Regional Mexican Music

Interested in Mexican Music? Do you know the difference between southern and northern Mexican music? Our guide to regional Music in Mexico gives you a break down state by state of the different Mexican music styles.

Mexico cannot be imagined without hot and spicy food, music and dancing. Music is such an integral part of Mexican culture that it has a vast variety to offer and that also from state to state. Every state boasts of a music typical to itself. Here are some of the main regional music styles of different states:

Baja Californian Music

Baja California is the northern most state of Mexico. It is famous for música norteña (northern music) which is a blend of modern rock and cumbia. Modern cumbia includes guitars, accordions, bass guitar, modern flutes and deep toned drums.

Chiapas Regional Music

Chiapas is the southern most state of Mexico. Marimba is the specialty here. It belongs to the percussion family, in which keys or bars of wood are struck with mallets to produce music. Many marimba bands and artists have become famous including Marimbas de Chiapas.

Chihuahuan Mexican Music

Chihuahua is a state in northern Mexico. Norteña chihuahuense is famous. It is different from the other northern music styles as it has two lead instruments, saxophone and accordions.

Durango Regional Music

It is the neighboring state of Chihuahua. It is mainly famous for duranguense (Durangan) bands.  These bands are considered to play northern music, but the difference is that they use brass and wind instruments instead of guitars and accordions. These bands are called “Banda” or “Los….de Durango”.

Guerrero Music

Guerrero is a state in the southern meridional region of Mexico. This state truly stands for music. Every one seems to be interested in music. Many people sing to earn money. Although, mostly the northern music is played here, the difference is the poetry and composition. It specially boasts of “Jaripeo”. Jaripeos are the local musical bull riding events, which are very popular amongst the masses. The event is considered complete with young bull riders, rodeo announcer, clowns, a 12 + piece brass band and lots of dancing. Sometimes the rural musicians join together to perform “bolas” and “corridos”, which are both folk verses with traditional vocal and guitar expressions.

Jalisco Regional Music

Jalisco is famous for two things, mariachi music and tequila. A mariachi has minimum three violins, two trumpets, one Mexican guitar, one vihuela (a high-pitched, five-string guitar) and one guitarrón (a small-scaled acoustic bass).  Usually the performers dress in silver studded charro outfits accompanied with wide-brimmed hats. These bands are very popular and usually they provide music for a famous dance known as quebradita. These days, mariachi bands use electronic instruments as well such as bass guitars and key board.

Mexico City

It is the capital city of Mexico. Mexico City helped to develop several kinds of music. Danzon, the Cuban style of music can be compared to Tango. Cha-Cha-Cha, Mamba and Bolero have also been developed in Mexico City.

Michoacan is the neighboring state of Mexico City and Guerrero. It does not have a particular style of music. Instead, the bands play different musical styles with accordion led norteño music.

Nayarit Mexican Music

The Huichol is an ethnic group of western central Mexico. Their music is quite famous. The bands play traditional ranchero and corrido songs. Their specialty is unique home made violins and guitars.