Taino Music & Musical Instruments

Music played a very significant role in the everyday life and also in daily rituals. The Taíno used the music to recall and to recount their history, for celebrations and special events, and to communicate with their spiritual guides, their zemís to cure illnesses, for protection against them and endeavor storms from Mother Nature.

Tainos also used their music to have rain when they needed good crops, to hunt, and to fish. In fact, their music had such a large importance that one of the most valuable gifts that a Taíno could offer to another was a song.

We can only guess on the form of the music of the Taíno because the Spanish columnists did not leave many details. We do know however that the music of the natives of the Tainos in general is typically very simple and monophonic; that means that contains a single line, that descends in its tone.

Generally there was not much harmony in the music of the natives Tainos although often there are songs among a leader or soloist and a chorus which means that the chorus sings in the same melodic line. Apparently that was the case among the Taíno, because the Spanish columnists wrote that they had leaders who sung with a repeating chorus.

shopify visitor statistics