Guest Author - Sarah Salas
Regional Mexican music has been growing in popularity the last few years. There are several types of Mexican music, each one usually named after the region in Mexico, or the type of place it originated in. Here is a quick break-down on the sounds and histories of the most popular forms of Mexican music:
Ranchera: Ranchera is a traditional form of Mexican music. Popular with mariachi bands and singer song-writers, it originated on the ranches of rural Mexico around the time of the Mexican Revolution. Vicente Fernández is probably the most famous ranchera singer today.
Norteño: Norteño literally means “Northern” in Spanish, and was so named because that was where it orignates-in the rural northern areas of Mexico. It is a blend of polka and ranchera music, and usually revolves around traditional themes or stories. Some popular norteño bands are Los Tigres del Norte and Los Cuates de Sinaloa.
Cumbia: Cumbia music originated in Columbia, but quickly caught on in Mexico, and is a sort of hybrid between ranchera and more Carribean beats found in merengue music. Many Mexican artists record cumbia songs, and even remix more traditional ranchera and banda songs into cumbia tunes. and Los Bukis and Grupo Bronco have found success in the genre.
Banda: Banda music is named more for the type of band playing the music (large with plenty of horns) than the actual band. Banda originated in Sinaloa, and banda bands can play anything from corridos to cumbias, although traditionally many banda bands play a polka-like music similar to ranchera music. Some banda bands popular today include La Numero Uno Banda Jerez de Marco Flores (or Banda Jerez for short) and La Arrolladora Banda El Limón de Rene Camacho.
Corridos: Corridos are often traditional Mexican poetry set to music. They may be ballads, revolutionary sagas, or the lately more popular narcocorridos-songs about drug kingpins and trafficking. Larry Hernandez, Explosion Norteña and Potro de Sinaloa include many corridos on their albums.
Duranguense: Duranguense one of the newest, and most controversial, forms of Regional Mexican Music. Named after Durango, it actually originated in The United States in the Clubs of Chicago. It is much faster than its more traditional counterparts, and is the subject of much debate. Mis Alacranes Musical, Montez De Durango and Los Creadorez del Pasito Duranguense have made a splash on the Latin Billboard Charts in recent years in the genre.
Many artists record in several genres, mixing albums and eve remixing songs with the different types of Regional Mexican Music. Whether you like a more traditional sound (norteño, banda etc.), or gravitate towards something more modern (duranguense or narcocorridos), Regional Mexican music has something for everyone!