Show Summary Details

Page of

 PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY (latinamericanhistory.oxfordre.com). (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

Subscriber: null; date: 20 October 2018

Music in Mexico City, 1880–1960

Summary and Keywords

From the late 19th century to the mid-20th century, Mexican popular music underwent a significant transformation, thanks to the growth of Mexico City as an urban center and to the influence of both regional and international music genres. At the same time, the Mexican public experienced a profound shift in the way music was consumed. Over the course of five generations, traditional modes of encountering music gave way to a more cosmopolitan enjoyment of new and old musical styles.

Keywords: Mexican popular music, Mexico City, Mexican composers and musicians, traditional and cosmopolitan genres

Academic and Popular Music during the Last Years of the Porfiriato

Since the late 19th century, Mexican culture has followed a path that has pulled it toward traditionalism, on the one hand, and modernity, on the other. The latter was represented by industrialization, models of Western art, and positivism. The instability of earlier times had complicated the creation of a distinctive and vigorous culture. Even though ideas had emerged that acknowledged some national and regional contributions, European and Western standards set the patterns of cultural life in the capital and other cities around the country. The political and academic world had its eye on the currents of thought that were being developed in the Old World, especially in the more advanced centers of culture, such as France and Germany in the fields of science and philosophy, England on business and technological issues, Italy in musical trends, Spain in literature and theater, and, in general, the West as a parameter of beauty in the arts and architecture.1

Meanwhile, concert music was led primarily by Italian, German, Polish, and French schools, and thus satisfied the yearning for modernity that was felt in the major urban environments. In 1866, the Mexican Philharmonic Society created the National Conservatory in Mexico City. This society proposed holding a concert every weekend with works by composers such as Georg Friedrich Handel, Johann Sebastian Bach, Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Felix Mendelssohn. While this idea could not be fully implemented, at least the society made its inclination toward European musical experiences clear and in this way sought to strengthen the cultural development of affluent Mexicans.2

During those years, however, popular music also found a way to sustain itself in regional creativity and in urban environments, responding less to external stimuli and more to the older local mestizo and criollo styles. Some regional genres such as the sones, corridos, and the “Mexican” songs achieved an important dissemination, because at fairs and markets a broad exchange of instruments and musical variations that had been ongoing since at least the late 18th century could continue.

Judging from the abundant literary and journalistic references to the festivities and popular music of the time, one can say that the vernacular genres did not suffer too many changes. Quite the contrary: Despite the economic prostration that affected the broad majority of the population, both melodies and dances found a quite propitious atmosphere for their cultivation. From Veracruz came the Jarocho and Huasteco sones; from Guanajuato, Jalisco, Querétaro, and Michoacán the corridos, valonas, sones of Tierra Caliente and the highlands, jarabes, and vernacular songs; from Oaxaca and Guerrero came the chilenas and the so called sones valseados; and from Yucatán came the jaranas and the romantic song also known as the trova. In short, popular music throughout the country was also able to take advantage of the Porfirian peace and did not stop developing in the capital city.3

Attendance at concerts and musical festivals gradually became fashionable. While in the theaters and private lounges there was no shortage of compositions and interpretations by Mexican musicians such as Felipe Larios, Luis Baca, Ricardo Castro, Tomás León, Felipe Villanueva, and Ernesto Elorduy, there were also frequent visits by European performers and composers. Pablo Sarasate, Eugenio D’Albert, and Bertha Marx had very successful seasons in Mexico City during the last decade of the 19th century. In addition to the European composers previously mentioned, repertoires began to include works by more contemporary ones, such as Robert Schumann, Frederick Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Gabriel Fauré.4

Spanish, Italian, and French opera and operetta companies found in Mexico City an audience that was not too large, but quite enthusiastic, who enjoyed the common operatic stages of the time. Even when some composers incorporated themes with Mexican topics—such as Aniceto Ortega with his opera Guatimotzin that premiered in 1871 or Ricardo Castro with his operetta Atzimba first performed in 1900—the Italian style was the most common. The operas of Guiseppe Verdi, Gaetano Donizetti, Giacomo Puccini, and George Bizet were the favorites of the Porfirian aristocracy, judging by the large number of representations presented during the last years of the 19th century.5

But Mexican academic music already had a solid generation of composers, highlighted by figures previously mentioned, along with others such as Gustavo E. Campa, Carlos J. Meneses, and Rafael J. Tello. In addition, three musicians would soon appear who would be of vital importance for the Mexican musical scene of the 20th century: Julián Carillo, Manuel M. Ponce, and José Rolón.

Following the guidelines of costumbrismo, the members of that generation approached popular music with very personal interpretations or by incorporating the “national flavor” in their compositions. Although this had already partially happened with musicians from previous generations, it was not until the early 20th century when young Manuel M. Ponce and José Rolón combined their academic musical interests with their enjoyment for what was popular just at the moment when some trends of Mexican popular music had unprecedented growth.6 At the end of the Porfirian era, a multitude of lists of vernacular or popular music appeared in journals and periodicals. This dealt primarily with the sones, jarabes, corridos, and some songs that began to be generically called “Mexican” songs or musical pieces.7

The son, which remained in popular circles, emphasized love themes and nature, dance, and work in the fields, as it had done since the 17th and 18th centuries. Its footwork and its vigorous strumming showed its deep roots that could hardly be separated from the rural festive spirit. Porfirio Díaz himself presented a group of mariachi sones as an example of typical Mexican music during the visit to Mexico of U.S. Secretary of State Elihu Root in 1907.8 While those sones were spurned by the urban and Europeanized aristocrats, it was not long before they were revalued by the nationalist zeal of the Revolution and became the indispensable music of the Mexican repertoire.

The corrido, meanwhile, was greatly popular during those times. As a worthy heir of the Hispanic narrative and epic forms, it was strengthened in combination with the production of satirical, political, and religious verses, so abundant during the wars and invasions of the first half of the 19th century. Using playful and incisive forms on many occasions, both conservatives and liberals used it to gain access to popular preferences. In its quatrain of virtually free verse, writer-politicians, such as the writer and politician Vicente Riva Palacio or the cultivator of popular inspiration par excellence Guillermo Prieto, commentated on national events and situations, making Mexicans identify with each other and against their external enemies.

As an instructive moral lesson and news program put to music, the corrido eulogized the glories of those who opposed the Porfirian regime, although it is also true that it did not desist in its praise of the powerful. Printed on sheets of cheap paper, with engravings by José Guadalupe Posada, Manuel Manilla, or some anonymous artist, the majority of the corridos were related to events that aroused popular interest. While the heroes and heroines of the “tragedies,” also called “mañanas” or “bolas,” were not usually actors of national importance, the corrido kept much of the population informed about characters like Macario Romero, Heraclio Bernal, and Demetrio Jáuregui. The corrido thus became another resource for the chronicle of regional and popular mythology. Therefore, it was natural that it would acquire such importance during the Revolution of 1910, becoming the indispensable lyrical poetry of the armed movement.9

The “Mexican song,” unlike the son or the corrido, became popular because of its emotional connotation. Its antiquity was lost between the scenic tonadilla and the songs “a lo humano” (of human topics) or the villancicos (songs of the villains), its uncertain precursors of the 17th and 18th centuries. Its romantic dimension was acquired through some combination of the New Spanish lyrical with the Italianate operatic tradition and the romantic turns of the Spanish zarzuelas (operettas). Although in popular spaces, the Italian and zarzuela moods were replaced by the criollo and mestizo flavor, the songs of loves and sorrows remained in those pieces with strong rural roots. During the second half of the 19th century, the “Mexican song,” which usually came from the central or western part of the country, gave way to the archetypical ranchera song.

Songs such as “Las mañanitas,” “Cuiden su vida,” or “A la orilla de un palmar,” all well identified under the rubric of “Mexican songs,” were popular during Porfirian Mexico, although for some authors the first romantic Mexican song, “Perjura” by Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, did not appear until 1901. Shortly after, that same composer founded and directed the Typical Orchestra of Mexico City.10

Moreover, the romantic vein of those years found one of its most representative musical forms in the waltz, which managed to conserve certain distances between the popular and the aristocratic. Having reached the Mexican coast along with models imported from the Old World, the waltz strolled through the halls and theaters, went down to the popular centers, and found some of its most renowned cultivators. Composers of humble origins like Juventino Rosas, Macedonio Alcalá, and Abundio Martínez created many of their classic pieces blending into the different social strata. Looking back at that era, the notes that identified it responded to the “one, two, three; one, two, three . . .” characteristic of the inevitable waltz “Sobre las olas” by Juventino Rosas or the rhythmic “Dios nunca muere” by Macedonio Alcalá. Combining the languid sound of string orchestras with the martial texture of brass bands, the waltzes represented this dual dimension of the music of the Porfirian time: first, its rigid and arrogant structure and second, its romantic dimension and its nostalgic tint.

In the popular theater, the activities of the “partiquinas” and scantily dressed ladies would demonstrate that both European and Mexican music have much to contribute to the entrepreneurs’ earnings. To prove it, there are the hundreds of divas, showgirls (singers), and comedians who from the late 19th century until well into the thirties populated the national farandoles with songs and dances. Rosario Soler “La Patita,” Emilia Trujillo “La Trujis,” Lupe Rivas Cacho “La Pingüica,” Celia Padilla, and many more, gave the theater revue a particularly attractive tone for the male audience.11

The combination of songs and couplets with some theatrical adventures became a vigorous fashion in the recreational environments of Mexico City. Many playwrights invented dialogues or ad hoc situations that were able to serve as an introduction and immediately after lead to musical interpretation and singing featuring the most popular songs of the day. Songs such as “El abandonado” or “El Pico,” seasoned with a dose of good humor in the midst of the tragedy that was being narrated, were the joys of an audience eager to recognize their favorite songs and their everyday situations.

Nationalism, New Media, and Urban Enjoyment

During the revolutionary period from 1910 to 1920, a particular boom took place in these small-scale theaters with their songs and dances. In those theaters, the mixing of rural and urban genres was the note of a peaceful Mexico City that only occasionally experienced the warlike and violent action of that time.12 Sones, corridos, and Mexican songs combined with foxtrots, cakewalks, and shimmies, showing that the United States was becoming one of the most important influences on the popular musical style of the time.

But the Mexican cultural movement that emerged from the Revolution itself drew the attention of many artists and intellectuals from all over the world. The country attracted a number of important writers, painters, and musicians who were able to participate in the movement as well as serve as its propagandists and enthusiasts. There were those who quickly integrated into the country, like Pablo O’Higgins or Luis Cardoza y Aragón, and others who criticized it bitterly, like D. H. Lawrence or Graham Greene, passing by those who were nurtured from its vernacular expressions, like Aaron Copland and Anna Pavlova. The Mexican cultural events also transcended their borders to become a promoter of international art markets, especially in the United States, or to be recognized as the Latin American vanguard in many countries of the Southern Cone. A mutual influence was recognized from cultural exchange between Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico. For example, in February 1922, the Week of Modern Art held in Sao Paolo radiated to the Latin American avant-garde and, in confluence with Mexican post revolutionary artistic expressions, indelibly impacted the artistic work of their counterparts. In both Mexico and the rest of Latin America there was a cultural effervescence in which the regional coincided with the revolutionary and vanguard ideas of the time.13

In the world of academic music something similar to that of painting and literature happened, focusing mainly on three personalities: Manuel M. Ponce, Carlos Chávez, and Silvestre Revueltas. The three played an important role in Mexican musical activity from the early 1920s with the gradual consolidation of so-called musical nationalism and the symphonic organizations of the country.

In an attempt to reorganize the public administration, in 1915, during the first constitutional government, the General Direction of Fine Arts was founded. Since then, it has endeavored to promote the Conservatory and revive the National Symphony Orchestra. But the country was still shaking from riots and military confrontations, so it was not possible to maintain a musical activity with a minimum consistency. In the middle of national restructuring, between 1917 and 1919, the Symphony Orchestra had directors like Jesús M. Acuña and Manuel M. Ponce. However, the difficulty in obtaining some stability and a budget was evident. Ponce decided to leave the country and returned in 1921. From then on, he worked both as a private professor and at the Conservatory. He was also the editor of Música, one of the first national magazines devoted exclusively to that art. His compositions gradually acquired international prestige, and he became one of Mexico’s most famous composers worldwide.

Other musicians with academic backgrounds, who stayed in Mexico and continued with their work of teaching and dissemination, achieved some success in their activities. Rafael J. Tello, for example, not only remained in the midst of the social turmoil, but in 1917, he founded the Free Conservatory in Mexico City. José Rolón, meanwhile, worked hard in Guadalajara. If it were not for these exceptions, it could be said that the development of Mexican academic music suffered one of its cruelest setbacks during the Revolution of 1910–1920. Julián Carrillo, by then a renowned composer and musical innovator—creator of the so-called “sonido 13”—tried to direct the National Symphony Orchestra, beginning with the educational reform undertaken by José Vasconcelos, but the lack of resources also made him desist. Disillusioned, he withdrew to private teaching, composing, and preparing occasional concerts and auditions.

One of those responsible for moving forward the musical world so badly beaten by the revolutionary circumstances was Carlos Chávez, who openly opposed the proposals of Julián Carrillo and the musicians of his generation who were branded as conservatives. While Chávez also participated in the first nationalist impetus led by Vasconcelos, composing works with a strange “exoticism” as inspiration like Fuego Nuevo in 1921, the young polemicist remained outside Mexico for much of the revolutionary decade. He returned in 1924 to present contemporary music that was heard for the first time in the country. Pieces by Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, Stefano Varese, Maurice Ravel, and Paul Dukas were interpreted in Mexico thanks to his promotion—of which his own personality and his work did not escape. In 1928, he returned permanently to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Conservatory of Music. From that moment on, his efforts would lead him to become one of the main promoters of academic musical activity of the country. His works ranged between nationalism and an alleged avant-gardism that leaned toward abstract music. During the thirties and forties, like some of his fellow painters and writers, he tended to concentrate on acquiring power and prestige. His positions that were sometimes radical and other times opportunist earned him both enemies and admirers. However, as a composer he left some important moments in Mexican avant-garde music.

Silvestre Revueltas also spent much of the Revolution outside Mexico, but he returned about 1929 to become subdirector of the Symphony Orchestra. There, he joined a generation that would consolidate Mexican academic music, which was highlighted by Candelario Huízar, José Pomar, and Eduardo Hernández Moncada. A somewhat involuntary follower of what had already been identified as “Mexican musical nationalism,” Revueltas was an unparalleled composer and creative figure with a style very much his own, who sensed the popular flavor and involved the most important universal proposal in Mexican music of the 20th century.14

The guidelines that linked academia with “the people” also inspired other composers who, although they did not compose revolutionary songs, included the popular musical dimension. The oft-cited Manuel M. Ponce, together with Ignacio Fernández Esperón, Alfonso Esparza Oteo, and Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, authored some of the best Mexican popular songs during those years—as shown by the classics “Borrachita” by Fernández Esperón, “Estrellita” by Manuel M. Ponce, and “Gratia plena” by Mario Talavera, to mention just three. In the world of urban and cosmopolitan music, personalities like Agustín Lara, Joaquín Pardavé, and Manuel Castro Padilla began to emphasize linking performing arts with musical activity. Vernacular, romantic, and boastful pieces, particularly from Yucatán, Veracruz, and Jalisco, were known through the voices of such personalities as Guty Cárdenas, Lorenzo Barcelata, and not-yet-so famous Lucha Reyes.

To this nationalist trend that gradually began to be identified under the rubric of ranchero, the work of journalists, writers, and scholars such as José de Jesús Núñez y Domínguez, Fernando Ramírez de Aguilar, and several more must be added. Each one had his opinion about the charro music, the chinas, the jarabe, the tehuanas, the “inditos” and the ranchero values, noting what he knew or what occurred to him from a space that was clearly located in the urban center of the country. It was here in Mexico City, where an agreement was eventually reached on who represented the Mexican culture par excellence.15

Film had much to say in this regard. The Revolution had impacted in a singular manner the cinematographic development not only in Mexico, but throughout the Western world. It was one of the historic events that was recorded the most during the beginnings of the industry. In both documentaries and fiction, the revolutionary characters were internationally recognized thanks to the cinema. Mexican filmmakers like the Alva brothers followed Madero’s revolutionary movement, while Jesús H. Abitia was devoted to filming the Northern Division and then to linking himself to the armies of Obregón and Carranza. Pancho Villa also had a very intense relationship with cinema, signing contracts with U.S. producers and becoming a strange kind of “movie star.”

In terms of fiction films, since the end of the Porfirian time (Porfiriato), there were some examples of Mexican creativity with Salvador Toscano, Felipe de Jesús Haro, and the Alva brothers themselves. Most of the filmed subjects had to do with the history of the country, although even during the revolutionary period some romantic movies were made in which “divas” like Emma Padilla and Mimí Derba showcased their beauty in the Italian way. A film that strongly attracted the attention of the public during those revolutionary years was La banda del automóvil gris (1919) by Enrique Rosas, which involved real-life events in Mexico City around 1915. The last scene, taken from documentary footage on the real shooting of that band of thugs, gave the film a very dramatic ending.16 Naturally, cinema provided a lot of work to Mexican musicians who constantly accompanied functions with their lyrical interpretations or with those written expressly for the projection of certain films.

During the twenties, Mexican cinema competed disadvantageously with the first big boom in the U.S. industry, and it did so partly by following nationalist guidelines. While many actors, technicians, and directors had the development of the Hollywood style as their artistic model—they even traveled to get training and work in that factory of California stars—a current that affirmed Mexican values also touched the cinema that took place here.17

The nationalist connotation in Mexican film production showed a strong rejection of the U.S. perspective, with some identification of opposites, like between the rich and the poor and between universal luxury and national misery. But it is also true that Mexican cinema of those revolutionary years managed to incorporate theatrical stereotypes of the Mexican rural world embodied in the charro, the chinas, the inditos, and the tehuanas, dancing jarabes, isthmus waltzes, or native interpretations. Once sound was integrated into the national production from the early thirties, two themes dominated Mexican film activity: the world of brothels represented by Santa (1931) by Antonio Moreno, based on the eponymous novel by Federico Gamboa and with music by Agustín Lara; and the idealized world of the Mexican countryside epitomized in the film Allá en el Rancho Grande (1936) by Fernando de Fuentes, which brought the song by the same name to its height of popularity.

By the mid-1930s, Mexican culture began to find points of view basically promoted by revolutionary governments. Following the discourse of the moment, the media—the press, radio, theater, and film—were responsible for encouraging above all the nationalist and popular cultural expressions, trying to focus mostly on the rural areas and on the proletarian world. The culture of the Cárdenas administration was identified with the ranchers, farmers, and the indigenous dressed in white trousers, straw hat, and sandals, as well as with the militant workers in overalls and the rebozo-clad social agitators, heirs of the adelitas and the soldaderas. The authorities of the second half of the thirties were also quite critical (when not indifferent or distant) of the big landowners, factory owners, and so-called catrines de banqueta (sidewalk catrines). Thanks to the constant migration of people from the countryside to the cities, especially the capital, a lot of “provincial representatives” were inventing and re-creating their “typical” characteristics, the promotion of their “Mexican-ness,” and particular traditions of their regions, with the support of those who sought to manage the cultural resources and official means of communication.

With the film Allá en el Rancho Grande (1936) and the affirmation of “Mexican-ness,” another type of national and international presence was also generated. While this film became a particularly successful economic enterprise—somewhat distorted and stereotyped in the dissemination of certain cultural values—it was surprisingly useful. From then on, a sequel of endless ranchero comedies followed, exporting the image of a rural, braggart Mexico, fraught with mariachis, singing cowboys, horses, submissive “chinas,” cockfights, lots of festivals, and little work. And that very rancho grande (large ranch) was accepted by the people in the country and abroad as representative of the typical and “authentic” Mexico that could confront the negative images that the U.S. film industry presented with regularity of Mexicans.

The nostalgia of rural Mexico—of landlords, foremen, and beautiful, flirtatious women—allowed for the boasting of a supposed ancestry to Mexicans and foreigners alike, who saw this as “the real Mexico”—a view clearly disseminated from Mexico City. This vision of the country seemed to be especially created for the enjoyment of tourists whose number increased rapidly thanks to the promotions of the Pan American highway, the supposed safety of the roads and trains that traveled through the varied and beautiful interior of the country, as well as the beauty of the handicrafts, the originality of the traditions and folklore, the sentimentality of popular music, and cinema itself. That is to say, everything that was presented in the mass media as “typically and authentic Mexican.”18

Therefore, countless regional representations were soon to emerge, which the cinema as well as the radio and press would exploit ad nauseam. In films, not only the charros and mariachis were disseminated, but also movies like La Zandunga (1937) by Fernando de Fuentes or Huapango (1937) by Juan Bustillo Oro, and other “typical” examples, like the tehuanas of the Oaxacan isthmus or the jarochos from Veracruz, knew how to give the touch of provincial popular culture versatility.

As for the representation of urban environments in film, the mass media were commissioned to open three major thematic channels that also would be associated with Mexican vernacular culture, although somewhat more cosmopolitan: the brothel or cabaret world, the language of comedy, and the urban family drama. The latter had a captive audience that could see both a popular middle-class melodrama like Madre querida (1934) by Juan Orol, and the magnificent film Una familia de tantas (1948) by Alejandro Galindo, which dealt with the generation gap between Porfirian nostalgia and the modern world well into the decade of the forties. These films were usually accompanied by romantic songs and boleros. But that very urban environment produced a character who went from the suburbs to the carpa theater (tent show) and from there to the cinema with particular success: “the pelado,” incarnated by the actor Mario Moreno “Cantinflas.” He also became the emblematic figure of national cinema beginning with a ranchera comedy, Así es mi tierra (1937) by the “Mexicanized” Russian-born Arcady Boytler; he later established himself with the comedy Ahí está el detalle (1940) by Juan Bustillo Oro. Using language as an element of resistance to and criticism of the inconsistencies and corrupt practices of politicians and social representatives, “Cantinflas” left the vernacular theater to incorporate himself definitively into cinema and popular entertainment as a distinctly Mexican contribution to the linguistic usage of Spanish idioms in Mexico, specifically with his characteristic style of talking a lot and saying nothing. His dances and songs referred to the ranchero world as well as to the cabarets and popular theaters.19

Brothel environments and cabarets also had much to say in the cinema and culture of Mexico City. From Santa (1931), which was considered Mexico’s first sound film, to the incorporation of “tropical queens,” like Ninón Sevilla, Amalia Aguilar, and María Antonieta Pons, into the nascent national star system already advanced in the forties, the universe of the nightclubs and Caribbean music was associated directly with cinematography, not only with artistic aspirations, but above all, with commercial objectives.20 The latter also linked those themes with other mass media in full expansion, like the radio and record industry.

And it is fair to say that the second half of the thirties was also one of the greatest periods of glory in the radio industry in Mexico. Converted in slightly more than five years into the most coveted appliance of the popular and middle-class sectors, of the farmers, and especially of urban dwellers, the radio was an important part of the lives of those who formed the so-called great Mexican family. The expansion of the radio throughout the country happened pretty fast. In 1934, the country had fifty-seven radio stations. By 1940, that number had nearly doubled. The majority of households—even in quite a few remote areas in the countryside, the mountains, the rain basins, and the coasts—were familiar with the voices of radio announcers like Ricardo López Méndez, Humberto G. Tamayo, Jorge Marrón “El Dr. IQ,” Manuel Bernal, and many others who, with all kinds of verbal excesses made the station identifications and conducted programs on the three major commercial stations in the country: XEW, XEB, and XEQ. All of them were located in Mexico City.

The radio became a multipurpose instrument, capable not only of presenting artists and songs, but also of broadcasting the constant advertising in favor of this or that product. It reached the point of providing therapeutic advice with the famous programs of Dra. Corazón, and it even collaborated in court cases attributed to Investigador Policiaco del Aire, Alonso Sordo Noriega.

XEW, known as the “Voice of Latin America from Mexico,” along with XEQ, formed the basis of an empire that was no stranger to the incorporation of ranchero, tropical, and U.S. fashion and styles in urban life. But it is fair to say that in those years, radio programming consisted mainly of Mexican and Latin American music. Some of the most famous programs of those years were La hora del aficionado, which began on XEW in 1935, the Noticiero Carta Blanca or La hora azul with Agustín Lara, and El Guasón del Teclado with Francisco Gabilondo Soler, also known as “Cri-Crí, the singing cricket.”21

Perhaps the most important sequel that we have today from those years in Mexican radio is La hora nacional, which the Autonomous Directorate of Press and Propaganda (DAPP, acronym in Spanish) of the Cárdenas government, established in 1937. Since then the program has used all the stations of the country, on Sunday night, to send official messages and try to weave a so-called “bond between all Mexicans.” However, the DAPP also became involved in another activity that marked a particularly long era for entertainment within Mexican households: the radio theaters. In 1938, the first formal season of the “theater on the air” began, which would soon be a model for other stations that exploited the radio format well into the sixties. Radio dramas such as El Monje Loco, Solteras y Divorciadas, and Porfirio Cadena “El Ojo de vidrio” that were heard during the forties and fifties acquired the status of “radio classics.”

But the popular theater and cabarets were similarly linked to the radio. Although the Cárdenas government had closed down the gambling houses and tried to outlaw prostitution, nightly entertainment, both popular and aristocratic, had a particular boom that was demonstrated in the constant attendance of the public at theaters and ballrooms. Comic scenarios and variety shows, like the Lírico, the Arbeu, the Iris, the Principal, or the Fábregas, as well as some carpas with intriguing names like Molino Verde, la Alfonso, la Mayab, or la Valentina, attracted hundreds of spectators nightly. There, actors and singers, such as Joaquín Pardavé, Leopoldo “El Cuatezón” Beristáin, Roberto “El Panzón” Soto, Elisa Berumen, Lalo López “Chaflán,” Amelia Wilhelmy, Manuel Medel, Lupe Rivas Cacho, Carlos Navarro “Mantequilla,” and Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” himself, rose to fame from the vernacular stage, and from there to radio and then to the movies, many times making their way back from the big screen to a brief stage appearance in the carpa.22

In popular ballrooms like “El Eslava,” “El Pirata,” the “Salón Azteca,” “El Vaporcito,” and the famous “Salón Mexico,” couples would move their hips to the sound of Caribbean rhythms such as danzón or rumba, bolero, or conga, or as the background of some of the chorus or tropical solos. A good number of radio broadcasts were also made from the cabarets, until the activity was restricted in 1937, leaving only more aristocratic places like “El Foreign Club,” “Teocalli Super Club,” and “El Patio.” The elegant and articulate language of broadcasters like Pedro de Lille or Arturo de Córdova went better with the white tuxedo and bow tie required to enter these nightclubs. But on the stage and catwalks of the Politeama theater, the Grillón cabaret, the Waikiki, or the Salón Los Ángeles, the repertoire of characters and situations was much richer than what floated on the radio waves. While many former actors of the revue theater and the carpas were now occupied in productions that reached the very Palace of Fine Arts, as “el Panzón” Soto did with his classic Rayando el Sol in 1937, which represented the nostalgic world of the countryside, there were other popular artists who kept the neighborhood theaters alive, like the “Follies Bergere” with political criticism and costumbrista scenes that were more satirical than evocative.

The romantic music of Agustín Lara, Luis Alcaraz, Gonzalo Curiel, and José Sabre Marroquín, alternated with the danzón of Consejo Valiente “Acerina,” with the rumba group of the Puerto Rican Rafael Hernández, and the multifaceted orchestra of Juan S. Garrido. At the same time, ranchera songs of the Trio Garnica-Ascencio or the first earthy woman singer, Lucha Reyes; the contributions of Mexican folklorists Ignacio Fernández Esperón, Alfonso Esparza Oteo, and Lorenzo Barcelata; and the boleros of María Greever and Jorge del Moral were heard. It was not uncommon to hear in the same cabaret, on the same night, the velvety voice of Pedro Vargas, the tropical cadence of Toña “La Negra,” and the serene ballads of the Martínez Gil brothers. By then a few recording studios marked the beginning of a recording industry that would go hand in hand with radio and cinematographic work. While Peerles, Camden, RCA Victor, or Okeh—nearly all affiliates of U.S. companies—were in charge of record production, the link between the radio stations and movie producers would be crucial for the music’s mass dissemination and placement in the national and international market. Attracted by the growth of these media, an increasingly massive number of artists from the countryside, carrying their jaranas, marimbas, bajos sextos (a twelve-string guitar called the “sixth bass”), guitars, violins, and accordions, or from Latin American countries equipped with rumbas, tangos, cumbias, bambucos, claves, and Creole waltzes came to Mexico City to participate in this golden age of popular music and radio.23

Cosmopolitanism, Caribbean Influence, and Regional Nostalgia

During the early forties the flourishing of popular Mexican music and its Latin American derivations were occasionally overshadowed by the rhythms from the United States, such as the swings and the blues, which orchestras like those of Everett Hoagland and Alberto Domínguez “Mr. Frenesí” played, as the middle-class and aristocratic audience was fascinated with U.S. styles, requesting their presence on the dance floor, on theater marquees, and, of course, on national radio.

For some, it was also a clear demonstration of the commitments that Mexico had with the United States given the situation of World War II, first, and then after, the Cold War. It seemed that the tendency to punish everything that was considered “typically” Mexican and that appealed more to a folkloric nationalism available for the enjoyment of foreign consumption, mainly tourism, fit in much better with the policies of the northern neighbor than with the post revolutionary tradition of a rural or working-class culture, which would gradually abandon the national scene. In exchange for this, a greater regional patriotism was promoted and given greater continuity, fomented by both the government and the media. The “national folklore” to which the “typical” people of practically the entire country belonged—charros, chinas, inditos, huastecos, norteños, jarochos, tehuanas, or boshitos—was established whereby the cultural authorities of the country and the media, radio, and film believed that it was the joining of the representative values of an entire country, and therefore capable of provoking national pride.

The “classical Mexican” images were affirmed, or even invented, from Mexico City—in the center of culture. The folkloric ballets were included as mandatory accompaniments at the main official festivities and most school ceremonies. Although modern dance had developed with timely elegance and original contributions by its promoters Guillermina Bravo, Josefina Lavalle, and Evelia Beristían, among others, the well-known Folkloric Ballet of Amalia Hernández became a kind of “cultural ambassador” from Mexico from its founding in 1952. Solidly supported from the beginning by radio and film, and subsequently by the Telesistema Mexicano, the largest private television consortium in Mexico and perhaps in the Spanish-speaking world, the dances of Amalia Hernández were disseminated through the programs called Función de Gala. Already linked to the Department of Tourism, the members of the Folkloric Ballet did not have the slightest difficulty in recognizing that, thanks to “their presentations abroad . . . they have given us significant prestige in this area of art.”24

But not all the nationalist zeal was directed at meeting the demand of tourist consumption. In the case of music, and because of the investigations by the likes of Vicente T. Mendoza, Gerónimo Baqueiro Foster, Luis Téllez Girón, and Gabriel Saldívar, supported by knowledge provided by musicologists of Spanish origin Adolfo Salazar and Jesús Bal y Gay, and the German Otto Mayer-Serra, as well as by the criticism by Adolfo Halffter and Estanislao Mejía, the movement of Mexican nationalist academic music continued with the magnificent work initiated a decade before by Silvestre Revueltas and Carlos Chávez. After the death of Revueltas in 1940 and thanks to the prominence of Chávez in the cultural world of the forties and fifties, Mexican musical activity achieved some national and international prestige. Initially, the Group of Four, consisting of José Pablo Moncayo, Salvador Contreras, Blas Galindo, and Daniel Ayala, in clear alliance with Chávez himself, promoted many symphonic and chamber works that had clear nationalist roots. The classic Huapango by Moncayo, Provincianas by Contreras, the Sones de Mariachi by Galindo, and Tribu by Ayala were quickly included in the Mexicanist repertoire of the National Symphony Orchestra founded in 1947, which was led by Luis Herrera de la Fuente. Soon other important composers appeared, such as Miguel Bernal Jiménez, Carlos Jiménez Mabarak, and Eduardo Hernández Moncada. Their sources often took them to folklore, colonial music, and some expressions of the popular Mexican environment, which served as inspiration and reaffirmation of musical nationalism.

Nevertheless, between composers and performers of “classical” music, a new generation also emerged that tried to break with the nationalist aesthetic. During the fifties, an important group of musicians appeared who sought other more experimental and modern paths. Among them were Manuel de Elías, Héctor Quintana, Joaquín Gutiérrez Heras, Leonardo Velásquez, Mario Kuri Aldana, Manuel Enríquez, and Mario Lavista. Some of them were in the composition workshop of Carlos Chávez, who, once he concluded his term as head of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), returned, not without complications and severe criticism, to the world of Mexican and international music.25

But Mexico City nightlife also became increasingly influenced by U.S. customs that were oriented toward the enjoyment of the exotic and the Caribbean: The cabaret and dance halls like “El Intime” or “El Patio” were places where the fashionable rumberas, scantily dressed, showed off their erotic dances, bucking the hypocritical moralistic campaigns of subsequent governments. It was well known that prominent members of the Alemán and Ruiz Cortines political class were among the most frequent visitors of the brothels and night spots of that city.

The rumba was seen as an indecent dance, but the tropical music attracted all social sectors hypnotized by its exhausting pace. The U.S. boogie-woogie and swing, which had become popular during the war years, were gradually displaced by the shrillness of the orchestra of “Cara de foca” (Seal Face), Dámaso Pérez Prado. The agitated dances of Tongolele and Kalantan, the mambo itself, and the subsequent cha-cha-cha were both foreign and “corrupting.” The crusades to dissuade Mexican youth—already fully identified with these dances, considered to be “music of savages” or “rhythm of cannibals”—were largely unsuccessful.

This “outbreak” of the so-called guapachoso and crazy rhythms had to face the mariachi band that continued presenting itself as the “bastion” of traditional Mexican music, with the Plaza Garibaldi as one of its busiest sanctuaries. At the same time, Agustín Lara was still a national idol. The painful boleros of Fernando Z. Maldonado, Chucho Navarro, and Claudio Estrada were also very successful, as was the ranchera music of Felipe Valdés Leal and Chucho Monge. This genre, which appealed to certain rural Mexicanists who gradually urbanized, had remarkable success in the fifties, to a large extent shaped by the extraordinary figure of José Alfredo Jiménez. However, other prominent composers, like Cuco Sánchez, Tomás Méndez, and the “playful style” of Chava Flores, showed some “urban” sensitivity in their way of perceiving and expressing life, love, or misfortune that led them away from their now classic predecessors: Manuel Esperón and Ernesto Cortázar, who had been the delights of their followers in the films of Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete. Many new singers who took refuge in the ranchera repertoire, such as Flor Silvestre, Miguel Aceves Mejía, Lucha Villa, the Huerta sisters, Lola Beltrán, and María de Lourdes, among others, were the direct beneficiaries of the impact of the production of José Alfredo Jiménez and his interpreters.

Co-existing with the appreciation for U.S. stars like Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, the romantic bolero also met with certain success, surviving for many years. Among the bolero singers who stood out were the Cuban Olga Guillot, the Argentine Libertad Lamarque, and the cosmopolitan Elvira Quintana. The trios, especially “Los Panchos,” also became very popular, opening an endless channel of love songs and romantic vocal arrangements.

The bolero ranchero, the result of an experiment by composer Alberto Cervantes and arranger Rubén Fuentes, consisted basically of a bolero rhythm accompanied by mariachi, which represented a kind of extension of the two styles that gave it origin. The bolero ranchero would be embodied paradigmatically in Javier Solís, who, shortly after the deaths of Jorge Negrete in 1953 and Pedro Infante in 1957, was cast as their replacement. It is possible that the wearing out of the so-called ranchero idols caused by excessive marketing contributed to its apparent decline in the early sixties.

By the late fifties, the “madness” of the mambo was subsiding, incorporating itself as another rhythm in the repertoire of the ballrooms, along with the traditional danzón and the new styles from the United States. However, the huge social impact, the fame, and the vast sums of money that the uncovering of the mambo and its tropical dementia generated, provoked, as a consequence, the tenacious search for other rhythms to replace it. From this search, styles would emerge that later were shown to be expendable, like the merecumbé, the Watusi, the charanga-pachanga, the chivirico, and, the most successful, the cha-cha-cha, which in Mexico would be made popular by the orchestras of Enrique Jorrín and Ramón Márquez.

Given the barrage of tropical music, radio contributed to the reaffirmation of Mexican music, with programs like Así es mi tierra by the new competitor of XEW, XEG, which featured artists like the Águila sisters, the Tariacuri trio, and the great Mexican orchestra of Alejandro de la Torre. But a large number of artists who catered to an audience eager for popular music, which made them dance as well as cry, were paraded on XEW. A new radio station, XEX, inaugurated during the administration of Miguel Alemán and directed by announcer Alonso Sordo Noriega, joined the increasingly larger group of Mexican radio stations. Through their waves, everything from the moralizing campaigns of the regime to the erotic overtones of the Lara vein could be transmitted.26

By then, there was talk about Mexican rock and roll that between 1956 and 1958 appeared merely as just another musical style, performed by orchestras and soloists who had the unfathomable ability to adapt to all beats. Among them were the orchestras of Pablo Beltrán Ruiz and Luis Arcaráz, the groups of Gloria Ríos and Cuco Valtierra, and even Agustín Lara himself.

But, by the late 1950s, the taste for this musical genre seemed to have some consistency, beyond the ephemeral styles and the huge scandal sparked by the alleged statement by Elvis Presley in 1957 that he would rather “kiss three black women than one Mexican woman.” By then the credentials of “rock and roll” in Mexico appeared as a curious version of the same in the United States, with the instruments and attire of U.S. rock and roll singers, but sung in Spanish. There was a multitude of groups, usually of young middle-class amateurs with electric guitars paid for by many unspent Sunday allowances. The gimmick was that their name should have some reference to the English language: the Rockin’ Devils, the Ripers, the Glyders, the Wizards, the Play Boys, the Twisters, the Vickings, the Sleepers, the Rogers, the Black Jeans, the Hooligans, the Teen Tops, and many more in Spanish, Locos del Ritmo, Rebeldes del Rock, and the odd one: los Hermanos Carrión.27

Soon there was a group of singers who preferred to go their own way. Manolo Muñoz was the first, when he left the Gibson Boys, followed by Enrique Guzmán of the Teen Tops, César Costa of the Black Jeans, Ricardo Roca of the Hooligans, and Paco Cañedo of the Boopers. Among the women involved in rock and roll who were successful were the former bolero singer María Eugenia Rubio, Julissa, Mayté Gaos, the Jiménez Sisters, and Angélica María, who put into circulation some mixtures of rock and twist composed by, among others, Armando Manzanero and Memo Salamanca. The rock and roll hits of the early years were mainly known as “covers”—songs translated into Spanish that were proven successes with the U.S. public, like “Tu cabeza en mi hombro” (“Put Your Head on My Shoulder”) and “La plaga” with Enrique Guzmán and “Besos por teléfono” or “Mi Pueblo” with César Costa. These were songs taken from those by the well-known Elvis Presley or Paul Anka, adapted to the simple language that supposedly characterized the Mexican youth. The U.S. model was consolidated via a new communication medium that began to radiate its enormous strength in the Mexican middle-class and wealthy sectors: television.

By the end of the Alemán administration and the beginning of the Ruiz Cortines government, television began to fit into the world of Mexican popular culture and consumption, but it would take another decade or two to become established as an essential household applianc. Its incorporation into the world of dissemination of culture and entertainment would thereafter be inevitable, however.

Although it was still possible to see charros riding horses along Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City until well into the sixties, the city already had 192,567 cars in 1960 and 7,473 buses. The pace of urban growth was frankly staggering. In 1960, 7,774 buildings over two stories high were completed, 965 newspapers circulated in the streets, and there were fifty-five radio and six television stations on the air.28

TV and Records: Traditional and New Musical Styles

At the beginning of the sixties, Telesistema Mexicano, led by Azcárraga, O’Farril, and Alemán, was emerging as a large media monopoly that introduced the American Way of Life through its programming models, widely assimilated by a growing number of Mexican television viewers. In addition to the soap operas, which were beginning to establish themselves as a true institution of Mexican popular culture, television showed old U.S. TV series like The Lone Ranger, The Untouchables, and I Love Lucy, among many others. But in the late fifties and early sixties a new and vigorous cultural movement marked the beginning of a new era: that of the youth culture, with both conservative and rebellious ideas.

By then, recordings from companies like RCA Victor Mexicana, CBS, the Peerless, the Discos Musart, Orfeón, Capitol, and Gamma were already quite prolific. These production houses competed to record and sell Mexican and U.S. music in the domestic market, succeeding primarily through the dissemination of their productions on the various radio stations in the capital and in the rest of the country. They already had some time working as promoters of records and hits in exchange for what is euphemistically called “payola”—which was nothing more than payment for positioning a musical piece or an artist insistently and ad nauseam in the supposed “good taste of the Mexican public.” That audience was hardly capable of influencing the musical selection of its favorite radio station; therefore, its ability to be a judge itself was never taken into consideration. So the business of selling records was intimately linked to the radio industry, which allowed itself to be influenced economically through lucrative commissions that kept this or that artist or song in the preference of the listening audience.29

The record shops that sold LPs or singles, 33 or 45 RPMs, were particularly booming in the sixties, not only because of the radio promotion but also because the playback devices, such as portable record players, consoles, amplifiers, and speakers, began to be more affordable to Mexicans. The business of music publishing, controlled by the Mexican Association of Phonogram Producers (AMPROFON, acronym in Spanish), was logically linked to the radio medium, and this to the other mass media. And the most influential magnate in this chain was none other than Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta.30

But it is fair to say that traditional Mexican romantic and popular music was still very much alive. Authors, composers, and performers of the old school like Agustín Lara, Pedro Vargas, Toña la Negra, the recently deceased Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante, the Landín sisters, Claudio Estrada, Chucho Navarro, Amparo Montes, and the “grillito cantor” Francisco Gabilondo Soler, among many others, were present in the record markets and on national radio. On the multiple stations with the necessary prefix X—which is the international identification of the radio in Mexico—some important moments in the musical history of the country, ranging from Guty Cárdenas to Alvaro Carrillo, from the trio Garnica-Ascencio to Los Panchos, from Wello Rivas to the Sonora Santanera, could be heard any day of the week, and at any time.31

Perhaps one of the most prolific young composers of those days was the Yucatecan Armando Manzanero, who had been an arranger and accompanist for “the girlfriend of Mexican youth,” Angélica María, during the early years of her career as a ballad and rock and roll singer. Manzanero was the creator of the revitalization of the romantic ballad that, in the mid-sixties, urgently required some modernization. As demonstrated with pieces that were very successful commercially, like “Esta tarde vi llover” and “No,” it was not long before this composer/performer would enter the world of silver, gold, and platinum records, quickly becoming an export item to Latin America and the rest of the world. The commercial media were unable to find another Mexican composer of his stature for the first half of the sixties. But other Spanish-speaking performers, with other influences, also made their careers in Mexico, like the Spanish ballad singer Raphael or Rocío Dúrcal, Marisol, and the Pili and Mili twins. Fortunately, the Spanish media were promoting someone who would also become a symbol of the song with some rebellious content: Joan Manuel Serrat. The Catalán composer and singer had many followers among the young Mexican public, although it would be more toward the seventies when his promotion on this side of the Atlantic would be consolidated.

Yet another musical history was being written at the time, and the always-eager commercial interests could not fail to participate in it. It was the global phenomenon led by the British group The Beatles, which prompted the internationalization of the Anglo-Saxon musical style, and that later on would be continued by other English-speaking groups of the most varied kind, from the Rolling Stones to the Beach Boys. English thus became the official language of modern and youthful music.

The theaters and ballrooms that once received the fans of the danzón, swing, cha-cha-cha, and cumbia with open arms, now began to open the dance floors and scenarios to the young ballad singers (crooners), rock and rollers, and twisters. The jazz nightclubs, for their part, were promoted by young “existentialists” who occupied any old house in the Roma neighborhood or in the nascent Pink Zone in Mexico City. That rich, rhythmic, and complex music, which already had some important representatives in Mexico like Juan José Calatayud, Chilo Morán, and Victor Ruiz Pasos, among others, was severely overshadowed by the invasion of rock in English and to a lesser extent by its Spanish versions.32

The Lírico theater, Maxim’s Salón, and the Riviera in Mexico City, as well as the Bum Bum and the Tequila in Acapulco, saw the Apson Boys or the Rockin’ Devils arrive along with the Jiménez Sisters, Mayté Gaos, María Eugenia Rubio, or the Teen Tops to present and dance rock and roll, the jerk, surf, or simply the “go go” rhythms, like the ballads or the love songs in the style “Tomás . . . que feo estás” (“Thomas . . . you’re so ugly”) or “Quiero ser la consentida de mi profesor” (I want to be my teacher’s pet).

Soon other versions of clubs and “discotecas” appeared, which tried to convert their spaces into much more exclusive places for young people with a great desire to dance and little musical knowledge. In Mexico City, the Memphis, the Harlem, or the A Plein Soleil went from being somewhat unknown cafés to true rock and roll consumption centers.33 Groups like Los Crazy Birds, which included a rather loquacious and theatrical singer, Luis “Vivi” Hernández, or balladeers like Mona Bell occupied the small stages of these places, which soon received sanctions from intolerant and prejudiced authorities of the moment.

Gradually a relatively new trend was populating the musical and rock and roll world of Mexican youth. This was psychedelic rock and the hippie counterculture. The long hair, colorful clothes, the “explosion of peace and love,” the flowers, miniskirts, drugs, anti-war sentiment, especially that of Vietnam, were attracting more and more followers, as demonstrated by the first magazine devoted exclusively to those subjects from the point of view and opinion of young people. This publication appeared in early 1968 and was simply named Pop. Edited by Victor Blanco Labra, its contributors included Carlos Monsiváis, José Agustín, Parménides García Saldaña, and Alejandro Jodorowsky.34

With an eye focused on all the British and U.S. musical activity, this magazine became an important Mexican reference of the change that sought to lead the world’s youth through mass music festivals and protests against segregation and war and, of course, supported young people’s ability to decide about their own life and activities. But it is fair to acknowledge that these young people confronted a number of diverse opponents—ranging from high levels of government and the church to parents and schools, from the daily media to the occasional commentators.

Various mass media insisted on the dissemination of music and messages that were more “appropriate for Mexican youth,” such as the hit by Virginia López and Sonora Santanera that said, “¿Qué es lo que pasó? Que se desmayó” (“What happened? He fainted”) or that ironic question that, by appearing constantly on the radio, like a message with pretensions of official control, became a kind of classic sixties slogan: “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?”

The popular composer Chava Flores also seemed to pose a timely question—just as the last throes of the so-called Mexican developmentism appeared—with his song “A qué le tiras cuando sueñas mexicano?” (“What do you think about when you dream Mexican?”). And José Alfredo Jiménez only knew how to respond to it, not so much with his “Sigo siendo el rey” (“I’m still king”) but with his “No me amenaces” (“Don’t threaten me”). Yet all those pieces in the mass media could not silence the other music that would accompany that emblematic year of 1968 and that culminated in profound national discontent. But that is a story that has already been told in another place and at another time.35

Primary Sources

Relevant primary sources include: Biblioteca del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Mexico City UNAM; Biblioteca Nacional, Mexico City, UNAM; Hemeroteca Nacional, Mexico City, UNAM; Fonoteca Nacional de México, Mexico City, Coyoacán; and Radio Educación, Mexico City, Col. Del Valle, Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City.

The Fonoteca Nacional and Radio Educación both have diverse audio archives that feature radio programs produced in Mexico City since the 1960s. Many of these programs explore the history of Mexican popular music, especially those produced by Mario Rivas Mercado, Felícitas Vázquez Nava, Graciela Ramírez, and Ricardo Pérez Montfort.

Further Reading

Acevedo, Esther. “El modernismo: Una ruptura de fin de siglo.” In Fin de siglos ¿Fin de ciclos? 1810, 1910, 2010. Coordinated by Leticia Reina and Ricardo Pérez Montfort, 314–324. Mexico: Siglo XXI Editores, 2013.Find this resource:

    Arriola Ortiz, Alejandro. Recordando otros tiempos. México: Galatea, 1944.Find this resource:

      Azuela de la Cueva, Alicia. Arte y poder: Renacimiento artístico y revolución social, México, 1910–1945. Zamora, Mexico: El Colegio de Michoacán, 2005.Find this resource:

        Barajas Durán, Rafael (el Fisgón). Posada: Mito y Mitote: La caricatura política de José Guadalupe Posada y Manuel Alfonso Manilla. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2009.Find this resource:

          Boehm de Lameiras, Brigitte. Indios de México y viajeros extranjeros. México: Secretaría de Educación Pública, 1973.Find this resource:

            Carmona, Gloria. 3. Periodo de la Independencia a la Revolución (1810–1910). In La música de México I. Historia. Edited by Julio Estrada. México: UNAM, 1984.Find this resource:

              Ceballos, Edgar. La opera: 1901–1925. México, D.F.: Escenelogía, 2002.Find this resource:

                Cosío Villegas, Daniel. Memorias. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1976.Find this resource:

                  De los Reyes, Aurelio. “El cine en México 1896–1930.” In Ochenta años de cine en México, 9–92. By Aurelio De los Reyes. Mexico: UNAM, 1977.Find this resource:

                    De los Reyes, Aurelio. El nacimiento de ¡Qué viva México! Mexico: UNAM, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, 2006.Find this resource:

                      De María y Campos, Armando. El teatro de género chico en la Revolución Mexicana. México: Instituto Nacional de Estudios Históricos de la Revolución Mexicana, 1956.Find this resource:

                        Díaz Arciniega, Víctor. Querella por la cultura “revolucionaria” (1925). Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1989.Find this resource:

                          Dueñas, Pablo. Las divas en le teatro de revista mexicano. México: Asociación de Estudios Fonográficos, 1994.Find this resource:

                            Garrido, Juan S. Historia de la música popular Mexicana. Mexico: Editorial Extempráneos, 1974.Find this resource:

                              González Navarro, Moisés. “La vida social.” In Historia Moderna de México: El Porfiriato. Edited by Daniel Cosío Villegas. Mexico: Editorial Hermes, 1957.Find this resource:

                                Henríquez Ureña, Pedro. “La Revolución y la Cultura en México.” Revista de Revistas 15 March 1924: 35.Find this resource:

                                  Jáuregui, Jesús. El mariachi: Símbolo musical de México. Mexico: BANPAIS, 1990.Find this resource:

                                    Martínez, José Luis. La expresión nacional. Mexico, D.F.: Oasis, 1984.Find this resource:

                                      Mendoza, Vicente T. El corrido mexicano. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1954.Find this resource:

                                        Mendoza, Vicente T. La canción mexicana. Mexico: Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM, 1961.Find this resource:

                                          Miquel, Angel, Zuzana M. Pick, and Eduardo de la Vega Alfaro. Fotografía, cine y literatura de la Revolución Mexicana. Mexico: Universidad Autónoma de Morelos, 2004.Find this resource:

                                            Monsiváis, Carlos. “Las costumbres avanzan entre regaños.” In Del Fistol a la Linterna: Homenaje a José Tomas de Cuéllar y Manuel Payno en el centenario de su muerte, 13–22. Edited by Margo Glantz. Mexico: UNAM, 1997.Find this resource:

                                              Monsiváis, Carlos. La cultura mexicana en el siglo XX. Mexico: El Colegio de México, 2010.Find this resource:

                                                Morales, Alfonso. El país de las tandas: Teatro de revista 1900–1940. Mexico: Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares, 1984.Find this resource:

                                                  Moreno Rivas, Yolanda. Rostros del nacionalismo en la música Mexicana: Un ensayo de interpretación. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1989.Find this resource:

                                                    Pérez Montfort, Ricardo. Avatares del nacionalismo cultural: Cinco ensayos. Morelos, Mexico: CIDEHM, 2000.Find this resource:

                                                      Pérez Montfort, Ricardo. Estampas de nacionalismo popular mexicano: Diez ensayos sobre cultura popular y nacionalismo. 2d ed. Mexico, D.F.: CIESAS, 2003.Find this resource:

                                                        Pérez Montfort, Ricardo. Expresiones populares y estereotipos culturales en México, Siglos XIX y XX: Diez Ensayos. Mexico: CIESAS, 2007.Find this resource:

                                                          Pérez Montfort, Ricardo. “Cultura musical y resistencia en México 1968–1988.” In Cultura y resistencia en México, 55–78. Edited by Ignacio Sosa and Antoine Rodríguez. México: Nostromo Editores, 2013.Find this resource:

                                                            Poblett Miranda, Martha. Viajeros en el siglo XIX. Mexico: CONACULTA, 2000.Find this resource:

                                                              Ramírez, Fausto. Modernización y modernismo en el arte mexicano. Mexico: Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM, 2008.Find this resource:

                                                                Reyes de la Maza, Luis. El teatro en México durante el porfirismo. Mexico: Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM, 1965.Find this resource:

                                                                  Schmidt, Henry C. The Roots of Lo Mexicano: Self and Society in Mexican Thought, 1900–1934. College Station, TX, and London: Texas A&M University Press, 1978.Find this resource:

                                                                    Sefchovich, Sara. México: País de ideas, país de novellas. Mexico: Ed. Grijalbo, 1987.Find this resource:

                                                                      Sierra, Justo. Obras completas. Vol. 12, Evolución política del pueblo mexicano. Edited by Edmundo O’Gorman. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1977.Find this resource:

                                                                        Sosa, Ignacio. El positivismo en México (Antología). México: UNAM, 2005.Find this resource:

                                                                          Speckman Guerra, Elisa. “De barrios y arrabales: entorno, cultura material y quehacer cotidiano (Mexico City, 1890–1910).” In Historia de la vida cotidiana en México, 17–48 Collection directed by Pilar Gonzalbo Aizpuru. Vol. 5, Siglo XX: Campo y ciudad. Coordinated by Aurelio de los Reyes. Mexico: El Colegio de México, 2006.Find this resource:

                                                                            Staples, Anne. “Una sociedad superior para una nueva nación.” In Historia de la vida cotidiana en México. Collection directed by Pilar Gonzalbo Aizpuru. Vol. 4, Bienes y vivencias: El siglo XIX, 307–332. Coordinated by Anne Staples. Mexico: El Colegio de México, 2005.Find this resource:

                                                                              Tenorio Trillo, Mauricio. Artilugio de la Nación Moderna: México en las exposiciones universales, 1880–1930. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1996.Find this resource:

                                                                                Vaughan, Mary Kay, and Stephen E. Lewis, eds. The Eagle and the Virgin: Nation and Cultural Revolution in Mexico, 1920–1940. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2006.Find this resource:

                                                                                  Yankelevich, Pablo. La Revolución Mexicana en América Latina: Intereses políticos e itinerarios intelectuales. Mexico: Instituto Mora, 2003.Find this resource:

                                                                                    Notes:

                                                                                    (1.) Henry Schmidt, 1978, 3–37

                                                                                    (2.) Gloria Carmona, 3. Periodo de la Independencia a la Revolución (1810–1910). In La música de México I. Historia, ed. Julio Estrada (México: UNAM, 1984); and Yolanda Moreno Rivas, Rostros del nacionalismo en la música Mexicana: Un ensayo de interpretación (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1989).

                                                                                    (3.) Ricardo Pérez Montfort, Estampas de nacionalismo popular mexicano: Diez ensayos sobre cultura popular y nacionalismo. 2d ed. (Mexico, D.F.: CIESAS, 2003): 97–121.

                                                                                    (4.) Luis Reyes de la Maza, El teatro en México durante el porfirismo (Mexico: Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM, 1965).

                                                                                    (5.) Edgar Ceballos, La opera: 1901–1925 (México, D.F.: Escenelogía, 2002).

                                                                                    (6.) Yolanda Moreno Rivas, Rostros del nacionalismo en la música Mexicana: Un ensayo de interpretación (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1989).

                                                                                    (7.) Vicente T. Mendoza, La canción mexicana (Mexico: Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM, 1961).

                                                                                    (8.) Jesús Jáuregui, El mariachi: Símbolo musical de México (Mexico: BANPAIS, 1990), 30.

                                                                                    (9.) Vicente T. Mendoza, El corrido mexicano (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1954).

                                                                                    (10.) Juan S. Garrido, Historia de la música popular Mexicana (Mexico: Editorial Extempráneos, 1974), 24.

                                                                                    (11.) Pablo Dueñas, Las divas en le teatro de revista mexicano (México: Asociación de Estudios Fonográficos, 1994).

                                                                                    (12.) Armando De María y Campos, El teatro de género chico en la Revolución Mexicana (México: Instituto Nacional de Estudios Históricos de la Revolución Mexicana, 1956).

                                                                                    (13.) Pablo Yankelevich, La Revolución Mexicana en América Latina: Intereses políticos e itinerarios intelectuales (Mexico: Instituto Mora, 2003).

                                                                                    (14.) Moreno Rivas, Rostros del nacionalismo.

                                                                                    (15.) Ricardo Pérez Montfort, Expresiones populares y estereotipos culturales en México, Siglos XIX y XX: Diez Ensayos (Mexico: CIESAS, 2007).

                                                                                    (16.) Angel Miquel, et al., Fotografía, cine y literatura de la Revolución Mexicana (Mexico: Universidad Autónoma de Morelos, 2004).

                                                                                    (17.) Aurelio De los Reyes, “El cine en México 1896–1930.” In Ochenta años de cine en México, edited by Aurelio De los Reyes (Mexico: UNAM, 1977).

                                                                                    (18.) Pérez Montfort, Expresiones populares, 121–148.

                                                                                    (19.) Emilio García Riera, Historia del cine mexicano (México: SEP, 1986), 111–112.

                                                                                    (20.) Fernando Muñoz Castillo, Las reinas del tropico (México: Azabache, 1993).

                                                                                    (21.) Pavel Granados, XEW 70 Años en el aire (Mexico:Editorial Clío, 2000).

                                                                                    (22.) Alfonso Morales, El país de las tandas Teatro de revista 1900–1940 (Mexico: Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares, 1984).

                                                                                    (23.) Yolanda Moreno Rivas, Historia de la música popular mexicana (México: CONACULTA, 1979), 65–93.

                                                                                    (24.) Alberto Dallal, La danza en México (México: UNAM, 1986), 122–123.

                                                                                    (25.) Julio Estrada, ed., La música de México. I. Historia, 5. Periodo contemporáneo (1958–1980) (México:UNAM, 1984), 11–64.

                                                                                    (26.) Yolanda Moreno Rivas, Historia de la música popular mexicana (México: CONACULTA, 1979), 65–91, 181–208, 233–245.

                                                                                    (27.) Eric Zolov, Refried Elvis. The rise of the Mexican Counterculture (Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2002).

                                                                                    (28.) Bernardo Navarro y Ovidio Gonzalez, Metro, Metropoli, México (Mexico: UNAM, 1989), 14.

                                                                                    (29.) Claes af Geijerstam, Popular Music in Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986).

                                                                                    (30.) Pavel Granados, XEW 70 Años en el aire (Mexico: Editorial Clío, 2000).

                                                                                    (31.) Juan S. Garrido, Historia de la música popularen México (1896–1973)

                                                                                    (32.) Alain Derbez, El Jazz en México. Datos para una historia (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2001).

                                                                                    (33.) Yolanda Moreno Rivas, Historia de la música popular mexicana (México: CONACULTA, 1979).

                                                                                    (34.) Víctor Blanco Labra, Rockstalgia. Crónicas rocanroleras. Años 50 y 60 (México: Editorial Diana, 2007).

                                                                                    (35.) Ricardo Pérez Montfort, “Cultura musical y resistencia en México 1968–1988.” In Cultura y resistencia en México, edited by Ignacio Sosa and Antoine Rodríguez (México: Nostromo Editores, 2013).