Guatemala music is diverse and there are several types of music in Guatemala. Music is played everywhere in the country and the people have strong passion for it. There are art music, folk music, rock music, piano music, and other varieties of music in Guatemala.
Also called classical music, art music includes different styles of music such as post-modern music, 20th century music, romantic, classical, baroque, and renaissance music. The country was among the countries that got exposed to European style of music during the 16th century. Local musicians in the country started polyphonic composition in missionary schools at that earlier stage which later transformed into vespers and matins music. The earlier composers of the pre-classical and baroque period, Rafael Castellanos and Manuel de Quiros, were successful when they introduced the elements of the present day Guatemalan folk music. Among all the composers of these types of music in Guatemala, the most notable person is Jose Samayoa who was the first musician to write symphonies in the New World. On the other hand, Italian opera was first introduced to Guatemala by Anselmo and Saenz in 1843. The collaboration of these two brothers resulted to the erection of a huge national theater known as Teatro Colon. A lot of trends and musical developments came up towards the end of the 19th century: the creation and expansion of chromatic marimba, the rise of the military band music, and the emergence of lots of extremely talented pianists-composers. These types of music in Guatemala are still popular till date.
Later on, a lot of young talents were awarded scholarships to study piano music in France and Italy. This led to the emergence of several talents in piano music. Piano music is one of the types of music in Guatemala with a wide audience.
Several composers were further trained by the Prussian bandmaster and conductor, Emil Dressner, as they became popular through salon music and military bands. They include Fabian Rodriguez, Paniagua Martinez, Manuel Moraga, Rafael Alvarez, and German Alcantra.
In 1894, a landmark achievement in music was recorded in Quetzaltenango with the introduction of chromatic marimba. Julian Martinez was the creator of the music and it was possible to play salon and fashionable dance on the marimba. This was formally possible on the diatonic scale. The level of expertise and styles exhibited on this type of music impacted both the local bands and several other foreign bands during that period. Today, so many local and international bands have incorporated the old marimba style of music into their own music styles.
These types of music in Guatemala began towards late 19th century. A lot of musicians during this era developed keen interests in the Mayan mythology and by the beginning of the 20th century folk music had already taken center stage in Guatemala.
But the past few decades have seen the emergence of different types of music in Guatemala as well as different talented performers. Mariachi bands, trios, disk jockeys, reggaeton and hip hop crews, meringue bands, tropical salsa, big bands, heavy metal groups, Guatemala rock bands, and pop vocalist are some of the different types of music performers that are gracing then music industry in Guatemala.