Musica Nortena: Mexican Americans Creating a Nation Between Nations

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Temple University Press, Mar 16, 2009 - Music - 268 pages
24 Reviews

Música norteña, a musical genre with its roots in the folk ballad traditions of Northern Mexico and the Texas-Mexican border region, has become a hugely popular musical style in the U.S., particularly among Mexican immigrants. Featuring evocative songs about undocumented border-crossers, drug traffickers, and the plight of immigrant workers, música norteña has become the music of a “nation between nations.” Música Norteña is the first definitive history of this transnational music that has found enormous commercial success in norteamérica.

Cathy Ragland, an ethnomusicologist and former music critic, serves up the fascinating fifty-year story of música norteña, enlivened by interviews with important musicians and her own first-hand observations of live musical performances. Beyond calling our attention to musical influences, Ragland shows readers the social and economic forces at work behind the music. By comparing música norteña with other popular musical forms, including conjunto tejano, she helps us understand and appreciate the musical ties that bind the Mexican diaspora.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Mexicanidad and Música Norteña in the Two Mexicos
7
2 Regional Identity Class and the Emergence of Border Music
27
3 Border Culture Migration and the Development of Early Música Norteña
56
4 Modern Música Norteña and the Undocumented Immigrant
100
5 Los Tigres del Norte and the Transnationalization of Música Norteña in the WorkingClass Mexican Diaspora
142
Conclusion
201
Glossary
205
References
213
Selected Discography
225
Interviews
229
Index
233
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About the author (2009)

Cathy Ragland is an Assistant Professor in Music and the Arts at SUNY/Empire State College. She is a former music critic for the San Antonio Express-News, Seattle Times and Austin American-Statesman, where, among many things, she wrote about Tex-Mex and Norteña music. She is also a former folklorist and co-founder of the Mariachi Academy of New York, an after-school program in East Harlem.

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