José Pablo Moncayo García (June 29, 1912 – June 16, 1958) was a Mexican pianist, percussionist, music teacher, composer and conductor. "As composer, José Pablo Moncayo represents one of the most important legacies of the Mexican nationalism in art music, after Silvestre Revueltas and Carlos Chávez." He produced some of the masterworks that best symbolize the essence of the national aspirations and contradictions of Mexico in the 20th century.
Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, José Pablo Moncayo was introduced to music by his elder brother Francisco.Eduardo Hernández Moncada is reported as the first teacher of José Pablo Moncayo in 1926, when the teenager was fourteen years old. According to Aurelio Tello, Hernández Moncada suggested his pupil Moncayo study at the National Conservatory. Tello reports that Moncayo was admitted to the conservatory in 1929; meanwhile, in order to finance his studies, he worked as a jazz pianist. According to the research of Torres-Chibrás, different sources point out the fact that Moncayo took composition lessons with Candelario Huízar, and it is known that he continued his piano instruction with Hernández Moncada. It is not certain in which courses Moncayo registered at the conservatory and who his other teachers were, but thanks to the biographies of his contemporaries Salvador Contreras, Blas Galindo and Daniel Ayala we may assume that Moncayo followed a similar path during his instruction at the National Conservatory. It is known that Huízar taught courses such as harmony, counterpoint and analysis (also called musical forms). Solfège or sight reading was taught by the eminent professors Vicente T. Mendoza and Gerónimo Baqueiro Foster. Music history was taught by Ernesto Enríquez. Luis Sandi was the conductor of the conservatory chorale and Eduardo Hernández Moncada, the associate conductor. In different periods Hernández Moncada taught, in addition to his piano lessons, harmony, sight reading, and later, opera ensembles. José Rolón, who had studied under Nadia Boulanger and Paul Dukas in Paris (and also met Arnold Schoenberg), taught harmony, counterpoint and fugue. Chávez was highly concerned with the general education and culture of the conservatory students and established literature courses taught by the contemporary poets Salvador Novo and Carlos Pellicer, world history by Jesús C. Romero, and history of Mexican culture by Agustín Loera and Chávez himself.
According to Salvador Contreras, Carlos Chávez created a composition course at the National Conservatory. Although Roberto García Morillo points out the year 1930, most sources agreed that this course started in 1931. According to Robert L. Parker, this new composition class was originally called Class of Musical Creation and later, Composition Workshop; Chávez had some colleagues as pupils, such as Vicente T. Mendoza, Candelario Huízar and Revueltas, and "there were four students under twenty years of age: Daniel Ayala and Blas Galindo (both pure blooded Indians), Salvador Contreras and José Pablo Moncayo." Jesús C. Romero suggests that Chávez conducted a selection process among young students of the conservatory before admitting anyone and relates that Daniel Ayala was chosen thanks to his "incipient renown as composer, Salvador Contreras, for his violin skills, and José Pablo Moncayo, on account of his ability to do sight reading at the piano."  Furthermore, Romero reports that Blas Galindo was admitted the following year together with five other students. It seems that the new composition course attracted many students, their number increasing year after year, but only four of them attended the final examination. These four diligent students were Moncayo, Contreras, Galindo and Ayala. An article written by Galindo confirms his admittance to the course in 1932, together with seven other students. The article offers a detailed account of the training received at Chávez's workshop.
At the first performance of the Renovation Musical Society (Sociedad Musical "Renovación")on August 22, 1931, Moncayo presents a couple of his own compositions, Impressions in a Forest, and Impression, both for solo piano. An opportunity of professional advancement for Moncayo in 1932 was his admission to the Symphony Orchestra of Mexico (OSM). The first program of the season of the Symphony Orchestra of Mexico dated 28 October 1932, lists the name of José Pablo Moncayo for the first time as a member of the orchestra in the percussion section.
During the fall of 1932, Chávez organized a festival of chamber music at the National Conservatory and invited his friend Aaron Copland to participate in it. The friendship between Chávez and Copland was extended to Revueltas as well, as described by Eduardo Contreras Soto, revealing that Revueltas also exchanged correspondence with the American composer. Moncayo and Galindo, both incipient proteges of Chávez, also started a long and fruitful relationship with Copland. Next year, Moncayo gets a part-time job as music teacher in a school (16 May 1933).
Mexican newspapers reported that on 1 December 1934, the new president of Mexico, General Lázaro Cárdenas, took the oath of office. There was a change in executive positions in the federal government, and Ignacio García Téllez, former dean of the National University, was now appointed Secretary of Education. García Téllez appointed José Muñoz Cota as chief of the Department of Fine Arts; as a result Chávez was removed from the head of the National Conservatory and was replaced by his enemy Estanislao Mejía. According to Blas Galindo, with the arrival of this new administration the composition workshop was terminated. Consequently, the composition training of Moncayo and his young friends was interrupted. According to Torres-Chibrás, "life was not easy at the conservatory for the four "orphans" of Maestro Chávez. Despite all the pressure exerted against them, they overcame all the difficulties, joined forces and emerged as an avant-garde group." Blas Galindo reports that they were branded as "Chavistas" and blacklisted by the new administration of the Conservatory, to the point of setting obstacles for their registration. They decided to give a first concert with their compositions demonstrating with it the truthfulness of the class of Music Creation that had been suppressed from the study plan of the Conservatory. The four friends agreed to arrange the program with compositions made by them after Chávez's departure from the conservatory. On 25 November 1935, at 8:30 P.M., the first concert of these young composers took place at the Teatro de Orientación. Moncayo premièred his Sonatina for solo piano, performed by himself, and premiered as well Amatzinac, for flute and string quartet. His friends collaborated as performers in the following order: Salvador Contreras and Daniel Ayala, violins; Miguel Bautista, viola; Juan Manuel Téllez Oropeza, violoncello; and Miguel Preciado, as flute soloist. A review from José Barros Serra calls the students "The Group of Four," with the aim to promote the nationalistic spirit of Mexican music. The second time these four young composers joined as a group was in a concert that took place on 26 March 1936, at 8:30 P.M. at the Teatro de Orientación. They adopted the epithet given to them the previous year in a newspaper review by José Barros Serra, the "Group of Four," and this was the first public appearance where they intentionally used it. The Group of Four experienced increasing awareness among Mexican audiences and even some internationalization.
In the collection of programs of the year 1936 at library of the National Arts Center, in Mexico City, José Pablo Moncayo is listed as a member of the percussion section of the controversial National Symphony Orchestra created in 1935 at the National Conservatory by Estanislao Mejía and conducted by Silvestre Revueltas from 1936 on. The OSM programs preserved at the Library of the National Center of the Arts have the program of 5 September 1936, where Moncayo's La Adelita was premiered by the Orquesta Sinfónica de México, within the children's concert series, under Carlos Chávez's baton. One week later, on 11 September, Moncayo made his debut as orchestra conductor with the OSM, at the age of 24. During the seventh program of the season, Chávez gave Moncayo the opportunity to conduct the opening work of the evening, the Prelude of Richard Wagner's Lohengrin. Chávez conducted the rest of the program that included La Damoiselle élue by Debussy, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The same month, in another program of the children's concert series, the one of 26 September 1936, another arrangement by Moncayo, La Valentina, was premiered by the OSM, conducted by Carlos Chávez.
In 1941 Chávez organized a concert of Mexican music with the OSM that included some of the works presented previous year in New York and requested Moncayo and Contreras to write compositions for such program. José Antonio Alcaraz says that, "It was Chávez himself who asked Moncayo to write a piece based on popular music of the (Mexican) southeast coast for a concert that he called 'Traditional Mexican Music.' " 
According to the notes prepared by Herbert Weinstock for the concerts arranged by Chávez in New York (1940), the program then included a work called Huapangos by Gerónimo Baqueiro Foster. This piece was in reality an orchestral arrangement of several popular dances from the eastern state of Veracruz. In the 1941 program Chávez replaced Baqueiro's Huapangos with a new work called Huapango, written by Moncayo (a huapango is a type of Mexican dance). The difference is that Moncayo's Huapango is not just an arrangement but a legitimate work inspired by the popular music of Veracruz ("El Siquisiri", "El Balajú" and "El Gavilancito"). Chávez sent Moncayo and Galindo to Veracruz for a field exploration about the popular music of the region. Quoted by Moncayo's faithful pupil, José Antonio Alcaraz, Moncayo reports his experience:
Blas Galindo and I went to Alvarado, one of the places where folkloric music is preserved in its most pure form; we were collecting melodies, rhythms and instrumentations during several days. The transcription of it was very difficult because the huapangueros (musicians) never sang the same melody twice in the same way. When I came back to Mexico, I showed the collected material to Candelario Huízar; Huízar gave me a piece of advice that I will always be grateful for: "Expose the material first in the same way you heard it and develop it later according to your own thought." And I did it, and the result is almost satisfactory for me.
Moncayo's Huapango was premièred on 15 August 1941, at the Palacio de Bellas Artes by the Symphony Orchestra of Mexico under Chávez's baton. Programs of the 1942 season list Eduardo Hernández Moncada as assistant conductor and José Pablo Moncayo at the piano as well as in the percussion section. Moncayo began to work on an ambitious project, a symphony. That summer, and probably thanks to the recommendations of Chávez and Copland, Moncayo and Galindo were granted scholarships from the Rockefeller Foundation to study at the Berkshire Music Institute, known today as the Tanglewood Music Center. According to Dr. Jesús C. Romero, Moncayo was invited to attend there by Aaron Copland and Serge Koussevitzky. The Symphony was scheduled to be premiered by the Orquesta Sinfónica de México on 21 August 1942, but the performance was postponed. The première would take place a couple of years later. The program notes of 1 September 1944, written by Francisco Agea, explain that the two last movements were written in Berkshire:
Both movements were written in the United States, when Moncayo, invited by the director Serge Koussevitzky, attended the Berkshire Festival and the special courses taught to the new generations of composers. It is evident that the author, finding himself abroad and longing for his fatherland, felt the need to express himself in a Mexican language.
Moncayo worked in Berkshire not only on his symphony but also completed another work, probably in Copland's composition course, Llano Grande for chamber orchestra, which was premiered by the orchestra during the Berkshire Festival precisely on 21 August. Arroyos by Blas Galindo, Moncayo's alter ego in this trip, was premiered in Berkshire a few days before, on 17 August. The two Mexicans also had the opportunity to meet two other fellow composers and conductors who attended the courses at Berkshire that summer, Lukas Foss and twenty-four-year-old Leonard Bernstein. Galindo reports his experiences about Berkshire:
There I meet Bernstein, who was kilometers ahead of me, Lukas Foss . . . I remember Hindemith who was very serious. I also met Latin-American composers like Ginastera . . . [about Varèse] I have photos and autographed scores of his. I liked to go visit his studio in New York [City]; his compositions amazed me. He was building his techniques out of noises. I admire him because he dared to break with traditions, he was a pioneer. He knew that I cared about him.
The programs of 1945 reveal that Moncayo was appointed assistant conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Mexico in that year and that his activities as conductor increased. The year 1946, the rising conducting career of Moncayo brought him to his next position. Chávez appointed the thirty-four-year-old conductor as artistic director of the Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, while Chávez remained its musical director.
Since it was not my intention to interrupt my achievement (the OSM), but that it continue under the responsibility of the Board of the Symphony and the competent and able technicians that they would recruit, I had no other choice but to remain as director of the orchestra, with the greatest and best desire that the new artistic director that we selected to formally work beside me, José Pablo Moncayo, would arrive to take full responsibility of the situation.
However, the Symphony Orchestra of Mexico season program of 1948 (13 February to 25 April) no longer lists Moncayo as a member of the orchestra. In 1948 Eduardo Hernández Moncada was the conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra (Mexico) (OSN)—created in 1947 under the aegis of the National Institute of Fine Arts—and within the programs Moncayo's name appears on the list of musicians as the orchestra pianist. Chávez, as general director of the Fine Arts Institute, appointed Moncayo as music director/conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra (Mexico) on 1 January 1949.
The last program found with Moncayo's name as conductor of the OSN dates from Wednesday 17 February 1954. It was a memorial concert held at the Palace of Fine Arts to honor a distinguished music professor, Don Luis Moctezuma, recently deceased. The program consisted of some words of appraisal by Andrés Iduarte, General Director of the INBA, Three Pieces for Orchestra by Moncayo, the Concerto for Three Pianos and Orchestra by J. S. Bach, an address by professor Manuel Bermejo Chibrás, followed by Piano Concerto No. 2 by Rachmaninoff. This was the last time in his life Moncayo conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico. His name never again appeared on a program of the OSN.
On 16 June 1958, Moncayo died in his home, at 295 Amsterdam Avenue, Mexico City, only a few days before his forty-sixth birthday.
José Pablo Moncayo is best known as the author of Huapango[es], a bright, short symphonic piece that is sometimes included in concerts by American orchestras. Scholarly research about this composer in the United States is today still scarce. Despite being highly regarded in his own country, Moncayo has been the subject of scant academic research, restricted to some program notes; magazine, newspaper and journal articles; and short paragraphs in music dictionaries and encyclopedias. Although the major contribution of Moncayo to Mexican music has been in the field of composition, he also played a relevant role in the national stage of culture during the ten years of his conducting career (1944–1954). As orchestra conductor, his promising career was hampered by a difficult cultural environment, political situations and premature death. According to Torres-Chibrás, José Pablo Moncayo's career as an orchestra conductor is a subject that has not been exhausted by Mexican or foreign scholars. José Antonio Alcaraz, musicologist and leading music critic of Mexico, assesses that: Mexican nationalism vigorously encompasses a period whose chronological limits may be fixed for study purposes with some precision in 1928: the year of the founding of the Symphony Orchestra of Mexico and ending three decades later, in 1958 with the death of José Pablo Moncayo, a composer born in 1912.
Moncayo's death coincides with the decline of the Nationalist movement resulting from the demise of the ideals of the Mexican Revolution. Yolanda Moreno Rivas concludes: The death of Moncayo in 1958 tangibly marked the end of the Mexican nationalist composition school. In the same way that his work without followers surpassed and abolished the innocent use of the Mexicanism theme, his death closed the predominance of a composition style whose imprint marked musical creation in Mexico during more than three decades; although only at the beginning of the sixties would it be possible to talk about the definitive abandonment of the great Mexican fresco, the oblivion of the epic tone, and the search for new structural factors in composition.
Moncayo's best-known work continues to be his colorful orchestral fantasy Huapango (1941), but his production also includes many other pieces of a high quality, notwithstanding their lesser fame. Among these are works like Amatzinac for flute and string quartet (1935); his Symphony (1944); Sinfonietta (1945); Homenaje a Cervantes for two oboes and string orchestra (1947); his operaLa Mulata de Córdoba (1948); Tierra de Temporal (1949); Muros Verdes for piano solo (1951); Bosques (1954); and the balletTierra (1956).
Chronological catalog of compositions
|Undated||Fantasía intocable for solo piano |
Romanza de las flores de calabaza for solo piano Canción india for orchestra Ofrenda for orchestra Sobre las olas que van for voice and piano Memento musical for chorus
|1931||Impresiones de un bosque for solo piano. |
Impresión for solo piano.
|Première, August 22, Conciertos Renovación. Private concert at Professor Gerónimo Baqueiro Foster's home at Moneda 10, downtown Mexico City.|
|Diálogo para dos pianos y una vaca for two pianos.|
|1933||Sonata for violoncello and piano|
|1934||Sonata for violin and violoncello|
|Sonata for viola and piano.||Mexico City: Ediciones Mexicanas de Música, 1991.|
|1935||Sonatina for solo piano.||Première, November 25, Teatro de Orientación. First concert of the Group of Four.|
|Amatzinac for flute and string quartet.||Première, November 25, Teatro de Orientación. Salvador Contreras and Daniel Ayala, violins; Miguel Bautista, viola; Juan Manuel Téllez Oropeza, violoncello; Manuel Preciado, flute soloist. First Concert of the Group of Four. Mexico City: Ediciones Mexicanas de Música, 1987.|
|1936||Pequeño nocturno for string quartet and piano|
|La Adelita arranged for orchestra.||Première, September 5, Orquesta Sinfónica de México, children's concert series, Carlos Chávez, conductor.|
|La Valentina arranged for orchestra.||Première, September 26, Orquesta Sinfónica de México, children's concert series, Carlos Chávez, conductor.|
|Romanza for violin, violoncello and piano.||Première, October 15, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Sala de Conferencias.|
|Sonata for violin and piano.||Première, October 15, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Sala de Conferencias. Mexico City: Ediciones Mexicanas de Música, 1990.|
|1937||Tenabari arranged for orchestra.||Première, September 10, Orquesta Sinfónica de México, children's concert series, third concert, Carlos Chávez, conductor.|
|1938||Trío for flute, violin and piano.||Première, August 23, Palace of Fine Arts, Sala de Conferencias.|
|Llano alegre for orchestra|
|Hueyapan for orchestra.||Première, 21 November 1940, Orquesta Sinfónica de Repertorio, Palacio de Bellas Artes, José Pablo Moncayo, conductor. Last concert of the Group of Four.|
|1941||Huapango for orchestra.||Première, 15 August Orquesta Sinfónica de México, Carlos Chávez, conductor. Mexico City: Ediciones Mexicanas de Música, 1950.|
|1942||Symphony, for orchestra.||Completed in Berkshire. Programmed to be premiered by the Orquesta Sinfónica de México on August 21, but postponed.|
|Llano grande for chamber orchestra.||Premiere, 17 August, Berkshire Music Center, Boston Symphony.|
|1944||Symphony, for orchestra.||Premiere, 1 September, Orquesta Sinfónica de México, Carlos Chávez, conductor.|
|1945||Sinfonietta for orchestra.||Completed, 3 July. Premiere, 13 July, Orquesta Sinfónica de México, José Pablo Moncayo, conductor. Mexico City: Ediciones Mexicanas de Música, 1993.|
|1947||Tres piezas para orquesta: Feria, Canción y Danza.||Completed, 9 July. Premiere, 18 July, Orquesta Sinfónica de México, José Pablo Moncayo, conductor.|
|Homenaje a Cervantes, for two oboes and string orchestra.||Completed, 18 October. Premiere, 27 October, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Orquesta Sinfónica del Conservatorio Nacional de Música, Luis Sandi, conductor. Mexico City: Ediciones Mexicanas de Música, 1989.|
|Canción del mar, for a cappella chorus (SATB).||Première, 14 June, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Sala de Conferencias, Coro de Madrigalistas, Luis Sandi, conductor. Mexico City: Ediciones Mexicanas de Música, 1983.|
|1948||Homenaje a Carlos Chávez, for solo piano. Completed, 18 June.|
|Conde Olinos, for chorus and piano.||Composed as part of Moncayo's commission as member of the repertory committee for school music of the INBA.|
|Tres piezas, for piano.||Première, 14 December, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Sala Ponce, Alicia Urrueta, soloist. Mexico City: Ediciones Mexicanas de Música, 1948.|
|La mulata de Córdoba, opera in one act.||Completed, 29 September. Première, 23 October, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, José Pablo Moncayo, conductor. Mexico City: Ediciones Mexicanas de Música, 1979. Reduction for five solo voices, chorus and piano.|
|1949||Pieza, for solo piano|
|Tierra de temporal, for orchestra.||Completed, September 1949. Première, June 1950, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, José Pablo Moncayo, conductor. Private performance at the National Conservatory. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1984.|
|1951||Muros verdes, for solo piano.||Mexico City: Ediciones Mexicanas de Música, 1964.|
|1940–1953||Cumbres, for orchestra.||Started in 1940. Completed, 20 November 1953. Commissioned by the Louisville Symphony. Première, 1954, Louisville Symphony, Robert Whitney, conductor. Mexico City: Ediciones Mexicanas de Música, 1993.|
|1954||Bosques, for orchestra.||Completed June 1954. Première 1957, Orquesta Sinfónica de Guadalajara, Blas Galindo, conductor. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1988.|
|La potranca, music for an episode of the film Raíces.||Produced by Manuel Barbachano and directed by Benito Alazraki.|
|1956||Tierra, ballet.||Completed 12 November 1956. Premiere September 1958, Orquesta del Teatro de Bellas Artes.|
|1957||Simiente, for solo piano|
|1958||Pequeño nocturno, for solo piano|
- ^Torres-Chibras, Armando (2002). Dr. Robert Olson, ed. "José Pablo Moncayo, Mexican Composer and Conductor: A Survey of His Life with a Historical Perspective of His Time." DMA diss. University of Missouri, Kansas City. Ann Arbor, UMI: University Microfilms International. ISBN 0-493-66937-X. p. 245.
- ^Torres-Chibras 2002, 66.
- ^Aurelio Tello, "Biografía de José Pablo Moncayo, 1997." (José Pablo Moncayo Biography) TMs, Armando Torres-Chibrás dissertation archives, Mexico City. Quoted in Torres-Chibras 2002, 67.
- ^ abcTorres-Chibras 2002, 86.
- ^Torres-Chibras 2002, 87
- ^Torres-Chibras 2002, 87.
- ^Salvador Contreras, "El Grupo de los Cuatro," Armonía (August–September 1967): 8-10; quoted in Tello 1987, 46.
- ^García Morillo 1960, 19.
- ^ abParker 1983, 10.
- ^Jesús C. Romero, "José Pablo Moncayo," Carnet Musical 161 (Año 13/14, July 1958): 300.
- ^Jesús C. Romero, "La Sociedad Musical Renovación," Carnet Musical 150 (Año 13, 1957) : 383-384. And Jesús C. Romero, "José Pablo Moncayo," Carnet Musical 161 (Año 13/14, July 1958): 301.
- ^Library of the National Center for the Arts. Mexico City.
- ^Parker 1987, 435.
- ^Contreras Soto 2000, 37–38.
- ^Tello 1987, 51–54.
- ^ abGalindo Dimas 1948, 75.
- ^Torres-Chibrás 2002, 122.
- ^Tello 1987, 46.
- ^José Barros Serra. Grupo de los cuatro: Crítica musical (Group of Four: Music Review). El Universal, 27 November 1935.
- ^Tello 1987, 227.
- ^Carlos Chávez, "Reflexiones Sinfónicas: Los Subdirectores de la OSM," El Universal (20 August 1948), 3. and Contreras Soto 2000, 37–38.
- ^Alcaraz 1975, 10.
- ^Alcaraz 1975, 10–11.
- ^Concert Program, library of the National Arts Center. Mexico City.
- ^Romero, José Pablo Moncayo, 302.
- ^Francisco Agea, El Concurso de Composiciones Mexicanas, Orquesta Sinfónica de Mexico, Mexico City, 1 September 1944.
- ^Ruiz Ortiz, Blas Galindo: Biografía, 130.
- ^Ruiz Ortiz and Garcia Bonilla 1992: 62-64.
- ^Library of the National Arts Center, Mexico City.
- ^Carlos Chávez, "Carta a Antonio Rodríguez," Nuestra Música, 3, no. 10 (April 1948): 101.
- ^Library of the National Arts Center. Mexico City.
- ^Torres-Chibras 2002, 208.
- ^Alcaraz, En la más onda Música de Selva, 33.
- ^Moreno Rivas, La Composición en México, 76.
Selected Sources Consulted
- Agea, Francisco (ed). 1949. 21 Años de la Orquesta Sinfónica de México (Twenty One Years of the Mexican Symphony Orchestra). Mexico City: La Imprenta del Nuevo Mundo.
- Agea, Francisco. 1941. "Huapango". Notes to the Season Program. Mexico City: Orquesta Sinfónica de México.
- Agea, Francisco. 1943. "Huapango". Notes to the Season Program. Mexico City: Orquesta Sinfónica de México.
- Agea, Francisco. 1944. El Concurso de composiciones mexicanas (The Mexican Compositions Contest). Notes to the Season Program. México City: Orquesta Sinfónica de México, 1944.
- Agea, Francisco. 1945. "Sinfonietta". Notes to the Season Program. México City: Orquesta Sinfónica de México, 1945.
- Agea, Francisco. 1947. "Tres piezas para orquesta" (Three Pieces for Orchestra). Notes to the Performance Program No. 5. Mexico City: Orquesta Sinfónica de México.
- Alcaraz, José Antonio. 1975. La obra de José Pablo Moncayo. Cuadernos de música, nueva serie 2. México: UNAM/Difusión Cultural, Departamento de Música.
- Alcaraz, José Antonio. 1980. Tierra de Temporal/Moncayo. Notes to the cover record. Peerless/Forlane MS7010-3 (1980). 331⁄3 record.
- Alcaraz, José Antonio. 1991. Reflexiones sobre el nacionalismo musical mexicano (Thoughts about the Mexican Musical Nationalism). Mexico City: Editorial Patria.
- Alcaraz, José Antonio. 1998a. En la más honda música de selva(In the Deepest Music of Jungle). Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1998.
- Alcaraz, José Antonio. 1998b. Interview by Armando Torres Chibrás, 24 July, Mexico. Videocassette 8mm NTSC. Armando Torres Chibrás's dissertation archives, Mexico City.
- Alcaraz, José Antonio. 1998c. "Moncayo: Un libro del FIC para niños" (Moncayo: A Festival Internacional Cervantino's book for Children). Proceso, 13 September, 62.
- Alvarez Coral, Juan. 1993. Compositores mexicanos (Mexican Composers). Mexico City: Edamex, 1993.
- Anonymous. 1935. "Concierto de un grupo de cuatro jóvenes compositores" (Concert of a group of Four Young Composers). Performance Program. Teatro de Orientación, Mexico City (25 November).
- Anonymous. 1936a. "Concierto del Grupo de los Cuatro" (Performance of the Group of Four). Performance Program. Sala de Conferencias de Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City (31 March).
- Anonymous. 1936b. "Concierto del Grupo de los Cuatro dedicado a las escuelas de arte para los trabajadores" (Performance of the Group of Four dedicated to the Arts Schools for the Workers). Performance Program. Mexico City (17 June).
- Anonymous. 1936c. "Concierto del Grupo de los Cuatro" (Performance of the Group of Four). Performance Program. Sala de Conferencias de Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City (15 October).
- Anonymous. 1936d. "Conciertos de la Sociedad Musical Renovación" (Concerts of the Renovation Musical Society). Performance program, Mexico City (22 August).
- Anonymous. 1947a. "Conciertos de los lunes: Programa a cargo de J.P. Moncayo"(Monday Concerts: Programa in Charge of J.P. Moncayo). Nuestra Música 8 (Año 2, October): 210.
- Anonymous. 1947b. "La Orquesta Sinfónica de México: Vigésima temporada" (The Symphony Orchestra of Mexico: Twentieth Season). Nuestra Música 7 (Año 2, July): 164-168.
- Anonymous. 1947c. "La Orquesta Sinfónica de México en su XX temporada" (The Symphony Orchestra of Mexico in its Twentieth Season). Nuestra Música 8 (Año 2, October): 220-223.
- Aretz, Isabel (ed.) 1984. América Latina en su música (Latin-America in its music). 4th ed. Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno Editores/UNESCO.
- Barce, Ramón. 1992. "José Pablo Moncayo." Ritmo, no. 631 (April): 44–45.
- Bal y Gay, Jesús, Carlos Chávez, Blas Galindo, Rodolfo Halfter, José Pablo Moncayo, Adolfo Salazar and Luis Sandi. 1946. "Actividades del grupo: Conciertos de los lunes" (Activities of the Group: Monday Concerts). Nuestra Música 1 (Año 1): 37-38.
- Baqueiro Foster, Gerónimo. 1961. "Biografías de músicos mexicanos: José Pablo Moncayo" (Biographies of Mexican Musicians: José Pablo Moncayo). Carnet Musical 14-197:328-30.
- Baqueiro Foster, Gerónimo. 1964. Historia de la música en México (History of Music in Mexico). Mexico City: Departamento de Música/INBA/SEP.
- Barros Serra, José. 1935. "Grupo de los Cuatro: Crítica musical" (Group of Four: Music Review). El Universal (27 November).
- Behague, Gerard. 1979. Music in Latin America: An Introduction. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1979.
- Carmona, Gloria. 1989. Epistolario selecto de Carlos Chávez (Selected Epistolary of Carlos Chávez). Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica.
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Banda is a term to designate a style of Mexican music and the musical ensemble in which wind instruments, mostly of brass, and percussion, are performed.
Bandas play a wide variety of songs, including rancheras, corridos, cumbias, baladas, and boleros.
The history of banda music in Mexico dates from the middle of the 19th century with the arrival of piston metal instruments, when the communities tried to imitate the military bands. The first bands were formed in southern and central Mexico. In each village of the different territories there are certain types of wind bands, whether traditional, private or municipal.
There are brass instruments in the state of Oaxaca that date back to 1850's. The repertoire of the bands of Morelos, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Michoacán covered gustos, sones, vinuetes, funeral pieces, marches, danzones, valses, corridos, paso dobles, polkas, rancheras, alabanzas and foxes.
The traditional bands that play Yucatecan jaranas use the following instruments: clarinet, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, trumpet, trombone, timpani, drum drum, bass drum, cymbals, güiro.
The traditional Oaxacan bands use a large number of saxophones and clarinets, fewer trumpets and slide trombones, and the bass drum and cymbals are played separately.
One of the oldest bands recorded in Mexico is the Banda de Tlayacapan of the state of Morelos that was founded approximately in 1870, being one of the first to play la danza del Chinelo.
The traditional Zacatecan tamborazo band does not use tuba, being the tambora the instrument that takes the low tone.
Banda music was established in the 1880s in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, when it exploded into popularity in the 1890s throughout Mexico. Its roots come from the overlapping of Mexican music with German polka music. At the time, many German Mexicans lived in the states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Jalisco and Nuevo León. This greatly influenced northern Mexican music. Immigrants from northern Mexico brought the music to the United States. Initially popular in the southwest United States, primarily in Texas, California and Arizona, banda has followed the movement of Mexican immigrants to the Midwest United States and the rest of the country. Mexicans who came in contact with Latin-based Jazz of Chicanos or Mexicans born and raised in the United States adopted jazz-like sounds in banda to further enrich the music type.
La Banda El Recodo, Banda Machos, Banda Maguey, La Arrolladora Banda El Limón, La Original Banda El Limón, Banda Sinaloense MS De Serigo Lizarraga, La Septima Banda, Banda Cuisillos, Banda Jerez, Banda Los Recoditos and La Adicitva Banda San Jose De Mesillas are some of the most famous banda groups. Famous soloists include Julio Preciado, Lupillo Rivera, Sergio Vega, Roberto Tapia, Espinoza Paz and Julion Alvarez. While not known primarily as a banda singer, Juan Gabriel also recorded in the genre. Despite banda being a male-dominated genre, there are a few female soloist banda-singers such as Graciela Beltran,Carmen Jara, Diana Reyes, Beatriz Adriana, Yolanda Pérez and Ninel Conde. Examples of females soloist who have recorded in the genre while not known mainly as banda singers include, Ana Gabriel, Alicia Villareal, and Ana Barbara. There's also a handful all-female bandas such as Banda Las Soñadoras and Banda Las Tapatias, both from Guadalajara, Jalisco. Jenni Rivera, the highest earning solo banda singer of all-time has been attributed to bringing a female perspective to what had historically been a male-dominated genre.  Recently an upcoming solo artist has emerged by the name of Andrea Ferrera, she has shown to be successful selling out stadiums across both The United States and Mexico.
The 2010s wave of popularity of the tuba in Southern California has been credited to its presence in banda music.
A typical banda is made up of brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The most notable instrument is the tambora which is a type of bass drum with a head made from animal hide, with a cymbal on top. Bandas were previously called "tamboras", named after this drum. The tambora is played in a strong and embellished manner, which provides the drive for the rest of the band. The percussion section also includes the tarola which is a snare with timbales which would resemble the tom-toms on a regular drumset, cowbells, and cymbals. Banda el Recodo, one of the most famous bandas, features three trumpets, four clarinets, three valve trombones or slide trombones, two E♭alto horns, and one sousaphone.
Like an orchestra, a banda can be organized into different sections.
- Bass: The lowest-pitched part is played by the sousaphone (referred to as a "tuba" in Mexico), accompanied by the tambora, a large bass drum with a cymbal on top.
- Harmony: Two Armonias, "charchetas" or "saxores" in Mexico (E♭ alto horns), play chords using different rhythms depending on the style.
- Tenor: valve trombones or slide trombones play the lower-pitched part of the melody/arrangement.
- Alto: Trumpets play the higher-pitched part of the melody/arrangement.
- Soprano: Clarinets and sometimes saxophones play as "singing" instruments that may play with the voice.
- Voice: Banda el Recodo and Banda Jerez consist of trios, but many bandas also consist of dual and solo singers.
Most banda arrangements feature three-part harmony and melodic sections which contrast the timbres of the clarinet, trumpet, and valve trombone sections.
Bandas play many different styles including waltzes, cumbias, polkas, marches, foxtrots, rock ballads, rancheras and sones. Historically bandas were village brass bands called on to entertain the town, and would play anything from opera overtures to big band jazz. This tradition continues today in many towns, especially during festivals and celebrations.
Bandas usually have a strong percussion. The percussionists generally provide the accents and do not usually play all the time or keep a 'groove'. Often the percussionists will enter only when the singer is not singing, such as in an instrumental chorus. The groove is mostly provided by the sousaphone (or bass guitar in a few recordings) playing the bass line, and the alto horns playing sharp upbeats. Typically when a banda plays a cumbia, the alto horn players switch to Latin percussion instruments such as maracas, cowbell, congas, bongos and guiro.
Bandas generally contain between 10 and 20 members. They usually have a lead singer and a second voice, and occasionally a third voice. The voice often consists of a duet, but solo singers and trios are also common.
Besides the typical instrumentation, banda music, as well as many other forms of traditional Mexican music, is also noted for the grito mexicano, a yell that is done at musical interludes within a song, either by the musicians and/or the listening audience.
In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s many new bandas were so-called "technobandas" or "electrobandas", in which some or all of the horns were replaced by electric instruments. A typical technobanda will substitute a sousaphone with electric bass and the two alto horns with a synthesizer and a guitar. The clarinets were frequently replaced with saxophones also. However the bass part is still played in a style imitating a sousaphone, using a Synthesizer or substituting using a double bass or a bass guitar. These technobandas created the early movement of la Quebradita.
Tamborazo is closely related to Banda. However, Tamborazo uses a saxophone instead of a Clarinet. Another difference from the banda is that the Tamborazo uses its drum consistently, as opposed to the banda who distributes the use of the other instruments throughout a song. Tamborazo originated in Villanueva in the state of Zacatecas. Tamborazo uses various instruments such as:
Some well known Tamborazos:
- Tamborazo Jerez 75
- Tamborazo Los Originales de Jerez
- Tamborazo Pancho Villa
- Tamborazo Los Pájaros Azules
- Tamborazo Sello Azul