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Ne No Nu

New Mexico music

noun / music genre | encyclopedia/music

Pronounced: \noo mek-si-koh myoo-zik, nyoo mek-si-koh myoo-zik\ | IPA: /nu ˈmɛk sɪˌkoʊ ˈmyu zɪk, nyu ˈmɛk sɪˌkoʊ ˈmyu zɪk/

Definition of New Mexico music

  • (en español: música Nuevo Mexicana) a style and genre of music originating in New Mexico, in the modern day United States. Traditional New Mexico music has its origin in folk musics of the Pueblos and Neomexicanos throughout the Spanish, Mexican, and American territorial phases, which was then adapted and modified alongside Apache, Navajo, Comanche, Mexican, and American wanderers and settlers in the Pueblo and Neomexicano towns. The genre entered popular music within New Mexico during the 1950s and 1960s, and ever since has incorporated numerous American and Mexican pop music styles, from rockabilly to Latin pop music. Songs are generally complex in form, though instrumental songs are not uncommon, typically they are performed with vocalization. Typified by its usage for dancing, with lyrics in New Mexican Spanish, New Mexican English, Spanglish, Tiwa, Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo languages. Songs are usually accompanied by acoustic or electric guitar, drums, trumpets, violin, and accordian; as well as instruments from Regional Mexican, Native American, Norteño, Rock music, Jazz, Country, Western, Pueblo, Apache, and Navajo music.

Examples of New Mexico music


  • Antonia Apodaca
  • Coro de Cristo Rey
  • Fernando Cellicion
  • Lone Piñon
  • Los Reyes de Albuquerque
  • Cleofes Vigil


These artists are known for crossover success in various pop and folk genres, primarily Latin music, Native American music, and World music.

  • Al Hurricane
  • Al Hurricane, Jr.
  • Lorenzo Antonio
  • Apache Spirit
  • Baby Gaby
  • Freddie Brown
  • Sharon Burch
  • Darren Cordova
  • Desi Cisneros
  • Campeone Del Desierto
  • Cuarenta y Cinco
  • Divino
  • El Gringo
  • Tanya Griego
  • Manzanares
  • Robert Mirabal
  • Tiny Morrie
  • A. Paul Ortega
  • Steve Ortiz
  • Gloria Pohl
  • Tobias Rene
  • Rhythm Divine
  • Ernestine Romero
  • Sparx
  • Eva Torrez

New Mexicana music (a New Americana blend of New Mexico music with American folk music, Country, and Western)

  • Chris Arellano
  • Bo Brown
  • Boris McCutcheon
  • Michael Martin Murphey
  • Pueblo Country Band



Origin of New Mexico music

Essentially hybrid in origin, New Mexico music includes elements of multiple distinct musical traditions within New Mexico; Native American, Hispanic, European, Mexican, and American musical styles: Native American influenced steady rhythm, usually provided by drums or guitar from Country and Western music; Latin trumpets from Corrido and Ranchera, with American Jazz noted free-form style saxophone and/or Ranchera accordion; varying tempos from ranchera polkeada at 2/4 (polka), the ranchera valseada at ¾ (waltz), and/or the bolero ranchero at 4/4 (bolero); violin and religious music from the Spanish colonists; and the influence of Blues, Rockabilly, and Rock music. Emerging in the 13th century, New Mexico music derives from the music performed by the Pueblo, passed down from their ancestors the Ancient Pueblo. The Spanish brought with them the Spanish guitar, violin, and their religious music; the Pueblo and Spanish adapted the music over time and the Pueblo and Spanish colonists excelled at quitar and violin making, and playing polkas, waltzes, and boleros. Ranchera and Corridos were performed in this New Mexico style throughout the ladder part of New Mexico’s independent viceroyalty, and during the early days of it being a Mexican territory. The influences of American folk musics, such as Appalachian music variants such as Western, and later Country, were popular during the American territorial stage and into its American statehood, these two would be built upon the already developing New Mexico music style. After the 1950s the music was influenced by American musicians such as Elvis Presley, Wanda Jackson, Buddy Holly, and Johnny Cash, and in the 60s British groups such as the Beatles. It was during the 1950s that traditional New Mexico music began to be first recorded and preserved by J.D. Robb, UNM professor emeritus of music, these recording were released released by Smithsonian Folkways; and the contemporary music form was also being recorded by the Sanchez brothers aka Al Hurricane, Tiny Morrie, and Baby Gaby, this conteporary style became popular due to promotion by the NPR station KANW, as well as local television productions such as the Val De La O Show. Multiple modern New Mexico music performers continue to play today, including Al Hurricane (The Godfather” of New Mexico music), Antonia Apodaca, Roberto Griego, Sparx, Tobias Rene, Sharon Burch, Lorenzo Antonio, Eva Torrez, A. Paul Ortega, Gloria Pohl, Darren Cordova, and Sorela.

There is a currently developing sub-genre referred to as New Mexicana music, which merges New Mexico music with Americana music.

Alternate spellings exist; Música Nuevo Mexicana, New Mexico Spanish Music, Pueblo and Spanish Rock, New Mexican Rockabilly, NM Music.
Stylistic origins: • Native American music • Latin music, Corrido, Latin music, Norteño, Ranchera • Americana, Country & Western music, Rock and roll, Rock music, Rockabilly music , Jazz.
Cultures: • New Mexican modern culture • Music by the Ancient Puebloans prehistoric culture and the Pueblo modern culture • Santa Fe de Nuevo México culture and Spanish modern culture • Mexican modern culture • American modern culture
Popular Artists: Al Hurricane (The Godfather” of New Mexico music), Antonia Apodaca, Roberto Griego, Sparx, Tobias Rene, Sharon Burch, Lorenzo Antonio, Eva Torrez, A. Paul Ortega, Debbie “La Chicanita” Martinez, Tiny Morrie, and Gloria Pohl.
Typical instruments: • Bowed strings: Double Bass, Fiddle, Violin • Percussion: Accordion, Bullroarer, Drums, Drumsticks, Rattles, Rasp, Tarola • Keyboards: Tack piano, Melodica, Organ (Pump/Electronic), Piano • Strings: Acoustic guitar, Bajo sexto, Banjo, Bass, Dobro, Electric bass guitar, Electric guitar, Guitar, Harp, Mandolin, Pedal steel guitar, Spanish guitar, Steel guitar, Synthesizer • Wind instruments: Anasazi flute, Flute, Saxophone, Trumpets • Vocals (Usually in New Mexican Spanish, New Mexican English, and Native American languages) • Exclamations (Grito Mexicano, Yeehaw, and Whistles).
Derivative forms: New Mexico music variations of Banda, Corrido, Country & Western music, Mariachi, Ranchera, and Rock music.
Related genres: Banda, Country & Western music, Folk, Latin, Native American music, Reggae, Regional Mexican, and Tejano.

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