- T.M. Scruggs
Country in Central America. The name Honduras derives from the characteristic steep valleys (Sp. honda:‘deep’) that carve the mountainous terrain making up about two thirds of this republic's 112,000 km². The population of approximately four and a half million is almost 95% mestizo, a mixture of indigenous American and European peoples and cultures. Historically, the area's geography encouraged social and cultural isolation of different segments of the population, a phenomenon that only broke down in the latter half of the 20th century with the marked increase in communications and massive migration to the capital, Tegucigalpa. Latin American, Hispano-Caribbean and, increasingly, North American musics have had a strong impact on the consumption of popular music. During the 1990s, there was a heightened awareness of the country's indigenous peoples and of the Garifuna, who are of mixed indigenous and African descent.
Research on music before independence still remains to be done in colonial government and church archives, although the low level of economic enterprise during the colonial period probably limited state and church sponsorship of musical activity. In the early independence period, José Trinidad Reyes (...