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Chicano Music Essay

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Updated: Apr 18th, 2019

La Huasanga (Los Rogacianos)

La Huasanga is performed by the ensemble including traditional Mexican violins, guitarrons, and guitars. There are two violin solos. They are characterized by the deviant bowing, and the active strumming is a distinctive feature of the ensemble parts with references to guitars as it is used to emphasize the final parts of the music piece.

The vocal solo is performed at the highest pitches, and it is possible to speak about the use of falsete to perform the solo parts. The final choral parts are performed at the lower ranges. The singer’s vowel placement is correlated with the melody of the basic music phrase of the piece. Solo and choral parts are important to divide the music piece into several fragments.

The song is divided into some music phrases which are repeated in relation to melodies and the singer’s style of performing. The repeated similar parts are separated by violin solos where the elements of improvisation in relation to the type of bowing can be heard. The singer concentrates on the rhythm of the music phrases in the final part of the song when there is a musical ‘dialogue’ between the singer and the chorus.

The lyrics of La Huasanga can be discussed as rather sad because of the message which is the unhappy love, but the manner of singing is rather defiant. The song’s lyrics can be discussed as passionate with a lot of animal and natural imagery.

El Toro Abajeño (Conjunto Hueyapan)

Conjunto Hueyapan perform music associated with the son jarocho sounds, accentuating string instruments and the active and rather aggressive usage of harps. Thus, there are no vivid solo parts in the piece. The guitars and harps are the main part of the ensemble for performing El Toro Abajeño.

The music piece is characterized by the active usage of different strumming techniques in the first part of the piece. The parts in which harps are used are characterized by the specific approach to plucking to accentuate the musical rhythm of the piece.

The singer uses falsete to perform the song, but the variety of vowel placement or specific accents are not observed clearly. Thus, phrasing and the vocal accentuation reflect the rhythmic structure of the piece. The lyrics of El Toro Abajeño can be discussed as providing the positive message. It cannot be considered as introspective or remorseful. The tone is rather propulsive.

El Toro Viejo (Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán)

To perform El Toro Viejo, violins, trumpets, guitarrons, guitars, vihuelas, and harps are used. There are no solo parts in the music piece, and the variety is produced with references to changing the ensemble and vocal parts actively. The accents in the music phrase are altered in relation to using guitars, trumpets, or violins. The musical phrases are highly rhythmic in their character.

The usage of several strumming techniques can be observed. The features of vocal production are based on the differences in choral and solo production.

The division of the piece into music phrases is heard with references to the ‘dialogue’ between the chorus and the vocalist when the basic phrases and words are accentuated to create the definite rhythmic pattern. The singers are inclined to use the chest voice. The lyrics are based on the idea of struggle, and the tone is rather festive and propulsive. The animal imagery is used to emphasize the idea of a fight in the song.

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"Chicano Music." IvyPanda, 18 Apr. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/chicano-music/.

1. IvyPanda. "Chicano Music." April 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/chicano-music/.


IvyPanda. "Chicano Music." April 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/chicano-music/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Chicano Music." April 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/chicano-music/.


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