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Ranchera (pronounced  [ranˈtʃeɾa] ), 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 Conjunto) 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.

Music of Mexico

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.

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.

Mariachi Folk music from Mexico

Mariachi is a style of music and musical group performance that dates back to at least the 18th century, evolving over time in the countryside of various regions of western Mexico. It has a distinctive instrumentation, musical genre, performance and singing styles, and clothing.



Jose Alfredo Jimenez' tomb in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, attracts visitors from around the world. Tumba de Jose Alfredo Jimenez.jpg
José Alfredo Jiménez' tomb in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, attracts visitors from around the world.
The term "ranchera" derives from "rancho", the traditional buildings and living spaces of rural Mexico. Rancho Jalisco.jpg
The term "ranchera" derives from "rancho", the traditional buildings and living spaces of rural Mexico.

The word ranchera was derived from the word rancho because the songs originated on the ranches and in the countryside of rural Mexico. Rancheras that have been adapted by conjuntos, or norteño bands from northern Mexico and the southwestern US, are sometimes called norteños , from the Spanish word for northern. Ranchera singers often wear "charro" outfits which indicates a cowboy suit with tight pants, a short jacket, a bow and riding boots. Mariachi bands, which are the music source behind the ranchera singer, wear "charros" suit as well. Female singers often wear a similar suit, which changes the pants for a long skirt with an opening to the flank, may or not include a sombrero, and dress their hair tidily in a single bun.

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

Norteño or Norteña, also música norteña, is a genre of 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 famous corridos are considered Norteña music. The accordion and the bajo sexto are norteño's most characteristic instruments, but the genre can include brass bands as well. Norteña music developed in the late 19th century, as a mixture between German folk music, and local Northern Mexican music.

Charro traditional horseman of Mexico

A charro is a traditional horseman from Mexico, originating in the central-western regions primarily in the states of Jalisco, Michoacan, Zacatecas, Durango, Chihuahua, Aguascalientes and Guanajuato. The Spanish terms vaquero and ranchero are similar to the charro but different in culture, etiquette, mannerism, clothing, tradition and social status.

Traditional rancheras are about love, patriotism or nature. Rhythms can have a meter in 2
(ranchera polkeada), 3
(ranchera valseada), or 4
(bolero ranchero) reflecting the tempo of, respectively, the polka, the waltz, and the bolero. There is a slow ranchera in 4
(ranchera lenta). Songs are usually in a major key, and consist of an instrumental introduction, verse and refrain, instrumental section repeating the verse, and another verse and refrain, with a tag ending. Instrumentation may include guitars, strings, trumpets, and/or accordions, depending on the type of ensemble being utilised. Besides the typical instrumentation, ranchera music, as well as many other forms of traditional Mexican music, is also noted for the grito mexicano, a yell that is done at musical interludes within a song, either by the musicians and/or the listening audience.

Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse, which differs from the love of food. Most commonly, love refers to a feeling of strong attraction and emotional attachment.

Patriotism devotion to ones country

Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion and sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. This attachment can be a combination of many different feelings relating to one's own homeland, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects. It encompasses a set of concepts closely related to, but mutually exclusive from those of nationalism.

Nature The phenomena of the physical world, and life in general

Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, or material world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large, if not the only, part of science. Although humans are part of nature, human activity is often understood as a separate category from other natural phenomena.

Vicente Fernandez, influential Ranchera singer, wearing a black coat with yellow accents Vicente Fernandez.jpg
Vicente Fernandez, influential Ranchera singer, wearing a black coat with yellow accents

The normal musical pattern of rancheras is a–b–a–b. Rancheras usually begin with an instrumental introduction (a). The first lyrical portion then begins (b), with instrumental adornments interrupting the lines in between. The instruments then repeat the theme again, and then the lyrics may either be repeated or begin a new set of words. One also finds the form a–b–a–b–c–b used, in which the intro (a) is played, followed by the verse (b). This form is repeated, and then a refrain (c) is added, ending with the verse.

Refrain line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse

A refrain is the line or lines that are repeated in music or in poetry; the "chorus" of a song. Poetic fixed forms that feature refrains include the villanelle, the virelay, and the sestina.

The most popular ranchera composers include Lucha Reyes, Cuco Sánchez, Antonio Aguilar, Juan Gabriel and José Alfredo Jiménez, who composed many of the best-known rancheras, with compositions totaling more than 1000 songs, making him one of the most prolific songwriters in the history of western music.

María de Luz Flores Aceves, known by her stage name Lucha Reyes, was a Mexican singer and actress. Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, she was popular in the 1930s and 1940s and has been called the "mother of ranchera music".

José Refugio "Cuco" Sánchez Saldaña was a Mexican singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor.

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

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.

Another closely related style of music is the corrido, which is often played by the same ensembles that regularly play rancheras. The corrido, however, is apt to be an epic story about heroes and villains, whereas rancheras may not necessarily be heroic ballads, and also vary more in terms of tempo. However, two notable exceptions to this rule are the songs, 'Corrido de Chihuahua' and the 'Corrido de Monterrey', which are considered rancheras in spite of their names. Their lyrics are concerned with patriotism for the states of Chihuahua and Nuevo León, respectively.

Corrido Musical genre

The corrido 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.

Chihuahua (state) State of Mexico

Chihuahua, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Chihuahua, is one of the 31 states of Mexico. It is located in Northwestern Mexico and is bordered by the states of Sonora to the west, Sinaloa to the southwest, Durango to the south, and Coahuila to the east. To the north and northeast, it has a long border with the U.S. adjacent to the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. Its capital city is Chihuahua City.

Nuevo León State of Mexico

Nuevo León, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Nuevo León, is one of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, compose the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 51 municipalities and its capital city is Monterrey.

Notable examples

Pepe Aguilar Pepe Aguilar cropped.jpg
Pepe Aguilar
Pedro Fernandez in 2014. Ministro Elizalde asiste a la Ceremonia Inaugural de la Teleton (15720931569).jpg
Pedro Fernández in 2014.
Ana Gabriel Ana Gabriel.jpg
Ana Gabriel

Celebrated ranchera singers

Flor Silvestre (b. 1930) began her career in 1943. She is known for her sentimental vocal performances. Her singing career spans film, radio, television, and the stage. Flor Silvestre, 1956.jpg
Flor Silvestre (b. 1930) began her career in 1943. She is known for her sentimental vocal performances. Her singing career spans film, radio, television, and the stage.
Lucha Villa Lucha Villa (3).jpg
Lucha Villa

See also

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