"born in the valley"


Vallenato is a popular style of folk music from Colombia. It originated from farmers combining West African tradition and Spanish minstrels.

Examples of Dances to Vallenato Music

la gota fria vallenato latino
Baile Vallenato - Carolina Mestrovic e Iván Cabrera

Famous Vallenato Artists

Traditional Instruments


  • Son is played with heavy accentuation and cadence stressed on the low notes of the accordion on its left-hand side. It's normally mournful and slow


  • Paseo is thought to be an offshoot of the son. Its speed can vary and today is the most widely recorded air.


  • Puya's main difference from the merengue is the length of its lyrics. In the last 40 years, accordion players have begun to play it faster, and each of the three instruments used in vallenato has a solo. It is considered the oldest of the four "airs", with roots in an ancient Indian dance of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.


  • Merengue is often confused with a Dominican genre with the same name, probably brought by related African tribal groups. It has a more narrative style and was often used to play décimas, a 10-line format with internal rhymes brought by the Spanish in the 16th century.

The Four Rhythms

Carolyn O'Steen

Spanish II, Block 4 Even