The confluence of indigenous and Spanish music in Mexico with examples taken from the music of Carlos Chavez



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Mexico is a country in which two separate cultures have been brought together, to exist independently side by side, and in combination with each other. The first of these cultures is that of the Mexican Indian, which stems from an ancient heritage covering a period of twenty centuries or more. The second is the culture of Spain, also developed from an ancient heritage, that was transplanted to Mexican soil following the Spanish Conquest in the sixteenth century. The musical characteristics of these two cultures have combined in a great variety of ways to create a truly Mexican musical style in the twentieth century. This paper attempts to describe the outstanding musical characteristics of these two cultures and the ways in which they have been combined in today's Mexico. This paper contains discussions of the music and instruments of both ancient and present indigenous Mexican cultures, with musical examples included. In addition, there are discussions of the development of Spanish music, and of its influence on the Mexican Indian. These sections also include musical examples. The final section of the paper is concerned with Carlos Chavez and his music as it reflects the combining of the Influences listed above.



Indigenous people of Mexico, Spanish language music, Mexican music