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International Music Resources by Country: Mexico

International Music Resources offers an array of online and physical resources both freely available and/or offered by the George F. DeVine Music Library. The information included in these guides may serve as a starting point for the study and research of

Mexico: Country Flag

Map of Mexico

Capital: Mexico City

Official Language: Spanish

Population (2022 est.): 128,550,000

Monetary unit: Mexican Peso

Did you know?: In Mexico, struggling artists can pay taxes with their artwork.

Primary & Secondary Resources

Streaming Audio

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Community Connections

Table of Contents

  • Country quick facts with the flag and map of Mexico
  • Primary and secondary resources
  • Listening example                                                              
  • Community connections in Knoxville or East Tennessee
  • Musical genres of Mexico
  • Subject headings
  • Databases
  • Citations listed at the bottom of the page

Explore an overview of musical genres represented in Mexico's musical culture

Banda (band) is a term referring to musical groups in Latin America that utilize brass, percussion, and woodwind instruments. Popularized throughout Northern and Central Mexico in the mid-19th century, banda is said to have originated as a traditional Mexican folk music form in Sinaloa, Mexico. Typically, every Mexican town has at least one banda, which provides music at many events such as funerals, religious ceremonies, parades, and festivals. Banda music began as a replication of military band music fused with Spanish and Mexican musical forms and traditional German and Polish polka and folk music. Banda includes a number of different musical forms such as corridos, rancheras, cumbias, boleros, and ballades. Rancheras are among the most popular forms performed by bandas, but modern bandas also include contemporary Mexican pop music in their repertoire (Clements-Cortés, Banda). Read more by visiting the entry in The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture.

A lyrical epic and narrative song form popular in Mexico, stemming from the literary tradition of the Spanish romance. The corrido was present in Mexico as early as the 18th century, but did not rise to popularity until the Revolution of 1910 as a means for sharing current events. After the Revolution, the corrido lost some of its popularity as a tool for communication with the emergence of new media (Avila, Corrido). Read more by visiting the entry in Grove Music Online.

Considered the national musical symbol of Mexico, mariachi music has become a transnational genre that is popular worldwide. In 2012, it was added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Mariachi music has its roots in the western central region of Mexico, with a stronghold in the state of Jalisco. By 1905, rural musicians began performing in Mexico City, initiating the transformation of mariachi music into the urban genre that is popular today (Salazar, Mariachi). Read more by visiting the entry in The Sage International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture.


The classical music tradition in Mexico has been present since Spanish colonial times. European styles and practices introduced in the 16th century are still alive today in major centers such as The Palacio de Bellas Artes (The Palace of Fine Arts) in Mexico City, among other forums all over the country. In order to enrich the development of new musicians and the Mexican population’s exposure to classical music, the government created conservatories and music schools all over Mexico. Also, professional programs have propelled many singers internationally and have given them an opportunity for success in Mexico and the world (Vidal, Mexico). Read more about Mexico's Modern and Contemporary Performance Practice on The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture.

Texas is home to the nation's second-largest Mexican American population, after California. The 2010 Census counted just under 8 million persons of Mexican ancestry within the Lone Star State, representing approximately one-quarter of the nation's total Mexican American population. The term Tejano (female variant Tejana) is often used, particularly by members of this community themselves, to refer to a Texan of Mexican descent. The label conveys a sense of regional pride in being a Texan while also acknowledging one's ethnic Mexican/Hispanic heritage. Additionally, tejano (loosely translated into English as “Tex-Mex”) refers to a specific genre of Spanish-language music deriving from the Texas borderlands region that blends norteño musical styles from Mexico with country/western and rock ‘n’ roll influences from the United States, with lyrics often sung in Spanish. Tejano music plays regularly on Spanish-language radio stations throughout the United States, particularly in the southwest (Cortés, Tejano). Read more by visiting the entry in Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia.

Seach by subject headings

Search by Subject Headings to retrieve materials based on your topic:
  • Music--Mexico
  • Rock music--Mexico--2001-2010
  • Popular music--Mexico
  • Popular music--Mexico--History and criticism
  • Folk dance music--Mexico
  • Indians of Mexico--Music
  • Mestizos--Mexico--Music
  • Folk music--Mexico
  • Composers--Mexico

Interdisciplinary Subject Headings:

  • Tejano music
  • Tejano musicians -- United States
  • Mexican American women
  • Mexican Americans
  • Music -- Social aspects -- Mexican-American Border Region
  • Conjunto music
  • Motion picture music -- Mexico

Books Available in the Library Collection based on Subject Headings

Search using library databases

Streaming E-Resources
Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
Video Streaming


Avila, Jacqueline. "Corrido." Grove Music Online.  16 Oct. 2013;  Accessed 18 Oct. 2022.

Britannica Academic, s.v. "Mexico," accessed October 19, 2022,

Clements-Cortés, Amy. (2019). Banda. In J. Sturman (Ed.), The SAGE international encyclopedia of music and culture (Vol. 1, pp. 324-325). SAGE Publications, Inc.,

Cortés, Carlos E. (2013). Tejanos. In Multicultural America: A multimedia encyclopedia (Vol. 1, pp. 2054-2055). SAGE Publications, Inc.,

Europa World Plus. "Mexico," accessed October 19, 2022,

Salazar, Lauryn. (2019). Mariachi. In J. Sturman (Ed.), The SAGE international encyclopedia of music and culture (Vol. 1, pp. 1394-1395). SAGE Publications, Inc.,

Vidal, Mariana Mevans. (2019). Mexico: modern and contemporary performance practice. In J. Sturman (Ed.), The SAGE international encyclopedia of music and culture (Vol. 1, pp. 1443-1448). SAGE Publications, Inc.,