The leona is a guitar-shaped fretted stringed instrument, from the state of Veracruz, Mexico. It has four strings and is a low pitched instrument in the son jarocho string family of instruments. The león or vozarrona, bigger than the former, is the lowest instrument in son jarocho genre.
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.
A fret is a raised element on the neck of a stringed instrument. Frets usually extend across the full width of the neck. On most modern western fretted instruments, frets are metal strips inserted into the fingerboard. On some historical instruments and non-European instruments, frets are made of pieces of string tied around the neck.
Veracruz, formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave, is one of the 31 states that, along with the Federal District, comprise the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided in 212 municipalities and its capital city is Xalapa-Enríquez.
The body of a leona is traditionally carved from a single piece of wood (traditionally Spanish cedar) and it is then hollowed out, with a separate soundboard and fingerboard applied. Other Mexican and South American folk guitars derivative of Spanish instruments are also made this way, notably the charango of Bolivia.
The charango is a small Andean stringed instrument of the lute family, which probably originated in the Quechua and Aymara populations in post-Colombian times, after European stringed instruments were introduced by the Spanish during colonialization. The instrument is widespread throughout the Andean regions of Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, northern Chile and northwestern Argentina, where it is a popular musical instrument that exists in many variant forms.
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.
The acoustic bass guitar is a bass instrument with a hollow wooden body similar to, though usually larger than a steel-string acoustic guitar. Like the traditional electric bass guitar and the double bass, the acoustic bass guitar commonly has four strings, which are normally tuned E-A-D-G, an octave below the lowest four strings of the 6-string guitar, which is the same tuning pitch as an electric bass guitar.
Fandango is a lively couples dance from Spain, usually in triple metre, traditionally accompanied by guitars, castanets, or hand-clapping. Fandango can both be sung and danced. Sung fandango is usually bipartite: it has an instrumental introduction followed by "variaciones". Sung fandango usually follows the structure of "cante" that consist of four or five octosyllabic verses (coplas) or musical phrases (tercios). Occasionally, the first copla is repeated.
The marímbula is a plucked box musical instrument of the Caribbean. In Cuba it is common in the changüí genre, as well as old styles of son. In Mexico, where it is known as marimbol is played in son jarocho; in the Dominican Republic, where it is known as marimba, it is played in merengue típico, and in Jamaica it is known as rumba box and played in mento.
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.
The term requinto is used in both Spanish and Portuguese to mean a smaller, higher-pitched version of another instrument. Thus, there are requinto guitars, drums, and several wind instruments.
"La Bamba" is a Mexican folk song, originally from the state of Veracruz, best known from a 1958 adaptation by Ritchie Valens, a top 40 hit in the U.S. charts and one of early rock and roll's best-known songs. Valens' version of "La Bamba" is included in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings—published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981)—and ranked number 345 on Rolling Stone magazine′s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It is the only song on the list sung in a language other than English.
Bajo sexto is a Mexican string instrument with 12 strings in 6 double courses. A closely related instrument is the bajo quinto which has 10 strings in 5 double courses.
The guitarrón mexicano (the Spanish name of a "big Mexican guitar", the suffix -ón being a Spanish augmentative) or Mexican guitarrón is a very large, deep-bodied Mexican six-string acoustic bass played traditionally in Mariachi groups. Although similar to the guitar, it is not a derivative of that instrument, but was independently developed from the sixteenth-century Spanish bajo de uña ("fingernail[-plucked] bass"). Because its great size gives it volume, it does not require electric amplification for performances in small venues. The guitarrón is fretless with heavy gauge strings, most commonly nylon for the high three and wound metal for the low three. The guitarrón is usually played by doubling notes at the octave, a practice facilitated by the standard guitarrón tuning A1 D2 G2 C3 E3 A2.
The jarana jarocha is a guitar-shaped fretted stringed instrument from the southern region of the state of Veracruz, Mexico. Typically strung with 8 strings in 5 courses, usually arranged in two single outer strings with three double-courses in between. The strings are usually nylon, although they were gut in the past. The body is somewhat narrower than a guitar because of its direct lineage from the Spanish baroque guitar of the sixteenth century. Sometimes mistaken for a ukulele, the jarana jarocha comes in at least five sizes, the smallest being the chaquiste, somewhat smaller than a soprano ukulele; then the mosquito, about the size of a soprano ukulele; the 'primera', about the size of a concert ukulele; the 'segunda', in length between a tenor and a baritone ukulele; and the 'tercera', somewhat longer than the baritone ukulele. Some luthiers are building jaranas of a size they label "tercerola" or "jarana cuarta", but there is some discussion as to whether these represent a distinct size or are merely particularly large variations of the standard tercera.
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.
The cuatro is a family of Latin American string instruments found in Central and South America, Puerto Rico and other parts of the West Indies, derived from the Spanish guitar. Although some have viola-like shapes, most cuatros resemble a small to mid-sized classical guitar.
Son jarocho is a regional folk musical style of Mexican Son from Veracruz, a Mexican state along the Gulf of Mexico. It evolved over the last two and a half centuries along the coastal portions of southern Tamaulipas state and Veracruz state, hence the term jarocho, a colloquial term for people or things from the port city of Veracruz.
Son huasteco is one of 8 Mexican song styles and is a traditional Mexican musical style originating in the 6 state area of Northeastern Mexico called La Huasteca. It dates back to the end of the 19th century and is influenced by Spanish and indigenous cultures. Usually it is played by a Trio Huasteco composed of a guitarra quinta huapanguera a Jarana huasteca and a violin. Singers will often use the falsetto register. The son huasteco is particularly noteworthy for its flamboyant and virtuoso violin parts, although the style varies from state to state. Footwork often danced to son huasteco is the Zapateado. Improvisation plays a strong role in the style, with musicians creating their own lyrics and arrangements to a standard repertoire. Typical sones huastecos are "Cielito lindo", "La huazanga", "La sirena", "El querreque" and "La cigarra".
The requinto jarocho or guitarra de son is a plucked string instrument, played usually with a special pick. It is a four- or five-stringed instrument that has originated from Veracruz, Mexico.
Son jalisciense is a variety of Mexican son music from which modern mariachi music is derived. This son also relied on the same basic instruments, rhythms and melodies as the sones of Veracruz and other locations, using the same string instruments. By the 19th century, Son jalisciense developed to be played with one vihuela, two violins and a guitarrón. The best known song of this type of son is called “La Negra”. Modern mariachi developed when brass instruments such as trumpets were added.
The arpa jarocha is a large wooden harp that is normally played while standing, although early examples from the 16th through the first three or four decades of the 19th centuries were smaller and were played while seated. It has a wooden frame, a resonator, a flat soundboard, 32-36 nylon strings, and does not have pedals. This harp is tuned diatonically over five octaves. The top of its soundboard sometimes arches outward due to the tension of the strings. Unlike other Mexican harps, the arpa jarocha has its sound holes located on the back of the. sound board instead of on the front.
The concheros string instruments are Mexican plucked instruments that consist of three variants:
Son mexicano is a category of Mexican folk music and dance that encompasses various regional genres, all of which are called son. The term son literally means "sound" in Spanish, and is also applied to other unrelated genres, most notably Son cubano.
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