed as sexy and disreputable" - music writer Ted Gioia goes back centuries looking for the roots of chaconne and sarabande, now examples of European classical music popularized by Bach.