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Mexican Music History

Music, as a source of entertainment existed in all societies. For the Mexicans, however, music is a way of life. Mexican music has been influenced by Latin American music as well. Mexican music is very diverse and has a variety of music styles. Many Mexican songs are universally popular.

The Aztec culture that existed thousands of years ago in Mexico possessed a unique music culture. Mexico was a Spanish colony for around two hundred years and this had its impacts on Music.

The first genre of Mexican music was Mariachi, familiar to every native Mexican. We do not know from where exactly the term came. One view is that the word 'Mariachi' comes from two Mexican languages; Nahuatl and Coca.

The word originally means a form of dance performed on wooden platform. Some traces the origin of this word to French language. Bands travelling from town to town singing belonged to this genre.

A Mariachi band consisted of by four or five guitars, "guitarrón, a large bass guitar, two or more violins, some "vihuelas", guitars with a round back, and a harp with 28 to 40 strings.

In the 1950s, trumpets were also introduced to the orchestra. The band members wear the 'charro' suits which are attributed to General Portofino Diaz.

Matriarchi play different types of music. Mariachi was declared as the national music after the Mexican revolution of 1920. This traditional music became very popular at around the 1950s.

It is considered as a folk orchestra today. Presence of this music is necessary in traditional functions, parties and national celebrations. "La Bamba", "Cielito Lindo", "La Cucaracha" are the famous Matriarchies.

In the 17th century, Mexican son first made its appearance .It was a fusion of various music traditions including African. Some of these regional sones include son jarocho, son jaliscenses, son huasteco, son michoacano, etc.

Another style of music called Ranchera was introduced by the Norteno Band of Mexico. Norteño was characterised by an intermingling of Mexican son, Czech and Bohemian rhythms.

Ranchera originated in the 19th century. Love, patriotism and nature were the subjects that Ranchera were concerned about.

Banda music was another form. It was created with the imitation of military bands in the 1860s. It became popular around and after the Mexican revolution. Revolutionary leaders also enjoyed Banda music.

The most prominent band was Banda el Recodo which is renowned as "the mother of all bands". The Banda style is composed of trumpets, saxophones and the bass drum.

Mexican Cumbia also deserves mention. Luis Carlos Meyer Castandet, the Columbian singer recorded the first Cumbia in the 1950s. This hit, La Cumbia Cienaguer and others like Mi gallo tuerto, Caprichito, and Nochebuena made the Cumbia popular.

Tony Camargo, Los Sonors, Cleso Pina, Alberto Pedraza, Chico Che, Los Askis, Los Caminantes etc. were the popular Cumbia composers.

The Mexican music market is characterised by a lot of non-Mexican artists. The most known Mexican pop singers nowadays are Luis Miguel, Alejandro Fernandez, Thalía, Marco Antonio Solís, Paulina Rubio, Alejandra Guzmán and so on.

Article about: History of Mexican music

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