Pasillo (English: little step) is a South American genre of music extremely popular in the territories that composed the 19th century Viceroyalty of New Granada and the Gran Colombia: Colombia; and especially Ecuador, where it is considered the national musical style; and to a lesser extent in the mountainous regions of Venezuela and Panamá. Venezuelans refer to this style of music as: "vals" (Spanish for "Waltz").
Today, it has incorporated more European features of classical dance, such as Viennese waltz in Colombia and features of sanjuanito and yaraví in Ecuador. As it spread during the Gran Colombia period, pasillo also absorbed the individual characteristics of isolated villages. This gives it an eclectic feel; however, the style, tone, and tempo of the music differ in each village, and indeed between each country.
Invented in the 19th century, pasillo became closely associated with the Colombian War of Independence, the Ecuadorian War of Independence and Ecuadorian nationalism. Pasillo gained in popularity from the recordings of the duet "Ecuador", once performed by Enrique Ibañez Mora and Nicasio Safadi. It reached its international apex during the career of Julio Jaramillo.
Younger generations of Ecuadorians still enjoy pasillos including new styles: Juan Fernando Velasco, Margarita Lazo. Some Ecuadorian pasillos include: Pasional, Invernal, Angel de Luz, El Aguacate and many others. Pasillo has been a very popular style of music in Colombia since the 19th century. Famous Colombian Pasillos include: Espumas, Pueblito Viejo, Pescador Lucero y Rio, and Oropel. Colombian artists such as Silva y Villalba and Garzon y Collazos have helped popularize pasillo around the world.
In Ecuador 
Ecuadorian pasillo add the influence of sanjuanito, therefore Ecuadorian pasillo is slow and melancholic. Differing from other countries, Ecuadorian pasillo became a national music symbol. According to author Ketty Wong, since the beginning of 20th century Ecuadorian pasillo stops being a festive gender, before played on saloons and bands, and becomes more a popular style mostly of singles songs with melancholic texts referring to nostalgic and broken love feelings. However there exist songs expressing the beauty of Ecuadorian landscapes, the beauty of their women and the bravery of Ecuadorian people. In addition, there are songs which reflect admiration for a region or a city and in some places these have become even more representative than their own city anthems, that is the case of "Guayaquil de mis amores" by Nicasio Safadi. Wong appoints that in Ecuador, "due to its capacity of integrating and producing different topics between different social, ethnic and generational groups, Ecuadorian pasillo has become the representation of national music by excellence".
During 1950 the Ecuadorian pasillo suffer an moment of transition. Being still the national musical symbol, with the arrival of radio, it needed to compete with other foreigner rhythms as boleros, tangos, waltz and other tropical rhythms as guaracha, merecumbe and ecuadorian-colombian cumbia. The national phonographic production and radio strength Ecuadorian pasillo thanks to the performance of great singers including the duet Luis Alberto Valencia and Gonzalo Benítez; the Montecel brothers, the Mendoza Sangurima sisters, the Mendoza Suasti sisters, Los Coraza and Marco Tulio Hidrobo.
Nowadays, Ecuadorian pasillo is a national icon and younger generations are adding new styles and supporting to a bigger scale diffusion.
- Carlos Amable Ortiz
- Francisco Paredes Herrera
- Nicasio Safadi
- José Ignacio Canelos
- Enrique Ibáñez Mora
- Carlota Jaramillo
- Luis Laberto Valencia
- Gonzalo Benitez
- Tulio Hidrobo
- Julio Baba
- Enrique Espín Yépez
- Vicente Gómez Gudiño
- Jacobo Palm
- José Luis Rodríguez Vélez
- Carlos Vieco
- German Dario Perez
- Oriol Rangel
Adoracion Text: Genaro Castro Music: Enrique Ibáñez Mora
|Soñé ser tuyo y en mi afán tenerte|
|presa en mis brazos para siempre mía;|
|pero nunca soñé que he de perderte|
|que a otro mortal la dicha sonreía.|
|Soñé a mi lado para siempre verte,|
|siendo tu único dueño, vida mía;|
|soñé que eras mi diosa, más la suerte,|
|nuevos tormentos para mí tenía.|
|Soñé que de tus labios dulcemente,|
|me diste tu palabra candorosa,|
|hablándome de amor eternamente.|
|Pero todo es en vano, sólo ha sido|
|un sueño la pasión que me devora,|
|al ver que para siempre te he perdido.|
- Oswald Hugo Benavides The Politics of Sentiment: Imagining And Remembering Guayaquil Page 77 2006 "In 1911, of the 272 pieces recorded in the country, 67 were pasillos, and by 1930, pasillo composers and musicians, such as Nicasio Safadi and Enrique Ibáñez Mora, were touring New York City as official representatives of the nation ..."
- Wong, Ketty. La nacionalización del pasillo ecuatoriano a principios del siglo XX. Actas del III Congreso Latinoamericano de la Asociación Internacional para el estudio de la música popular. Banco Central del Ecuador, Quito. 1999.
- Bethell, Leslie; Gordon Brotherston, Jaime Concha, Gerard Behague, Damian Bayon (1998). A Cultural History of Latin America. Cambridge University Press. p. 362. ISBN 0-521-62626-9.
- Vernon, Paul (1995). Ethnic and Vernacular Music. Greenwood Press. p. 2553. ISBN 0-313-29553-0.
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