Música Norteña, Annotated Bibliography

By Eric Cheung, Norito Hagino, Julie Matsumoto

Music Norteña, Ragland

Norteña music has been a popular form of music for Mexican Americans since the early 1900’s. Usually including an accordion and bajo sexto guitar, Nortena can be easily recognized. Popular films of heroism which included Nortena music became as memorable as John Wayne cowboy films at the time. In addition to the invention of cassette tapes, the music form being memorable and easily accessible was quickly popularized. Nortena however represented far more than just a form of good music and Spanish John Wayne for Mexican Americans.
“The popularization and perpetuation of nortena music, along with a clearly defined notion of a global Mexican nation, have helped the Mexican immigrant to rise above class based discrimination, oppression, and displacement imposed by a North American government that continues to criminalize its border zone and blame immigration problems on the migrating Mexican (Ragland 26)”.

Similar to jazz and hip hop, Music Norteña has been a symbol of resistance to oppression and heroism for Mexican migrants. With content familiar to blues, Nortena was often about oppression, social issues, history and hardships of worker life for Mexican immigrants in America. Originating and branching from corrido music, a song and poetry form of Mexico, Norteña was a new form of corrido music for Mexican migrants. With the music, Mexican Americans were reminded of their Mexican heritage while creating a new identity in America as well.

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