The corrido (Spanish pronunciation: [koˈriðo] ) is a popular narrative song and poetry that form a ballad. The songs are often about oppression, history, daily life for peasants, and other socially relevant topics. It is still a popular form today in Mexico and was widely popular during the Mexican Revolutions of the 20th century. The corrido derives largely from the romance, and in its most known form consists of a salutation from the singer and prologue to the story, the story itself, and a moral and farewell from the singer.
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.
The Mexican Revolution, also known as the Mexican Civil War, was a major armed struggle, lasting roughly from 1910 to 1920, that radically transformed Mexican culture and government. Although recent research has focused on local and regional aspects of the Revolution, it was a genuinely national revolution. Its outbreak in 1910 resulted from the failure of the 35-year-long regime of Porfirio Díaz to find a managed solution to the presidential succession. This meant there was a political crisis among competing elites and the opportunity for agrarian insurrection. Wealthy landowner Francisco I. Madero challenged Díaz in the 1910 presidential election, and following the rigged results, revolted under the Plan of San Luis Potosí. Armed conflict ousted Díaz from power; a new election was held in 1911, bringing Madero to the presidency.
Until the arrival and success of electronic mass-media (mid-20th century), the corrido served in Mexico as the main informational and educational outlet, even with subversive purposes, due to an apparent linguistic and musical simplicity that lent itself to oral transmission. After the spread of radio and television, the genre evolved into a new stage and is still in the process of maturation. Some scholars, however, consider the corrido to be dead or moribund in more recent times (see e.g. Vicente T. Mendoza, El corrido mexicano, 1954). In more rural areas where Spanish and Mexican cultures have been preserved because of isolation, the romance has taken on other forms related to the corrido as well. In New Mexico, for example, a story-song emerged during the colonial period that was known as an Indita, which loosely follows the format of a corrido, but is chanted rather than sung, similar to a Native American chant, hence the name Indita.
The earliest living specimens of corrido are adapted versions of Spanish romances or European tales, mainly about disgraced or idealized love, or religious topics. These, that include (among others) "La Martina" (an adaptation of the romance "La Esposa Infiel") and "La Delgadina", show the same basic stylistic features of the later mainstream corridos (1/2 or 3/4 tempo and verso menor lyric composing, meaning verses of eight or less phonetic syllables, grouped in strophes of six or less verses).
Beginning with the Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821) and culminating during the Mexican Revolution (1910–1921), the genre flourished and acquired its "epic" tones, along with the three-step narrative structure as described above.
The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict, and the culmination of a political and social process which ended the rule of Spain in 1821 in the territory of New Spain. The war had its antecedent in Napoleon's French invasion of Spain in 1808; it extended from the Cry of Dolores by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla on September 16, 1810, to the entrance of the Army of the Three Guarantees led by Agustín de Iturbide to Mexico City on September 27, 1821. September 16 is celebrated as Mexican Independence Day.
Some corridos may be love stories. These are not exclusively male by any means, there are also corridos about women such as La Venganza de Maria, Laurita Garza, El Corrido de Rosita Alvirez and La adelita, or couples such as La Fama de la Pareja sung by Los Tigres del Norte. Some even employ fictional stories invented by their composers.
Los Tigres del Norte is a norteño group based in San Jose, California, with origins in Mocorito, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Prior to widespread use of radio, popular corridos were passed around as an oral tradition, often to spread news of events (for example, La cárcel de Cananea ) and popular heroes and humor to the population, many of whom were illiterate prior to the post-Revolution improvements to the educational system. Academic study of corridos written during the Revolution shows that they were used as a means to communicate news throughout Mexico as a response to the propaganda being spread in the newspapers which were owned by the corrupt government of Porfirio Díaz. Sheet music of popular corridos was sold or included in publications. Other corrido sheets were passed out free as a form of propaganda, to eulogize leaders, armies, and political movements, or in some cases to mock the opposition. The best known Revolutionary corrido is La cucaracha , an old song that was rephrased to celebrate the exploits of Pancho Villa's army and poke fun at his nemesis Victoriano Huerta.
La cárcel de Cananea is a corrido written in 1917 commemorating the Cananea Strike that took place in the Mexican mining town of Cananea, Sonora, in June 1906. It has been produced in numerous versions, including one by Linda Ronstadt on her album Canciones de mi padre, released in 1987.
Sheet music is a handwritten or printed form of music notation that uses modern musical symbols to indicate the pitches (melodies), rhythms or chords of a song or instrumental musical piece. Like its analogs – printed books or pamphlets in English, Arabic or other languages – the medium of sheet music typically is paper, although the access to musical notation since the 1980s has included the presentation of musical notation on computer screens and the development of scorewriter computer programs that can notate a song or piece electronically, and, in some cases, "play back" the notated music using a synthesizer or virtual instruments.
Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented. Propaganda is often associated with material prepared by governments, but activist groups, companies, religious organizations and the media can also produce propaganda.
With the consolidation of "Presidencialismo" (the political era following the Mexican Revolution) and the success of electronic mass-media, the corrido lost its primacy as a mass communication form, becoming part of a folklorist cult in one branch and, in another, the voice of the new subversives: oppressed workers, drug growers or traffickers, leftist activists and emigrated farmworkers (mainly to the USA). This is what scholars designate as the "decaying" stage of the genre, which tends to erase the stylistic or structural characteristics of "revolutionary" or traditional corrido without a clear and unified understanding of its evolution. This is mainly signified by the "narcocorrido", many of which are egocentric ballads paid for by drug smugglers to anonymous and almost illiterate composers (more about this assertion herel[ dead link ]), but with others coming from the most popular norteño and banda artists and written by some of the most successful and influential ranchera composers.
A narcocorrido is a subgenre of the Mexican norteño-corrido music genre, traditional folk music from northern Mexico, from which several other genres have evolved. This type of music is heard and produced on both sides of the Mexico–US border. It uses a danceable, accordion-based polka as a rhythmic base.
Norteño, also called música norteña, is a genre of Mexican music related to polka and corridos. As its names indicates, Norteño is a musical expression from Northern Mexico. The accordion and the bajo sexto are norteño's most characteristic instruments. Norteño music developed in the late 19th century, as a mixture between German folk music, and local Northern Mexican music.
In the mestizo-Mexican cultural area the three variants of corrido (romance, revolutionary and modern) are both alive and sung, along with popular sister narrative genres, such as the "valona" of Michoacán state, the "son arribeño" of the Sierra Gorda (Guanajuato, Hidalgo and Querétaro states) and others. Its vitality and flexibility allow original corrido lyrics to be built on non-Mexican musical genres, such as blues and ska, or with non-Spanish lyrics, like the famous song El Paso by Marty Robbins, and corridos composed or translated by Mexican indigenous communities or by the "Chicano" people in the USA, in English or "Spanglish". The corrido was, for example, a favorite device employed by the Teatro Campesino led by Luis Valdez in mobilizing largely Mexican and Mexican-American farmworkers in California during the 1960s.
Corridos have seen a renaissance in the 21st century. Contemporary corridos feature contemporary themes such as drug trafficking (narcocorridos), immigration, migrant labor and even the Chupacabra.
Corridos, like rancheras, have introductory instrumental music and adornos (ornamentations) interrupting the stanzas of the lyrics. However, unlike rancheras, the rhythm of a corrido remains fairly consistent. The corrido has a rhythm similar to that of the European waltz; rancheras can be banda, played at a variety of rhythms. Corridos often tell stories, while rancheras are for dancing.
Like rancheras, corridos can be played by mariachi, norteño, duranguense, Tejano, and grupera bands. The instruments used to play the song differ with the type of band that plays the corrido.
The corrido was originally performed as a melodically simple tune with guitar accompaniment. It was performed in waltz time and now commonly adopts a polka rhythm. Since the commercialization of the corrido, it is often performed by conjuntos produced professionally by recording companies.
The music of Latin America refers to music originating from Latin America, namely the Romance-speaking countries and territories of the Americas and the Caribbean south of the United States. Latin American music also incorporates African music from slaves who were transported to the Americas by European settlers as well as music from the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Due to its highly syncretic nature, Latin American music encompasses a wide variety of styles, including influential genres such as bachata, bossa nova, merengue, rumba, salsa, samba, son, and tango. During the 20th century, many styles were influenced by the music of the United States giving rise to genres such as Latin pop, rock, jazz, hip hop, and reggaeton.
Tejano music or Tex-Mex music is the name given to various forms of folk and popular music originating among the Mexican-American populations of Central and Southern Texas. With roots in the late 19th century, it became a music genre with a wider audience in the late 20th century thanks to artists such as Selena, Mazz, La Mafia, La Sombra, Elida Reyna, Elsa García, Laura Canales, Oscar Estrada, Jay Perez, Emilio Navaira, Esteban "Steve" Jordan, Gary Hobbs, Shelly Lares, Stefani Montiel, David Lee Garza, Jennifer Peña, and La Fiebre.
The term conjunto refers to several types of small musical ensembles present in different Latin American musical traditions, mainly in Mexico and Cuba. While Mexican conjuntos play styles such as norteño and tejano, Cuban conjuntos specialize in the son, as well as its derivations such as salsa.
The music of Mexico is very diverse and features a wide range of musical genres and performance styles. It has been influenced by a variety of cultures, most notably the culture of the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Europe. Music was an expression of Mexican nationalism, beginning in the nineteenth century.
Ranchera, or canción ranchera is a genre of the traditional music of Mexico. It dates before the years of the Mexican Revolution. It later became closely associated with the mariachi groups which evolved in Jalisco. Ranchera today is also played by norteño or banda and Tamborazo. Drawing on rural traditional folk music, ranchera developed as a symbol of a new national consciousness in reaction to the aristocratic tastes of the period. Some well-known interpreters of the genre are the following singers: Amalia Mendoza, Antonio Aguilar, Chelo, Cuco Sánchez, Flor Silvestre, Irma Serrano, Javier Solís, Jorge Negrete, José Alfredo Jiménez, Lola Beltrán, Lucha Villa, Pedro Infante, Rocío Dúrcal, Vicente Fernández, and presently: Pedro Fernández and Pepe Aguilar.
Rosalino "Chalino" Sánchez Félix was a Mexican singer and writer best known for his narcocorrido recordings. On May 16, 1992, he was murdered in Culiacán, the capital city of the Pacific coastal state of Sinaloa, Mexico. Since his death, his fame and recordings have grown in popularity.
Antonio Aguilar Barraza was a Mexican singer, actor, songwriter, equestrian, film producer, and screenwriter. He was a man standing at 6'1 with a dominating career in music. During his career, he recorded over 150 albums, which sold 25 million copies, and acted in more than 120 films. He was given the honorific nickname "El Charro de México" because he is credited with popularizing the Mexican equestrian sport la charrería to international audiences.
Banda is a term to designate a style of Mexican music and the musical ensemble in which wind instruments, mostly of brass and percussion, are performed.
Regional styles of Mexican music vary greatly vary from state to state. Norteño, banda, duranguense, Mexican Son music and other Mexican country music genres are often known as regional Mexican music because each state produces different musical sounds and lyrics.
Duranguense is a subgenre of Regional Mexican music. It surged to popularity during the mid 2000’s among the Chicano community in the United States, as well as in Mexico. Duranguense is closely related to the Mexican styles of banda and norteño. The main instruments, which are held over from banda, are the saxophone, trombone, and bass drum. However, what sets the duranguense ensemble apart from banda is the addition of synthesizers to play both melodies and the tuba bassline. The tempo is also noticeably faster than banda or norteño. Among the duranguense elements carried over from other genres is el tamborazo; a heavy percussion line consisting of the bass drum and varied snare drum rolls. This genre popularized the dance style, Pasito Durangense.
Mexploitation is a film genre of low-budget films that combine elements of an exploitation film and Mexican culture or portrayals of Mexican life within Mexico often dealing with crime, drug trafficking, money and sex.
Grupera is a genre of Mexican folk music. It is influenced by the styles of cumbia, norteño, and ranchera, and reached the height of its popularity in the 1980s, especially in rural areas. The music has roots in the rock groups of the 1960s, but today generally consists of five or fewer musicians using electric guitars, keyboards and drums. Artists in this genre include Los Yonics, Los Humildes, La Migra, Los Caminantes, Limite, Ana Bárbara, Joan Sebastian, Los Temerarios, Grupo Bryndis, Los Bukis, Marco Antonio Solís, Myriam, and Bronco. The music increased in popularity in the 1990s and became commercially viable, and is now recognized in some Latin music awards ceremonies such as Lo Nuestro and The Latin Grammy Awards.
Ernesto Pérez better known by his stage name El Chapo de Sinaloa, is a Mexican norteño/banda singer and actor.
José Sergio Vega Cuamea, better known by his stage name "El Shaka", was a Mexican banda singer. He was born in Ejido Hornos, Sonora, located near Ciudad Obregón in Mexico. On 26 June 2010, he was killed by gunfire in the Mexican state of Sinaloa after a car chase. The assailants pursued Sergio Vega for a distance, shooting at him and his passenger Montiel Sergio Ávila 30 times. He was killed and Ávila was seriously injured. Vega had recently increased his security because of other celebrity deaths like that of Sergio Gómez.
Los Creadorez del Pasito Duranguense is a Chicago project headed by the internationally known Alfredo Ramírez Corral. In 2006, alongside co-founder Ismael Mijarez, Corral put together one of the very first stateside duranguense groups, and achieved great success. Los Creadorez Del Pasito Duranguense was created when Alfredo Ramirez Corral & Ismael Mijares left Grupo Montez De Durango taking most of its members and only leaving the Terrazas family in Grupo Montez De Durango. DISA Latin Music released two recently recorded singles, "Que Levante La Mano" and "Cada Vez Que Pienso En Ti," both of which made appearances on the Billboard regional Mexican charts. Los Creadorez interpret their decade of success and fans' acceptance of their new package as a sign of duranguense's staying power. As the genre rounds its first ten years, sales increases and interest arise far outside the city of Chicago, and duranguense artists look to the veterans for direction. Corral and Mijarez – having been around as long as anyone – find themselves in the position of being trend-setters. Los Creadorez's debut record, Recio, Recio Mis Creadorez, was released in late January 2007.
"Jaula de oro" is a 1983 corrido or cancion ranchera by Enrique Franco, performed by Los Tigres del Norte on the album Jaula de Oro. The subject of the song is US immigration.
New Mexico music is a genre of music that originated in the US State of New Mexico, it derives from the Puebloan music in the 13th century, and with the folk music of Hispanos during the 16th to 19th centuries in Santa Fe de Nuevo México. The music went through several changes during pre-statehood, mostly during the developments of Mexican folk and cowboy Western music. After statehood, New Mexico music continued to grow in popularity with native New Mexicans, mostly with the Pueblo, Navajo, Apache, Neomexicanos, and the descendants of the American frontier. Shortly after statehood, during the early 1900s, elements of Country music and American folk music began to become incorporated into the genre. The 1950s and 1960s brought the influences of Blues, Jazz, Rockabilly, and Rock and roll into New Mexico music; and, during the 1970s, the genre entered popular music in the state, with artists like Al Hurricane and Freddie Brown receiving airtime locally on KANW, and international recognition on the syndicated Val De La O Show. Also, prominently featured on the Val de la O Show were other Southwestern artists performing Regional Mexican and Tejano music, this brought a more general audience to New Mexico music.