An essay on conjunto texan music

Share via Email A tejano, conjunto and roots music legacy … the late conjunto musician Valerio Longoria Sr.

An essay on conjunto texan music

Conjunto and tejano music: the Tex-Mex rhythm of the US | Travel | The Guardian

Print Article AA In the beginning, there was the An essay on conjunto texan music. But the real star of the book is the instrument they all play. For my money, it's one of the nation's leading music festivals.

An essay on conjunto texan music

The conjunto fest has also played host to everything in between, from selected artists in related fields the late Doug Sahm, Los Lobos, zydeco's Queen Ida and Boozoo Chavis to the occasional oddity such as Los Gatos, a Japanese conjunto act. Yet the festival has always specialized in staging whatever was happening in mainstream conjunto at the time, and all the music's big names--Flaco, Santiago Jr.

Free for several years, and still priced at less than the cost of a pack, the festival is one of the season's top family social events in San Antonio, with couples dancing counterclockwise in big circles around the covered pavilion at Rosedale Park.

In addition, the GCAC held contests every year in several age categories to produce the marvelous festival posters that so brilliantly capture the life and culture of Aztlan the mythical Chicano homeland that's located in neither Mexico nor America.

Given the structure, there's considerable repetition between some pieces, but taken together, they touch all the necessary historical, sociological and musicological bases, making this far and away the most exhaustive book on the subject.

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Indeed, Manuel Pena's work, especially 's The Texas-Mexican Conjunto is the only other literature on this subject.

You can read the pieces in pretty much any order you choose, and you'll still wind up with an overview that covers culture, economics, geopolitics and race relations. If you are a decent editor as you read, you can carve out a comprehensive linear history of the music.

But always, you will come back to the accordion. In Berlin or Vienna or Italy in or '23 or 'depending on whom you believe.

One-half century later, the accordion--cheap, sturdy, versatile, portable--was becoming entrenched among the rural working class on both sides of the Rio Grande, brought there by German settlers at a time when European salon music polkas, waltzes, schottisches, redovas was becoming a full-scale fad in the Western world, including Mexico.

While those European forms were becoming Mexicanized, indigenous forms such as the ranchera and huapango were being accordionized. The mexicanos who embraced the instrument favored the diatonic, one-to-three-row, button accordion, which can produce both melody and bass parts, and is tuned so that when two adjacent buttons are played together, they produce a third interval--the basic harmony of Mexican vocals.

Originally soloists or accompanied by percussion or, very rarely, violins, woodwinds or guitarsTex-Mex accordionists were augmented around the turn of the century by the bajo sexto, an oversized, string, bass-rhythm guitar that dates back to 13th-century Spain.


Until the postwar years, conjunto accordionists played only instrumentals, sitting down, and their music, the sound of the gente pobre poor folkscontrasted sharply with the strings, horns and voices of the orquestas of the gente decente decent folks.

Although Bruno Villarreal became the first Tejano accordionist to record inthe emergence of a distinctive, trebly Tex-Mex style is considered to have emerged with the polka "La Chicharronera," the first side cut by Narciso Martinez.

While dropping his use of the left-hand bass-accompaniment side of his instrument and leaving rhythmic and chordal patterns to his bajo player, Martinez created a staccato, higher-pitched, melodic style with the right hand that advanced the instrument past familiar German motifs and made him the "father" of conjunto.

Almost as soon as Tejanos began playing the accordion, they slowed down the tempos to more easily accommodate dancers; indeed, renegade accordionist Esteban Jordan, in his interview here with Tejeda, still defines the music regionally according to tempo slowest in the Valley, a little faster in Corpus, faster still in Houston and dance style tacuachito in Houston, serruchito in San Antonio, tiezo in West Texas.

In other words, there is huge variety within this seemingly rigid style confined largely to Texas. After the war, several new developments made the music even more of a dance-hall phenomenon.

San Antonio's Valerio Longoria added vocals to the polka beat to create the cancion and drums to the ensemble to more or less introduce with the subsequent addition of bass the modern conjunto "group".

He also adapted boleros, a complex orquesta rhythm of the jaitones high-toned people to accordion, blurring class lines among music fans. Beginning with his first records, cut in the Valley inTony de la Rosa extended Longoria's innovations, particularly in tonality, while playing even more staccato, more danceable.

And Paulino Bernal of Kingsville's El Conjunto Bernal, which first recorded intook a cue from his group's other accordionist, Oscar Hernandez, and began playing the five-row button, or chromatic, accordion. This created a whole new range of possible sounds, expanding the music to the very limits its audience was willing to accept, and made conjunto, finally, as sophisticated and respected as orquesta.

Until recently, there had been few significant innovations in conjunto since the emergence of the Bernal Brothers who also popularized two-and-three-part-harmony ranchera singing.

An essay on conjunto texan music

If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.There are numerous reasons. Part of it comes from the different ways Mexicans and Texans listen to music. “What hurts Tejanos,” Balli says, “is that, simply, they listen to a lot of stations.

The big, expensive festivals touting electronic dance music, Radiohead, and Jay-Z get most of the media attention, but a number of more intimate Texas 5 Music Fests Every Texan Should Attend - Texas Highways.

Mar 06,  · In direct relation to this distinction, genuinely Tejano music is related and sounds more like the folk music of Louisiana known as “Cajun” music blended with the sounds of Rock and Roll, R&B, Pop, and Country with some influences of Mariachi. Piper LeMoine is a music journalist with Rancho Alegre Radio in Austin, Texas, which specialises in promoting and preserving conjunto and tejano music • For more information on holidays in the.

Conjunto Texan Music. Tejano Origins Songs of the Homeland by independent producer, Hector Galán, is an introduction to Tejano music. This documentar. Piper LeMoine is a music journalist with Rancho Alegre Radio in Austin, Texas, which is dedicated to promoting and preserving conjunto and tejano music • For more information on holidays in the.

Texas Music History: Accordion |