Riu, Riu, Chiu

This is a South American folkloric arrangement of a 16th Century Spanish villancico by that prolific composer, Anonymous. The villancico is verse, set to popular dance rhythms, depicting pastoral Nativity scenes with a country flavor ... animals and shepherds and so on. This is a vocal piece, with a soloist and chorus; but this being MIDI, the arrangement is necessarily instrumental.

I arranged this MIDI sequence as the tune would be played in the Andes of South America, in a Quechua style. The soloist part is taken by a tarka -- a large wooden flute. The chorus is a pair of kenas -- whistle-flutes, sort of like a recorder, but made of clay or bone. These are accompanied by a charango -- a mandolin-like instrument with steel strings and a sound-box made of armadillo shell, a Spanish guitar, and percussion.

Since there are no General MIDI patches for these folk instruments, I resorted to close approximations of their sound. For the tarka, I used the "bottle-blow" patch, and the kenas use "ocarina" patches. The charango has 5 double-course strings tuned [g'g' c"c" e'e" a'a' e"e"]; for this I used 3 channels of the "acoustic guitar - steel string" patches to handle all the unisons.

This sequence uses an expanded pitch bend range, so be sure to hit that "RESET" button if you don't play it all the way through.

click for MIDI reset