Before European contact within the region of New Mexico, there were several musical instruments and types performed by the early Native American musicians. Of those early instruments used was the Anasazi flute by the Ancient Pueblo peoples, and the multitude of styles came from the Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache. Their folk musics can still be heard, and has continued to be played in their original forms, also as modern Native American and Folk music.

After the Spanish arrived they brought their liturgical music, Spanish guitar, and they were also among the first to bring the violin to North America. Within Santa Fe de Nuevo México, the Europeans brought the traditions of polka and other European folk music. Once New Mexico became a Mexican Territory they brought their evolving musical traditions, Mariachi, Ranchera, and Mexican Son music, Corrido, Duranguense, and even the more modern Banda music. The old Spanish, European, and Mexican musics continue to be played as the were originally composed, as well as in the continually evolving forms.

Once New Mexico became an American Territory and State, the music genres of Country music and Cajun music blended with the Mexican and Native American music styles forming the Western style of music. After statehood, American popular music became prevalent, Clovis‘ Norman Petty recording studio was used by Rock musicians Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, The Fireballs, and the Sanchez brothers, Al Hurricane, Tiny Morrie, and Baby Gaby.

A unique folk music, referred to as New Mexico music, joined the multiple distinct musical traditions of New Mexico; Native American, Hispanic, European, Mexican, and American musical styles, into a single genre. It has become a popular music within the state, that multiple people have contributed to, including; Al Hurricane (The Godfather” of New Mexico music), Baby Gaby, Tiny Morrie, Antonia Apodaca, Roberto Griego, Freddie Brown, and Tobias Rene.

Today, the music of New Mexico is as diverse as anywhere else in the world. With every modern rock and American pop genre, from alternative-to-world, being represented.

Popular genres

Here’s a list of popular genres within New Mexico:

  • Blues music
  • Classical music
  • Comedy music
  • Dance music
    • Dubstep music
    • Electronic music
    • House music
  • Easy Listening music
  • Folk music
    • Country music
    • New Mexico music
  • Jazz music
  • Pop music
  • R&B
  • Rap and Hip-hop
  • Reggae music
  • Religious music
    • Christian rock
    • Gospel
  • Rock music
    • Alternative Rock music
    • Metal music
    • Rock ‘n’ Roll / Rockabilly
  • Spoken word
  • Vocal music
  • World music