Plena – The Music of Puerto Rico

Plena is Puerto Rican folk music, the blues it tells of the pain and ironies in people’s lives and communities. It is rooted in African music and dance. It is compared to calypso music of Trinidad, porro of Colombia, and blues of United States.

It became popular in the 20th century with rural workers seeking musical expression. It swiftly became popular as an urban cultural expression.

Plena lyrics detail the news and political events in society as well as local gossip and scandal. Like rap, plena is as much about the lyrics as the rhythm. It incorporates call and response as in bomba and salsa. Plena is played in a fast pace as in reggae.

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