Corrido

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Corrido sheet music celebrating the entry of Francisco I. Madero into Mexico City in 1911. Corrido de Madero.png
Corrido sheet music celebrating the entry of Francisco I. Madero into Mexico City in 1911.

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. [1] 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 country in the southern portion of North America

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.

Mexican Revolution major nationwide armed struggle in Mexico between 1910 and 1920

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.

Contents

History

An example of a corrido song sheet or sheet music, this one from 1915 at the height of the Mexican Revolution Valentina-corrido.jpg
An example of a corrido song sheet or sheet music, this one from 1915 at the height of the Mexican Revolution

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.

Mexican War of Independence armed conflict which ended the rule of Spain in the territory of New Spain

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.

A contemporary corrido song sheet of La cucaracha issued during the Mexican Revolution. Note the original lyrics and the reference to cartoncitos, which were a type of scrip issued as pay. Corrido de la Cucaracha (Antonio Venegas).jpg
A contemporary corrido song sheet of La cucaracha issued during the Mexican Revolution. Note the original lyrics and the reference to cartoncitos, which were a type of scrip issued as pay.

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 Mexican band

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 Form of communication intended to sway the audience through presenting only one side of the argument

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 (music) genre of Mexican music related to polka and corridos

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.

Song about the battle of Ciudad Juarez title Toma de Ciudad Juarez Cantos populares maderistas Aquiles serdan.jpg
Song about the battle of Ciudad Juarez title Toma de Ciudad Juárez

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. [2]

Form

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.

Notable singers

Musical characteristics

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.

Films

See also

Related Research Articles

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Antonio Aguilar Mexican singer, actor, equestrian, film producer, and screenwriter

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Mexploitation

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Grupera

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Ernesto Pérez better known by his stage name El Chapo de Sinaloa, is a Mexican norteño/banda singer and actor.

Sergio Vega (singer) Banda singer

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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.

References

  1. Walkowitz, Daniel. Memory and the impact of political transformation in public space. p. 255.
  2. Davis, Mike. Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster . p. 269.

Further reading