For Uruguay, music has a fundamental role in the daily life of its inhabitants. This is demonstrated by the innumerable centers of musical education that exist in the country, the notable variety of its events and the high participation registered by the music guilds. These data mark the musical imprint of a country that has in candombe, murga, tango and folcklore its most identitarian genres, along with Uruguayan popular music that emerged in the 60s and had its peak in the 80s.
The experimental vocation that identifies Uruguay and is manifested in all aspects of society throughout its history, is also reflected in the music through the fusion of their identity styles with other international genres such as rock, electronic, or hip hop. Uruguayan music has a richness and diversity of styles that is extraordinary in relation to the demography of the country and reflects the values of a receptive and culturally restless population. At a regional level it is recognized for the poetics and depth of its lyrics as well as for the singularity and quality of its compositions.
The Carnival of Uruguay, which with an extension of 45 days is the longest in the world, represents a regional musical phenomenon with its typical murgas and the classic Llamadas de Negros and Lubolos that pay homage to the African roots so present in the country's music.
Uruguay also has an effervescent jazz scene. Its outdoor festivals, mainly in the summer months, have become classics for the genre.
Argentina leads the list of countries that consume more Uruguayan music abroad followed by Chile, Germany, Spain, Mexico and Peru.
Outstanding cases at an international level:
- The Cumparsita with lyrics and music by Uruguayan Gerardo Matos Rodríguez, is the most widespread tango worldwide and has more than 2,500 recorded versions. From the Law Nº 16.905 approved in 1998 by the Uruguayan Legislative Power it became the Popular and Cultural Anthem of Uruguay.
- Jorge Drexler is the first Uruguayan artist to receive an Oscar (2005) for the song "Al otro lado del río" from the film Diarios de Motocicleta. This was, on the other hand, the first song in Spanish to win this award.
- Uruguayan Rock represented by bands such as NTVG, La Vela Puerca and El Cuarteto de Nos, has positioned itself in the international market from notorious hits in Argentina that were extended to other countries in the region to reach the European continent.
- Since 2015, Cumbia pop has become a great international phenomenon thanks to the rise of the great musical platforms. Bands like Rombai, Márama, Toco para vos, Dame 5 and Mano arriba exceed 2,000 million visits with the sum of their singles.
- In the video game industry, the Uruguayan band Santé les Amis's single "Brasil" was added to the soundtrack of EA Sports' legendary FIFA saga in 2015.
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