The Joropo Llanero has two main categories: pasaje and golpe. Each of these two are characterized as follows.
Pasaje: Without having any specific chord cycle, lyrics or melodies created by authors are more evaluated in pasaje pieces. Thus the pasaje is played relatively slower (160-200BPM). Its rhythm is “tres” (joropo in 3/4). Usually it possesses two melody sections and the structure of AABB. The lyrics have consistency in content and therefore each pasaje has a title.
In the following video, you can appreciate “Caballo Viejo” performed by the author Simón Díaz himself, needless to say, one of the best masterpieces of pasajes llaneros.
Golpe: Based on a specific chord cycle, each golpe are played repeated many times with importance on its improvisational character. Its velocity is very rapid (180-230BPM). Traditionally there are a variety of golpes as pattern and some consist of only four bars, others are quite long just as pasajes. It is played in tres and “seis”(joropo in 6/8). There are only three golpes in seis starting with “Pajarillo” called “the King of the Joropo” but these golpes are very important ones despite their very simple cycle. The singing of golpes is developed improvisationally by a “coplero”producing witty copla (four-line verse). Also known is the “contrapunteo”, a song battle where two or more singers fight each other improvising verses. Thus, each performance is called by the name of golpe and has no song title. Often several different golpes are put together in medley and such is called “entreverao”.
Some of the most representative golpes llaneros: pajarillo, seis por derecho, quirpa, periquera, zumba que zumba, carnaval and so on.
In the following video, Reynaldo Armas is singing a medley of golpes llaneros, that is, an entreverao, titled “El Cardenalito”. The golpes appearing after the introduction are in order: periquera, seis por derecho, carnaval, chipola, pajarillo y merecure.