Rock català

Rock català (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈrɔk kətəˈla], "Catalan Rock") is a type of music popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s involving Catalan lyrics and many different musical styles.

The last years of Spain under Franco were shattered by a generation of singers that claimed and called for democracy. In this context, La Nova Cançó is the protest song musical and political movement of artists singing in Catalan, like Lluís Llach, Raimon or Ovidi Montllor. In the late 1960s and during the 1970s, the Nova Cançó movement introduced lyrics in Catalan in contemporary music in order to reach wider audiences (until then, this language was only used in folk songs); then, by the 1980s and the return to democracy in Spain, their popularity was waning.

Then, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Generalitat de Catalunya, in the absence of a wide enough demand, offered grants for rock bands singing in Catalan. This made possible the formation of several bands singing in Catalan and, with them, the introduction of the then innovative concept of a rock music scene in Catalan.

The musical styles are diverse within the movement, being sole relation between these bands the use of the Catalan language in their lyrics.

Some representative bands of this movement include:

External links

Carles Sabater

Carles Sabater i Hernández (September 21, 1962 – February 13, 1999) was a Catalan singer and actor. Alongside an acting career in theatre, television and film, Sabater formed the group Sau with guitarist Pep Sala. Sau became the first rock band singing in Catalan to achieve major commercial success and were one of the key groups of the rock català movement.

Catalan myths and legends

Catalan myths and legends are the traditional myths and legends of the Catalan-speaking world, especially Catalonia itself, passed down for generations as part of that region's popular culture.

Catalan rumba

The Catalan rumba (Catalan: rumba catalana, IPA: [ˈrumbə kətəˈlanə]) is a genre of music that developed in Barcelona's Romani community beginning in the 1950s. Its rhythms are derived from the Andalusian flamenco rumba, with influences from Cuban music and rock and roll.

The Catalan rumba originated in the Catalan Romani communities in the Gràcia, carrer (street) de la Cera del Raval and Hostafrancs neighborhoods. The Romani community in those neighborhoods is long-established and bilingual in Catalan and Spanish.

The genre is based in a fusion of flamenco singing and the Afro-Cuban claves. It is in 44 time, and consists of vocalists and handclaps, accompanied by guitar, bongos, and güiro; later groups also incorporate timbales, conga drums, small percussion instruments, piano, wind instruments, electric bass, and electric keyboard.

Among the most important early artists in the genre were Antonio González "El Pescaílla", Peret, Josep Maria Valentí "El Chacho", followed by the duo Los Amaya. In the 1970s, Gato Pérez rejuvenated the Catalan rumba. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Gipsy Kings and Los Manolos brought their spirit to Catalan rumba. Recently, popular groups in the genre have included Gitano Family, Ai, ai, ai, Sabor de Gràcia, Estopa, El Chinchilla, Melendi, Muchachito Bombo Infierno, Gertrudis, and La Troba Kung Fú. Most recently the genre has been adopted by Brazilian singer Flávia Coelho.[1]

Central Catalan

Central Catalan (Catalan: català central; pronounced [kətəˈla sənˈtɾal]) is the Eastern Catalan dialect with the highest number of speakers, since it is commonly spoken in densely populated areas such as the whole Barcelona province, the eastern half of Tarragona province and most of the Girona province, except for it is northern part, where a transition to Northern Catalan begins.

This variety (when free of localisms from Barcelona, Tarragona or Girona) is perceived by most Catalans as the standard form in Catalonia. As such, it is the variety used in most written and audiovisual media, as well as in learning materials.


Correfocs (Catalan pronunciation: [ˌkorəˈfɔks]); literally in English "fire-runs") are among the most striking features present in Catalan festivals. In the correfoc, a group of individuals will dress as devils and light fireworks – fixed on devil's pitchforks or strung above the route. Dancing to the sound of a rhythmic drum group, they set off their fireworks among crowds of spectators. The spectators that participate dress to protect themselves against small burns and attempt to get as close as possible to the devils, running with the fire. Other spectators will watch from "safe" distances, rapidly retreating as necessary.

The correfoc can come in many forms. Some are simple parades using fireworks and effigies of the devil. In Sitges, it is common for a crowd to line a street, while participants run through a tunnel of fireworks. Correfocs are run during the Festival of La Mercè in Barcelona and Festival of Santa Tecla in Tarragona and the Festival of Saint Narcissus in Girona.

Another typical Catalan folkloric expression of this sort takes place in L'Arboç. The highlight of the village's feast is the Carretillada. In the evening of the feast day, the town square is made to look like Hell. For nearly half an hour, "devils" burn their carretilles (carts), jumping around ceaselessly, while a large "sceptre of Lucifer" and the "pitchfork of the Diablessa (she-devil)" shoot fire-jets and other pyrotechnics. Every year, the carretillada is a bit different, because the 'colla' (group) does not give up novelties that are added each year to add to the spectacle.


The Correllengua (Eastern Catalan: [korəˈʎeŋɡwə]) is a campaign that is held annually in the Catalan Countries. Created in 1993 by cultural Catalan association Coordinadora d'Associacions per la Llengua Catalana (CAL), it has the aim of promoting the use of Catalan language. Inspired by the Basque Korrika, the Correllengua is a series of celebrations, street dances, cultural acts and fanfare of all kinds (such as Correfoc) in order to spread the Catalan language.

Els Pets

Els Pets is a Catalan pop rock band with lead singer, composer and guitarist Lluís Gavaldà from the village of Constantí (province of Tarragona, Catalonia). Joan Reig plays drums and Falin Cáceres bass. At present, the band has the collaboration of the musicians Joan-Pau Chaves (keyboard, bass and singer), David Muñoz (guitar, singer) and Brad Jones (bass, guitar, keyboard, singer). In Catalan, Els Pets means "The Farts".

Fundació Ramon Llull

The Fundació Ramon Llull (Catalan pronunciation: [fundəsiˈo rəˈmoɲ ˈʎuʎ], English: "Ramon Llull Foundation"), also known by the acronym FRL, is an international organization constituted in 2008 in order to promote Catalan language and culture internationally. Its members are the following institutions from countries and regions where Catalan language is spoken: the Government of Andorra, the Ramon Llull Institute (through which the governments of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands participate), the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales, the city council of Alghero and the Network of Valencian Cities.The foundation is named after Ramon Llull, a medieval writer and philosopher from the Balearic Islands, who is considered the first notable writer in the Catalan language and contributed substantially to its development.

Gerard Quintana

Gerard Quintana Rodeja (Catalan pronunciation: [ʒəˈɾaɾt kinˈtanə]; born 27 November 1964 in Girona, Catalonia) is a Catalan singer, songwriter, poet, writer, actor, and radio and TV personality. He first came to prominence in 1986-2001 as the lead singer of the rock band Sopa de Cabra. Sopa de Cabra was one of the leading bands of the rock català genre. Since the dissolution of the band in 2001, he has pursued a very successful solo career. As a singer/songwriter independent of his extensive input into the original musical repertoire of Sopa de Cabra, he completed 5 well-received albums between 2003 and 2010, together with 3 in collaboration with Jordi Batiste, and a recent album (2014) with Xarim Aresté. His solo work from 2003-10 reveals a personal and intimate style which is not easily classified, but may, perhaps, be characterised as poetry and music about the human condition. He also writes and publishes poetry, and has written regularly as a journalist for online Catalan newspapers and journals. He has published two books and appeared in the film Diogenes, the dog.During the temporary reunion of Sopa de Cabra in 2011 to celebrate 25 years since the band's formation and ten since its final appearances, Quintana reverted to his original rock-star style of singing and performance, and his most recent work (2013-4), in collaboration with Xarim Aresté and a new supporting line-up, continues that approach.

Quintana is a very articulate and charismatic speaker, and has become a well-known figure in Catalan culture quite apart from his musicianship. In recent years he has expressed his personal political and ideological views, including his support for Catalan independence.

History of Andorra

Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra (Catalan: Principat de les Valls d'Andorra), is a sovereign landlocked microstate in Southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France.

Institut Ramon Llull

The Institut Ramon Llull (IRL) (Catalan pronunciation: [instiˈtud rəˈmoɲ ˈʎuʎ], English: "Ramon Llull Institute") is a Catalan organization constituted in 2002 in order to "promote Catalan language and culture internationally". Created in 2002, it is a consortium based in Barcelona that -in 2018- comprises the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia), Balearic Islands Government and the Barcelona City Council, and its mission is the promotion of Catalan language and culture abroad. Its Director since September 2018 is Iolanda Batallé.The institute constitutes the Ramon Llull Foundation (FRL) together with other political institutions from the Països Catalans.Both the institute and the foundation are named after Ramon Llull, a Majorcan medieval writer and philosopher, who is considered the first notable writer in Catalan language.

Music of Catalonia

The music of Catalonia comprises one of the oldest documented musical traditions in Europe. In tandem with the rest of Western Europe, it has a long musical tradition, incorporating a number of different styles and genres over the past two thousand years..

Northern Catalan

Northern Catalan (Catalan: català septentrional, pronounced [kətəˈla səptəntɾiuˈnal], also known as rossellonès) is a Catalan dialect mostly spoken in Northern Catalonia, but also extending in the northeast part of Southern Catalonia in a transition zone with Central Catalan.

Like other Eastern Catalan dialects, unstressed /a/ and /e/ are realized as schwa [ə], and [u] substitutes unstressed /o/. It is has only five stressed vowel, the smallest number of any Catalan dialect: /i e a o u/.

There are some instances of historic stressed /o/ that has changed to /u/: canigó > canigú.

As in Balearic dialect, final a is not pronounced in words ending with ia if the stress is before the penultimate syllable.

Some subdialects keep the singular masculine definite article lo, as in North-Western Catalan and many varieties of Occitan.

Northern Catalan has a large body of words imported from French and Occitan. It also features some grammatical forms and structures that are typical of Occitan, such as the use of a lone post-verbal pas, rather than a lone preverbal no to express basic negation (Northern Catalan canti pas vs. Central Catalan no canto, 'I don't sing' or 'I'm not singing'); pas is also used in some other Catalan dialects for emphasis but always with no before the verb (Central Catalan no canto pas, 'I do not sing' or 'I am not singing').

Nova Cançó

The Nova Cançó (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈnɔβə kənˈso], meaning in English "The New Song") was an artistic movement that promoted Catalan music in Francoist Spain. The movement sought to normalize use of the Catalan language in popular music and denounced the injustices in Francoist Spain. The Grup de Folk, which emerged in the same period, also promoted a new form of popular music in Catalan, drawing inspiration from contemporary American and British music.

It is the Nueva Canción music genre but played in Catalan language.

Nueva canción

Nueva canción (European Spanish: [ˈnweβa kanˈθjon], American Spanish: [ˈnweβa kanˈsjon]; 'new song') is a social movement and musical genre in Iberian America and the Iberian peninsula, characterized by folk-inspired styles and socially committed lyrics. Nueva canción is widely recognized to have played a profound role in the social upheavals in Portugal, Spain and Latin America during the 1970s and 1980s.

Nueva canción surfaced almost simultaneously during the 1960s in Argentina, Chile and Spain. The musical style emerged shortly afterwards in other areas of Latin America where it came to be known under similar names. Nueva canción renewed traditional Latin American folk music, and was soon associated with revolutionary movements, the Latin American New Left, Liberation Theology, hippie and human rights movements due to political lyrics. It would gain great popularity throughout Latin America, and left an imprint on several other genres like Ibero-American rock, Cumbia and Andean music.

Nueva canción musicians often faced censorship, exile, forceful disappearances and even torture by the wave of right-wing military dictatorships that swept across Iberian America and the Iberian peninsula in the Cold War era, e.g. in Francoist Spain, Pinochet's Chile, Salazar's Portugal and Videla and Galtieri's Argentina.

Due to nueva canción songs' strongly political messages, some of them have been used in later political campaigns, the Orange Revolution, which used Violeta Parra's "Gracias a la Vida". Nueva canción has become part of the Latin American and Iberian musical canon but is no longer a mainstream genre, and has given way to other genres, particularly Rock en español.

Pep Sala

Pep Sala (born 17 July 1960) is a Catalan musician, songwriter and record producer. With singer Carles Sabater, Sala formed the rock català group Sau, which achieved great popularity in the 1990s. He has performed and recorded with other musical groups including La Banda del Bar and since 1999 has pursued a solo career.

In the 2011, with the English singer Jack Lucien he wrote the song Be With You. [1].


The Renaixença (Catalan pronunciation: [rənəˈʃɛnsə]; also written Renaixensa before spelling standardisation), or Catalan Renaissance, was an early 19th-century romantic revivalist movement in Catalan language and culture, akin to the Galician Rexurdimento or the Occitan Félibrige movements. The movement dates to the 1830s and 1840s, but lasted into the 1880s, when it branched out into other cultural movements. Even though it primarily followed a romantic impulse, it incorporated stylistic and philosophical elements of other 19th century movements such as Naturalism or Symbolism. The name does not indicate a particular style, but rather the cultural circumstances in which it bloomed.

Sau (band)

Sau was a music group from Catalonia, which rose to fame in this area in the 1990s, being among the first groups to write pop music with Catalan lyrics, known as rock català. The band's two main members were Carles Sabater, singer, and Pep Sala, who played guitar and sometimes keyboard. Sabater's death following a concert in 1999 ended the band's existence.

Pep Sala was the composer whilst lyrics where written together with Carles Sabater. No puc deixar de fumar (I cannot stop smoking) was their first album. Edited in 1988 by "Audiovisuals de Sarrià", the album contained the hits "Records d'Irlanda" ("memories of Ireland") and the song "Deprimit" ("Depressed") which would have an appearance on each subsequent album.

Two years later, the album What a night, recorded between London and Barcelona confirmed the status of the group. That disc included Sau's most recognisable singles "Boig per tu" ("Crazy for You") and "El Tren de Mitjanit" ("Midnight Train").

Sau participated in the historic concert on Palau Sant Jordi on June 14, 1991 together with Els Pets, Sopa de Cabra and Sangtraït, at the time, the European record for public attendance at a musical show held in a closed arena with 22,104 attending. Another of their most memorable concerts was held in the bullring La Monumental on July 1992 which was recorded for the album Concert de mitjanit (Midnight Concert)

Sopa de Cabra

Sopa de Cabra ('Goat Soup') was a musical group from Girona (Catalonia), active from 1986 to 2002. They are considered to be one of the leading representatives of the rock català movement, though the band preferred not to be placed in the same category as other Catalan-language groups, some of whom had very different musical styles, simply on the basis of singing in Catalan. Sopa de Cabra's classic songs include L'Empordà, Camins ("Paths") and El Far del Sud ("The Southern Lighthouse").

In September 2011, the band reunited temporarily to mark the 25th anniversary of their formation and the tenth of their final performances with a tour of seven concerts.

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