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|Stylistic origins||In Mexico:|
|Cultural origins||Northern Mexico|
Norteño or Norteña (Spanish pronunciation: [noɾˈteɲo] , northern), also música norteña, is a genre of Regional Mexican music from Northern Mexico, hence the name. The music is most often based on a polka or waltz tempo and its lyrics often deal with socially relevant topics. The accordion and the bajo sexto are traditional norteño's most characteristic instruments. Norteña music developed in the late 19th century, as a mixture between German folk music (which was introduced to Mexico with the arrival of German migrant workers in those years), and local Northern Mexican music.
The genre is popular in both Mexico and the United States, especially among the Mexican and Mexican-American community, and it has become popular in many Latin American countries as far as Colombia, Chile, and Spain. Though originating from rural areas, norteño is popular in both rural and urban areas.
A conjunto norteño is a type of Mexican folk ensemble. It mostly includes diatonic accordion, bajo sexto, electric bass or double bass, and drums, and sometimes saxophone.
The norteño repertoire covers canción ranchera, corrido, ballad, bolero, chotís, cumbia, huapango norteño, mazurka, polka, redowa and waltz.
Emperor Maximilian I brought music from Europe to México. By 1864 he had accumulated marching bands and musicians to entertain him. When Maximilian's empire was defeated, many of his former army and fellow countrymen fled north and dispersed into what is now the southwestern United States. Norteño music developed from a blending of Mexican and Spanish oral and musical traditions, military brass band instrumentation, and Germanic musical styles such as polka and waltz.
European immigrants from Germany, Poland, & the Czech Republic to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States also brought dance traditions such as the varsovienne. The focus on the accordion in the music of their home countries was integrated into Mexican music, and the instrument is essential in the genre today. It was called norteño because it was most popular in the northern regions of Mexico.
The late 1910s and 1920s were the golden age of the corrido, a form of ballad. Mexicans on both sides of the border came to San Antonio, Texas, to record in hotels. Their songs memorialize the Mexican political revolution of the time. Los Alegres de Terán and Los Donneños were among the first norteño bands. Later in the century, the genre became more commercial with the works of Los Relámpagos del Norte and other groups. More recent bands such as Intocable integrate elements of rock music and other popular styles.
Modern norteño has also diverged significantly from more original "oldie" norteño of pre-1950s artists such as Narciso Martínez. Since the 1970s and 1980s, electric bass guitars and a modern drum set have been added. The traditional bajo sexto-accordion style of Los Alegres de Terán and Antonio Aguilar transformed into the modern style typical to that of Los Tigres del Norte, Intocable, Duelo and Los Tucanes de Tijuana. Current songs may feature percussions, saxophone, or an electronic keyboard. In 2014, Los Tigres del Norte released the album Realidades, which contains the song “Era Diferente” (meaning “She Was Different”) about a lesbian teenager who falls in love with her best friend; according to lead singer and songwriter Jorge Hernández, this is the first time a norteño band has ever written a gay love song.
Tejano music or Tex-Mex music, also música tejana, is 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, Ram Herrera, La Sombra, Elida Reyna, Elsa García, Laura Canales, Oscar Estrada, Jay Perez, Emilio Navaira, Esteban "Steve" Jordan, Shelly Lares, 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 people of Mexico, Africa and Europe. Music was an expression of Mexican nationalism, beginning in the nineteenth century.
El Gran Silencio is a rock en español band from Monterrey, Mexico that blends a variety of rock, reggae, dancehall, and hip-hop influences with traditional Latin American musical forms such as cumbia, vallenato and Norteño. Their lyrics tend to be bohemian and often talk about life in the “barrio” or poor neighborhoods of Mexican cities, especially Monterrey. As of 2015, they have recorded seven albums, eleven singles, six soundtracks, five tributes and seventeen collaborations and have toured Mexico and the United States.
Los Rieleros Del Norte are a Mexican three-time Grammy-nominated Norteño-Sax band from Ojinaga, Chihuahua and based in El Paso, Texas, United States.
Adolfo Urías y su Lobo Norteño is a Mexican Norteño-Sax band headed by Adolfo Urías. Although actually a band, many Mexicans think of him as a solo artist. Urías, born in Denver, Colorado, United States, learned to play the accordion at age 13. He started his professional career with famous Norteño-Sax family band, Los Marineros del Norte before starting his own band on May 19, 2001 in New Mexico. In 2002, their single, "Corazón Chiquito," was a hit on Regional Mexican radio. In 2004, their single "Qué Chulos Ojos" became another big hit. Adolfo Urías' uncle, Polo Urías, is also a famous Norteño-Sax singer, and both are of the Urías dynasty in Regional Mexican Music.
Los Tigres del Norte are a norteño band from San José, California, United States.
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.
Polo Urías is a Norteño-Sax singer from Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico. He came to prominence when he performed with his brothers’ band, Los Jilgueros del Arroyo. He then left the group to become the primary vocalist of Los Rieleros del Norte. He left that group in 1993 to form his own band, Polo Urías y su Maquina Norteña. Some of his most popular hits are Veinte Años, Una Aventura, and Mi Primer Amor.
Intocable (Untouchable) is an American Tejano and Norteño band from Zapata, Texas that was started by friends Ricardo Javier Muñoz and René Orlando Martínez in the early 1990s. In a few years, Intocable fused the genres Tejano and Norteño with a musical signature that fused Tejano's robust conjunto and Norteño folk rhythms with a pop balladry. Intocable is perhaps the most influential group in Tejano and their tough Tejano/Norteño fusion has become the blueprint for dozens of Tex-Mex groups. The group's style, which combines romantic, hooky melodies, tight instrumentation and vocal harmony, is consistently imitated by other Tejano and Norteño groups, including Imán, Costumbre, Solido, Estruendo, Intenso, Duelo and Zinzero.
Los Relámpagos del Norte were a Mexican norteño duo formed in the early 1960s by Cornelio Reyna and Ramón Ayala. Cornelio Reyna was the lead singer and bajo sexto player, while Ramon Ayala was the background vocalist and the accordion player. After successful careers together, Cornelio and Ramon parted ways in the early 1970s. They later reunited in 1996 to record a live album which was successful among their core audience.
Cornelio Reyna Cisneros, better known as Cornelio Reyna, was a Regional Mexican singer, composer and actor. He made over 60 recordings of Norteño and Mariachi music. He was the lead vocal for the group, "Los Relámpagos del Norte". Reyna was considered a native of the city of Reynosa Tamaulipas due to his great affection for the city and the fact his career grew there. As an actor, Reyna appeared in some 30 films about Mexican popular culture.
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.
Conjunto Primavera is a Mexican Norteño-Sax band from Ojinaga, Chihuahua. In the 1990s and 2000s they became one of the most popular groups in the genre.
Los Huracanes del Norte are a Regional Mexican band. Their specialties are traditional Norteño and Norteño-Sax. They are originally from Yahualica de González Gallo, Jalisco and raised in Tangancícuaro, Michoacán, but based out of San Jose, California, United States. They are one of the genre's most famous bands.
The Grammy Award for Best Norteño Album was an honor presented to recording artists at the 51st, 52nd and 53rd Grammy Awards (2009–2011) for quality norteño music albums. The Grammy Awards, an annual ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards, are presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".
Los Alegres de Terán were a Mexican Norteño band. They were formed in Nuevo León when Eugenio Abrego and Tomas Ortiz met in a club in the mid 1940s focusing their activities around the area of Monterrey, Reynosa, and finally settling in McAllen, Texas.
Los Donneños were a 1950s Mexican Norteño duo formed by Ramiro Cavazos and Mario Montes and named after Donna, Texas. Ramiro Cavazos was the lead singer and played the bajo sexto, while Mario Montes was second voice and played the accordion. On some recordings they were joined by a string bass player, Rafael Gaspar.
Clorofila is one of the pioneers of the Nortec (norteño-techno) musical style that originated in Tijuana, Mexico. Clorofila first came to prominence as a member of Tijuana-based music project, Nortec Collective, which collected the work of various individual producers and performers. Verdin recorded and released two solo albums under his Nortec identity Clorofila, two as Tremolo Audio, and has created music for theatre and sound design under his name.
Antonio de la Rosa was an influential tejano musician. He was noted for producing dynamic and harmonic accordion runs on the two-row button accordion.