Traditional Mexican Music Genres ⋆ Photos of Mexico by Dane Strom

Video Top mexican music genres

As various as Mexico is, the identical will be stated for its music. The nation’s musical historical past began 1000’s of years in the past with, in fact, its indigenous individuals, and it continues evolving at present within the bars, residing rooms, and streets of its small cities and large cities.

Banda, mariachi, norteño, and ranchera are amongst at present’s hottest genres which play on the radio and on one’s cellular phone, however different genres which have developed embrace huasteco, jarocho, grupera, tamborazo zacatecano, and marimba-based ensembles.

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And rock teams clearly exist, who play Mexican rock, together with pop teams, Latin various, ska and digital teams. All hang-out the golf equipment and bars who cater to that type of music. Outdated American rock music will be heard on occasion, however it’s removed from the norm. A number of years in the past, I used to be (I assumed) alone taking pictures at midnight in a graveyard on the Day of the Lifeless and somebody (or one thing) was enjoying The Rays’ “Silhouettes on the Shade.”

Speak about spooky!


Banda music: this horn-heavy style of Mexican music normally options, at the least, a dozen guys in matching neon-colored fits who play polka-influenced, army marching band-based tunes. Clarinets, trumpets, trombones, tubas, French horns, extra trumpets, highly effective virtuosic singers, bass and snare drums all make up the devices in a banda. There aren’t any stringed devices right here just like the violin or gut-stringed guitar present in mariachi.

A typical banda has at the least 12-15 musicians, however the largest teams can have 20 members who play a mixture of cumbias, corridos (narrative story-songs), rancheras, and ballads. It’s a catalog of songs that’s not all the time distinctive to the style itself however which typically stretches again a century and a half to pre-Revolution Mexico.

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Folks in Mexico both love banda or they hate it. It’s type of like how nation music in the USA is perceived by metropolis folks. However banda is far, far more widespread in Mexico than nation music is within the U.S., its long-term attraction having lengthy outlived the flash-in-the-pan Nashville sound of the late 50s.

The favored banda songs heard consistently on the radio at present are fashionable compositions, written and marketed like pop tunes. They normally inform melodramatic tales of spurned love and located love and, nicely, something to do with love. This makes it a straightforward goal for critics of pop music in any style.

However the extremely syncopated music with complicated adjustments and rhythms is made for dancing (and dancing shut), drawing massive crowds to weddings, holidays, events, rodeos, parades, baptisms, quinceañeras, even indoor church companies.

Banda during the fiesta for Our Lady of the Rosary in Ajijic, Mexico.
Banda Fresnitos play in matching crimson fits in the course of the procession for Our Woman of the Rosary in Ajijic, Mexico.
Banda playing in procession for Fiesta de la Sangre Preciosa del Cristo in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico.
A banda performs in the course of the Fiesta de la Sangre Preciosa del Cristo (the Valuable Blood of Christ) in Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Banda in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, playing during a procession for Our Lady of Mercy.
A banda group performs throughout a non secular procession for Our Woman of Mercy in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas.
Banda playing in the kiosko in Ajijic, Mexico.
In the course of the fiestas patronales in Ajijic, Jalisco, a banda performs beneath the kiosko, the central raised and coated platform in the course of a plaza.
Banda with matching red pants play music in Jalisco.
A banda in matching crimson pants performs throughout a parade in Jalisco, Mexico.
Woman watching a banda go by in a procession in Jalisco.
A lady friends out from the window of her entrance door to observe a banda go throughout a procession in Ajijic, Mexico.
Banda and Aztec dancers during a procession for San Sebastián in Ajijic.
A banda and a gaggle of Aztec dancers accompany a procession for San Sebastián because it arrives at Ajijic’s oldest church.
A banda in Mexico playing music during a Carnaval parade.
A banda throughout Carnaval kilos out the music whereas the parade makes its method by means of the streets of Ajijic, Mexico.

VIDEO: Watch this video of “Tengo Que Colgar” (“I Have To Grasp Up”) by Banda MS, at present one in every of Mexico’s most well-known bandas.


Norteño music attracts a few of its materials and its sound from the identical pool as banda, however options totally different instrumentation, particularly the addition of the accordion and a pair bajo sextos, that are Mexican 12-string guitars. A standup or electrical bass guitar replaces the tuba to fill out the underside finish.The drummer makes use of an ordinary drum entice, however a single snare drum and cymbal is sufficient, and even that’s not all the time required.

The drummer makes use of an ordinary drum entice, however a single snare drum and cymbal is sufficient, and even that’s not all the time required. The snare drum is a distinguished participant in norteño music, usually firing off elaborate drum rolls between the singer’s traces.

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Although not all norteño bands have an accordion, most do. And a banda will virtually by no means have an accordion participant. This key rule, if remembered and divulged beneath the proper circumstances, will certainly impress all your mates.

The smaller measurement of a norteño group, which is generally simply 5 males (and sure, they’re normally all the time males), makes it an excellent setup for musicians who play in eating places at visitor’s tables and public areas.

Resembling on this graveyard or on this boat:

Musicians play for a family mourning during the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
Musicians play within the graveyard in Chapala, Jalisco, for a household in mourning on the Day of the Lifeless.
On the Boat to the Island of Janitzio, Michoacán
Musicians acquire cash after performing to a captive viewers on a ship journey to Janitzio in Michoacán, Mexico.
Accordion player in Chapala, Jalisco, playing "Las Mañanitas."
An accordion participant performs “Las Mañanitas” in Chapala, Jalisco.
Bass player performing "Las Mañanitas" in Chapala, Jalisco.
A bass participant performs “Las Mañanitas” in Chapala, Mexico.
Musician in Guadalajara, Mexico, before performing on a Saturday night.
A musician on the road in Guadalajara, Mexico, earlier than beginning work on a Saturday evening.
Portrait of musician in Guadalajara, Jalisco.
Portrait of a musician taken earlier than he goes to work on a Saturday evening in Guadalajara, Mexico.


Mariachi is the type of conventional Mexican music that almost all outsiders affiliate with Mexico. A few of its hottest songs, comparable to “Cielito Lindo” are recognized the world over.

The instrumentation relies on a refrain of violins, guitar, harp, and vihuela, which is a high-pitched, round-backed guitar. The trumpet performs second-fiddle to the, nicely, fiddle in a mariachi group, normally consisting of simply two, however typically three, trumpeters in teams that generally attain 10-15 gamers.

Tito Hinojosa performs a song in his mariachi group in Jalisco, Mexico.
Tito Hinojosa, violinist and a singer for Mariachi Actual Axixic, performs a track about Ajijic, his hometown in Jalisco, Mexico.
Mariachis Hector Flores and Carlos Álvarez during a performance of traditional mariachi music in Ajijic, Mexico.
Mariachis Carlos Álvarez (foreground) and Hector Flores throughout a efficiency on Independence Day in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.
Mariachi violinist in Jalisco, Mexico, during a performance on September 16 (Mexican Independence Day).
Daniel Medeles, director of Mariachi Actual Axixic.
Carlos Torres, who plays trump in Mariachi Real Axixic.
Carlos Torres performs trumpet within the group Mariachi Actual Axixic.
Leonel Herrera, the hard player in Mariachi Real Axixic.
Leonel Herrera, who performs harp in Mariachi Actual Axixic.
Musicians play for passengers aboard trajinera boats at Xochimilco in Mexico City.
Musicians at Xochimilco in southern Mexico Metropolis meander the floating backyard’s canals in small boats, boarding these giant trajinera boats after being employed to play some songs — normally quite a lot of, for the passengers as they eat and drink in the course of the afternoon.
Mariachi musicians playing music at Xochimilco.
In Xochimilco, a gaggle of floating mariachis play “Las Mañanitas” from a ship alongside one of many UNESCO heritage web site’s floating canals.
Mariachi singer at Xochimilco.
A mariachi singer performs at Mexico Metropolis’s “floating gardens” of Xochimilco.
Mariachi singer singing at Xochimilco.
A mariachi singer performs for guests at Xochimilco.
A violinist in a mariachi group performing for a quinceañera.
A violinist in a mariachi group performs throughout a parade for a quinceañera in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.
Mariachi group performing during a quinceañera in Mexico.
A mariachi group performs after a mass for a quinceañera in Jalisco, Mexico.
Instruments used by Mariachi Tradicional de Acatic during a performance at the Festival Sangre Viva in Jalisco, Mexico.
The group Mariachi Tradicional de Acatic play mariachi music, however with the unique devices that got here earlier than the vihuela, guitarrón or the harp, comparable to armadillo and tortoise shells, wooden blocks and clay pots.
The group Mariachi Tradicional de Acatic plays an indigenous song involving conch shells during a performance in Ajijic, Mexico, during the Festival Sangre Viva (Living Blood Festival).
The group Mariachi Tradicional de Acatic play mariachi music with the normal devices, track involving conch shells throughout a efficiency in Ajijic, Mexico, in the course of the Pageant Sangre Viva (Residing Blood Pageant).

VIDEO: Residing legend Vicente Fernández performs “Hermosa Cariño.” Vicente, or just Chente for those who’re hip, is universally revered in Mexico and it’s unattainable to flee his instantly recognizable voice coming from automotive stereos, neighbors’ residing rooms, or the close by bar. With a profession spanning over 50 years now, he’s the Sinatra, Elvis, Roy Orbison and Michael Jackson of Mexican music, however he’s outlived all of them.

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Marching Bands

Kids marching band in Mexico.
Youngsters type a drum corps on Revolution Day in Mexico.
A bugle player during a parade in Mexico.
A bugle participant throughout a non secular desfile parade for Our Woman of the Rosary in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

Marimba, Cumbia & Different Latin American Music

Musicians at Xochimilco in Mexico City play the marimba.
Marimba gamers double-up whereas on board a ship at Xochimilco in Mexico Metropolis.
A Mexico City organ grinder at the Zócalo.
One in every of Mexico Metropolis’s 500 organ grinders, who at present stick with it a protracted custom of grinding out songs for tips about town streets. The organ grinders are distinctive to town, although typically you’ll find them passing by means of cities in different states.

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