Musiké Magazine- VOL. 8 – The Puerto Rican: an Afro-Caribbean genre from the 17th century

The Puerto Rican: a 17th century Afro-Caribbean genre

Agustín Muñoz Ríos


In the present work the evidence of a musical genre existing during the baroque period in the Spanish empire, called Puerto Rico, Puerto Rican either portorrico. This name described an Afrodiasporic dance music, present in different contexts in several American cities in the 17th century. There are mentions that allude to the popularity of the dance, in addition to texts to be sung and written music, ranging from 1598 to 1677, coming from the viceroyalties of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru.

In the following pages I will make a critical review of the available material on Puerto Rican, with the intention of answering the following questions: How was it defined, and what were its constituent elements? Was it related to the music that was made in Puerto Rico, or was it a fortuitous nomenclature, baptizing a genre with the name of a distant and exotic place? What relationship does it have with the musical world of the viceroyalties, and Western music in general? Has it influenced the development of later music in our country, or does it at least reflect a state of development prior to what is known?


Puerto Rico, Sor Juana, Christmas carol, cítola, Saldívar Codex

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