The Charango is a fascinating plucked string instrument that originated in Bolivia. However, its popularity has spread to neighboring countries such as Peru, Chile, and Argentina, especially in Andean folk music. What makes the charango so special is its versatility; it can be used for solo performances or as an accompaniment to other instruments in a song.
But did you know that the original charango was made with an armadillo’s armor? Unfortunately, this practice had to be banned by the government to protect these animals. Nowadays, charangos are crafted using regular wood.
The sound of the charango is high-pitched and distinctive, with a strumming pattern that can be challenging for guitar players to master. But don’t take our word for it – listen to Rafael Martinez, a talented charango player from Chile who recognizes and celebrates the instrument’s origins in Bolivia.
The charango is worth learning more about. The fact that it was originally crafted with an armadillo’s armor is a testament to the creativity and resourcefulness of its early makers. While this practice has since been banned, the charango continues to be an important part of Andean folk music and a symbol of cultural heritage in Bolivia and beyond. Its high-pitched and distinctive sound, along with its versatility as both a solo and accompanying instrument, make the charango truly one-of-a-kind. If you’re looking to expand your musical horizons, we highly recommend exploring the fascinating history and unique qualities of the charango.