The musical offer of Buenos Aires is as large as it is diverse: all the genres and tastes are represented. The theaters ND Ateneo, Opera and Gran Rex offer different types of concerts and recitals performed by national and international artists. The large musical events take place in Luna Park or in the football stadiums. There are also a great number of cafés scattered around the city that offer musical spectacles.
In addition to tango, Argentine folk music is the other side of its identity. It describes the life of the provinces, each one of them having distinctive features, rhythms and musical instruments. In Buenos Aires there are many places where you can enjoy “Peñas” which feature the guitars, dances and regional food such as the typical menu of "empanadas" (esentially a stuffed pastry) and wine.
Rock and Roll is also popular, and a distinctive national style has developed, with some songs having a touch of traditional or folk music. This genre also convokes huge audiences of young people when the most famous musicians play. While Club Obras Santirias and the football stadiums host the large concerts, there is also a circuit of underground clubs and discos.
However, the most popular of all music styles is cumbia. Its origins lie in provincial music, but during the economic crisis of the past few years a new style has emerged from the “villas” (shantytowns) called “cumbia villera”. The groups that sing this music use strong street language and sing in places exclusively devoted to this music. The music itself is easy on the ears and is danced to in pairs, doing a simple shuffle step. This style is now enjoyed by the middle and upper classes in limited form, even though they first made fun of the style.
There is another musical style that has resurged strongly in the past years. It is called “murga” and is the style of percussion music distinctive of the countries that border the Rio de la Plata. It draws together men, women and children who dance explosively at the rhythm of percussion instruments. The songs express themes that deal with daily neighbourhood life and politics. They practice during the weekends in open spaces, but it is during the carnival season when they are at their height.