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Uruguayan murga is something unique and over the last few decades has transformed into a cultural manifestation that has attracted followers from all over the world.

Murga is one of the most popular Uruguayan forms of cultural expression in terms of its popularity here. Despite being a cultural manifestation originally from Cadiz, Spain (primarily since 1908), Uruguayan murga has gone through numerous transformations since the end of the 19th century.

Murgas have always expressed themselves through a variety of musical formats but chief among them is the Marcha Camión style similar to that of the marching percussion and Candombe.

Costume design and makeup in murga draw some of their influence from similar European artistic expressions.

Uruguayan murga is made up of 17 units: a scene and chorus director, 13 singers in the chorus divided by their vocal range, and 3 members making up the percussion section which is split up into cymbals, bass drum and snare drum.

Over the last few decades this structure has begun to change. The “Murgas Jovenes” or younger murga groups are also beginning to adapt their style from the traditional structure in the same way other kinds of murga groups added elements of creativity and innovation over the years, making murga what it is today.

Murgas take place in what we call tablados where they can be public or private. Whether in Montevideo or anywhere outside the capital, murgas always bring a refreshing humorous, satirical and critical view on current events, expressed through this traditional theatrical format with song, costume and vibrant makeup.

Carnaval was born in the everyday neighborhoods where each group has its home fans for support, be it in the tablado, the parades or in official competitions with qualified judges and prizes. Murga rehearsals are often public where friends and family can come and memorize the group’s repertoire. Murga is without a doubt one of the most popular forms of expression par excellence.

In Montevideo, the Murga Museum is open all year round where visitors can learn about the history of this traditional festivity. Those who arrive out of Carnaval season can still be captivated by the long and interesting history explored in the museum.