Fun Facts About Mexican Music

By Debbie Tullos

Music is an important part of every culture and Mexican culture is no different. Mexican music reflects the history, traditions, art and flavor of the society and is constantly evolving to reflect changes and growth.

History

Mexican music has roots in ancient native cultures like the Aztecs. According to Aztec-history.com, the Aztecs used drums, rattles and flutes, all of which are still used in popular Mexican music today.

Types

The most popular and widely known type of Mexican music is mariachi. Other types of Mexican music are norteño, which incorporates polka and waltzes, banda from military bands, and cumbia. Modern styles include classical, rock, rap and electronica.

Influences

Mexican music blends native traditions with other cultures. Mariachi has heavy Spanish influences. The Cumbia style of music has Colombian roots, and norteño has German influences.

Instruments

Mariachi bands use some of the most distinctive Mexican musical instruments. They use specialized guitars such as the guitarrón, which is a large bass guitar, and vihuelas, which are small guitars with round backs. Mariachi bands also use a harp with 28 to 40 strings. Maracas are another traditional instrument still used in Mexican music.

Facts

Spanish priests brought the mariachi instruments to Mexico for use in religious ceremonies, but the local people began using them for secular music, to the displeasure of the priests.

About the Author

Debbie Tullos has more than 10 years of experience writing and producing for broadcast television. She holds a degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. As a freelance writer, her work has been published on eHow.com and Trails.com.