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Chicago Arts Orchestra Musica Latina A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

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chicago arts orchestra

Chicago Arts Orchestra

Musica Latina

A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month


This is a stone cutting by Mayans. The native cultures of Latin America such as the Mayans and Aztecs mixed with the culture of Spanish colonists. You will see this fusion of cultures in the music we will study. This fusion began 500 years ago and continues today

cycle of musical styles
Cycle of Musical Styles

This is how a new style is born

Keep this in mind as you listen and read


HuapangoThe huapango is a lively Mexican dance of Spanish origin that is especially popular in the lands along the Gulf of Mexico. Performed by singers and instrumental ensembles ranging from a duo of guitars to a full mariachi band, it is characterized by a complex rhythmic structure mixing duple and triple meters which reflect the intricate steps of the dance. The huapango is danced by men and women as couples

Flag of Mexico

Couples dancing the Huapango


Take a moment and listen to track 1 while viewing

the photos

-In track 1 Festive Huapango listen for the complex rhythm ( listen for

3 beats in the space of 2) The piece is played on the marimba

A Marimba

origin in folk tradition
Origin in Folk Tradition

The song and dance form originated in the Huasteca Region near the Gulf of Mexico

the huasteca region
The Huasteca Region
  • The term "huasteca" derives from "huaxtla." The term "huapango" is of Nahuatl (a native language of Mexico) origin and means "dance over wooden platform." The musical accompaniment is the "jarana,”which is the violin and an 8-string guitar ("huapangera"), with vocalists displaying the falsetto, a regional characteristic of the huapango.

Nahua people

of the Huasteca



Listen now to track two

-In track 2 Listen to El Gustito and notice the instruments of the Jarana

and the falsetto of the men singing (women do not sing the

Huapango they only dance)

-Listen for the words Huasteca, Huapango and Huapangera

-Another good example of the Huapango is Track 3, Lo Que Dios me

Dio sung by Enrique Nava