Sunday, April 23, 2017

Brass Ensembles from Other Cultures

I really enjoyed this class and the exposure to music from other cultures. One of the things that struck me was how I could tie most of this music back to the New Orleans tradition I've been listening to and writing about periodically throughout the semester. Balkan brass band music and Banda seemed to have the greatest level of similarities both in terms of instrumentation and style of performance.

Despite the poor video quality I believe the video below does a fantastic job capturing the energy and musical quality of Band El Recordo, which is one of the most popular Banda groups in Mexico.

One of the things I like about this recording is how it strips away some of the over produced elements found on most Banda records. The energy and style of the music make it easy to see why it continues to be popular in both Mexico and in Texas, especially the Rio Grande Valley. When living in Texas I was surprised by how many of my peers listened to Banda and Mariachi compared to other popular music. I wonder if New Orleans style brass bands were more commercial if their music would be just as popular in the United States.

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