Belize Music

The music of Belize is derived from a mixture of British, Spanish, Mestizo, Maya, and African cultures. The ancient Mayans were the first inhabitants of Belize followed by the Spanish, British, and then the African slaves to work on British plantations and forestry projects. This resulted in the mixture of music you will find played throughout Belize today. The style of music you will hear played throughout Belize is punta rock, reggae, marimba, hip-hop, jazz, mariachi, orchestra, brukdown, and soca.


Brukdown is a very popular style of music here in Belize. It came from the dances in the logging days from another style known as Buru. Buru over time became more urban and it was accompanied by the banjo, drums, and the jawbone of a donkey. The word brukdown is derivied from the phrase "broken down calypso" which implies it is related to Trinidad Calypso Music. The Jamaican population here influenced the music over time too. Reggae music which is influenced by Jamaican culture is popular here too.

Punta rock

Punta rock is traditional music to the Garifuna people living in Central America. It is played to the beat of the punta rhythm. The music started in the late 1970s by Penn Cayetano who was a Garifuna artist. All the songs he began to compose where done in the Garifuna language.


Soca is a word for Soul Calypso and it is a popular music in Belize as well. This music originated in Trinidad. This music is best recognized by the beating on a steel pan along with electronic percussion sounds.


Marimba is a type of music that refers to a percussion instrument made of wooden bars and keys and musical sounds are produced from it by striking with mallets. This music originates from Africa and pre-Colombian Mesoamerica (current day Central America).

Americans are all familiar with hip-hop, jazz, and orchestra. Mariachi is a famous type of music in Mexico which shows the influence of this country on Belize.

As is much like the rest of Central America : the people live for their music and in Belize it is Belize music!