Sounds of Spain: Music That Shaped Spanish Culture

Published : 03/26/2018 15:35:11
Categories : Eatapas News

spanish guitar

Music is a key part of Spanish culture.

It’s at the heart of every fiesta, every celebration and every dinner party. So, we thought we’d take a closer look!

Here’s a bit more about the music that shaped Spanish culture.

Historical Spanish Music

Spanish music has a variety of inspirations and a diverse history, so it’s unsurprising that it has played such a huge role in the country’s culture.

Here’s a closer look at some traditional sounds of Spain. Many of these old traditions can be still be seen today, influencing modern music.

Acoustic Guitar

When you think of Spanish music, an image of the acoustic guitar often springs to mind. In Spain, the instrument is seen as a genre in its own right!

In fact, the form of the modern acoustic guitar was invented by Spanish guitar maker Antonio Torres around 1850.

We’re pretty proud of this claim to fame!

The Cobla

The Cobla is an ensemble of music from Spain and Catalonia, drawing on inspiration from both cultures. From trumpets to flutes, it incorporates a variety of instruments.

It traditionally accompanies the dance known as the Sardana, a traditional Catalan folk dance.


Zarzuela is a form of opera that also combines drama and comedy.

It first began as a type of entertainment for the king of Spain in the 17th century, and quickly evolved as it gained popularity. The music genre became so popular that the Palacio de la Zarzuela (a theatre dedicated to the artform) opened in its honour!

It’s now seen as one of the first forms of musical comedy, incorporating many different elements.

The Jota

The Jota is a Spanish dance and genre of music. The two go hand in hand!

The Jota differs region by region. But, many key ingredients still remain the same.

It’s a blend of different instruments, from the castanets to the tambourine. These all work together to create the energetic and upbeat sound that the Jota is famous for!


We’ve all heard of the infamous Flamenco dance. But, it’s more than just a dance. The music behind the dance is equally important!

Flamenco is rooted in history, when gypsies, Jews and Moors fled the enforcement of a Christian way of life. The inspiration for the music was drawn from all these different cultures.

Seductive, mysterious and energetic – Flamenco captivates audiences all around the world.

In fact, without the music, Flamenco would lose its key element: Duende. Duende is a feeling of foreboding that gives Flamenco its intensity. It’s said to possess singers as they perform the song!

Spanish Festivals – Buzzing Fiestas

In the modern day, Spain’s love for music hasn’t died down. In fact, quite the opposite has happened.

As the Spanish relish any chance to celebrate, Spain is famous for its love of fiestas and festivals. So, many festivals take place all over the country every year!

Despite the fun and infectious atmosphere, Spanish festivals are often rooted in history, showing how in Spain – music and culture go hand in hand.

Tamborrada Festival

The Tamborrada festival is known for being loud. In fact, it’s possibly the loudest festival in Spain!

Every year on the 20th January, come rain or shine, people come together to take part in the festivities, which largely centre around drumming.

But, despite its fun and infectious atmosphere, this festival is steeped in history. The celebration goes back several hundred years, when French took over San Sebastian and destroyed much of the city. It’s said French troops would walk around the city, banging on their drums.

In defiance of this, Spanish women would mock the French by banging on their buckets. With that, the festival was born and remains popular to this day!

Sitges Carnival

Sitges Carnival is the ultimate celebration of music! Complete with parades and an infectious atmosphere, people come from far and near to enjoy the festivities.

It’s a non-stop party that commemorates the last week leading up to Ash Wednesday. Adults and children alike come together to celebrate food, community and music!

Jazz Festivals

Jazz is hugely popular in Spain, so much so that jazz festivals are held all over the country in summer.

For example, San Sebastian is where many festival-goers head to every year to share their love of the genre.  

The beauty of Spanish festivals is that they’re so varied. Even with the abundance of jazz festivals, each one makes its own individual mark!

Our Favourite Spanish Songs

We’re here to share our love of Spanish music with others! So, what better way to celebrate than with a playlist solely dedicated to Spanish songs?

When listening to these songs, the influences of historical Spanish music can still be seen.

Whether you’re hosting a fabulous fiesta or a dinner party, this playlist has something for you!

• A quien le importa - Alaska
• Chica ye ye - Ole Ole
• Subeme la Radio - Enrique Iglesias
• Quiero tener tu Presencia - Seguridad Social
• Mucho Mejor (Hace Calor) - Los Rodriguez
• Amante Bandido - Miguel Bose
• All my Loving - Los Manolos
• Sabor de Amor - Danza Invisible
• Sarandonga - Lolita
• Me duele la cara de ser tan guapo - Los Inhumanos
• Corazón Contento – Marisol
• Ocupen su localidad - Joaquin Sabina y Viceversa
• No estamos locos - Ketama
• Baliando – Enrique Iglesias
• La Tortura - Shakira, Alejandro Sanz
• Duele el Corazón - Enrique Iglesias
• 19 Dias y 500 Noches - Joaquin Sabina
• Colgando en tus Manos – Carlos Baute and Marta Sánchez
• Amigos para siempre - Los Manolos
• Mi gran Noche - Raphael
• Cadillac solitario - Loquillo y los Trogloditas
• Bailaré sobre tu tumba - Siniestro Total
• La Macarena - Los del Rio

We’ll be streaming this playlist through the BlueJay app, so be on the lookout for announcements of this. If there’s any songs we’ve missed out, be sure to let us know on Twitter!

Music is one slice of Spanish culture, food is another! At Eatapas, we’re passionate about bringing an authentic taste of Spain to your dinner table. If you’re hungry for some delicious artisan products, browse our range of Spanish food here.




Share this content