A murga is a group of people who perform musical theatre mainly during the carnival season. Murgas are traditional in Uruguay and a main ingredient in the carnival season of this country.
During the Uruguayan carnival season, murgas perform their acts in several different parts of Montevideo where temporary open air theaters or stages, called tablados, are set up for this purpose. Tablados receive several murgas a night, each one of them performing for between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Picture of a Murga in a Tablado, Montevideo, Uruguay
Murgas are characterized by their colorful clothes, artistic make up, and music combined with speeches that treat with humor or irony current Uruguayan issues. Murgas are also characterized by always opening their act with a special performance called saludo and closing it with a retirada.
Picture of a Murga, Montevideo, Uruguay
Murga music is traditionally played with three main instruments: cymbals, snare drum, and a type of bass drum called bombo. Murga music is not only present during these carnival performances, but sometimes it can also be found in popular Uruguayan songs.