Tenerife music: native legacy
When the ambitious Spanish conquest eventually made its way to the Canary Islands and took them as part of the ever-expanding Spanish empire, there were already indigenous communities inhabiting the islands. While these "Guanches" were - by European standards - quite primitive, they did have a developed culture which included religion, language and music. While very little remains of the indigenous forms of music and dance, there is evidence that they existed..
Tenerife music: traditional
Due to the combination of cultures playing into the Canary Island's colorful history, traditional Tenerife music - just like its food, society, sports, etc. - is a fusion of African, Latin American, European and indigenous Guanche music. The first step towards the traditional Tenerife's music we hear today was the Spanish conquest and subsequent colonization of the islands.
Tenerife music: folk
Tenerife - as well as its fellow archipelago members - has a popular and celebrated folk music scene. The city of La Orotava, for example, is famous for its folk groups and boasts hundreds of them! You can basically divide popular folk music, which you'll typically finding setting the atmosphere at traditional festivals and events, into two major groups.
Tenerife music: the timple
One of the most fundamental and representative elements to traditional Canarian folk music is the timple, or the Canarian guitar. Similar to a ukulele, the timple is like a miniature version of the guitar and strumming its four (or five) strings produces light, higher-pitched music.
Tenerife music: today
Tenerife may be out there in the Atlantic Ocean, but it has kept right up with major musical trends like jazz, rock and - these days - even hip hop. Jazz music first made its mark in the Canary Islands back in the 1940's with La Palma's Minerva jazz. The style simmered and enjoyed a certain popularity, but really came into its glory in the 1980's when South American jazz arrived in the islands and rapidly created a following.
Throwing in additional European and African, the Canary Islands produced first-rate artists - such as Polo Ortí, Kike Perdomo, Gato Gótico and Jazz Borondón - and a style of jazz known for stylistic innovation. Today, the annual Canary Islands Jazz Festival draws internationally renowned artists year after year and makes Tenerife and its fellow Canary Islands a veritable jazz nucleus.
Meanwhile, when rock 'n' roll hit England's music scene, the style almost immediately surged in Tenerife. From then on, it has followed world trends through epochs of psychedelic, disco, punk, heavy metal, pop and hip hop. Endless performers, singer / song-writers and bands have emerged since 1956's Los Diablos del Rock - the Canary Islands' first rock group - and the rock scene boasts year-round festivals throughout the islands.
Tenerife music: classical
On the more classical side, Tenerife's Symphony Orchestra is one of the best in the world and performs in Santa Cruz's incredible, ultra-modern Auditorio de Tenerife.
As far as music venues go, the jaw-dropping Auditorio de Tenerife, one of the islands most emblematic buildings, is the venue par excellence. Designed by famous architect Santiago Calatrava (he of Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences, Athens' Olympic Stadium and Barcelona's tele-communications tower), the brilliantly white, ultra-modern structure is perched upon Santa Cruz's coast and looks - quite appropriately - like a cresting wave. Not only is the Auditorio de Tenerife home to the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in Spain, but it also hosts a wide range of concerts, operas and other cultural activities.