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CHS 418 Understanding Mexican and Chicana/o Cultures Through Music

Contact Information

  • Peter Garcia
  • Chicanalo Studies 818-677-2734
  • Peter.Garcia@csun.edu
  • 818-677-3491
  • 818-677-2734
  • Office Hours MW 12:30-1:30 PM or Tues 2:30-3:30PM or by appointment
  • Office Location JR 145A

Instructional Materials

Required Textbooks (available at CSUN campus bookstore):

Required Textbooks, Musical Archives

Peña, Manuel 1999 Musica Tejana: The Cultural Economy of Artistic Transformation

Macias, Anthony 2001 Mexican American Mojo: Popular Music, Dance, and Urban Culture in Los Angeles, 1935-1968.

Reyes, David & Tom Waldman 1998 Land of A Thousand Dances: Chicano Rock ‘n’ Roll from Southern California

Loza, Steven 1993 Barrio Rhythm: Mexican-American Music In Los Angeles.

Simonett, Helena 2001 Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders.

Attali, Jacques, 1985 Noise: The Political Economy of Music (Theory and History of Literature) (Paperback) University of Minnesota Press.

Musical Archives (online)

Guerrero, Mark 2006 Chicano Music Articles http://markguerrero.net/articles.php

A collection of articles on Chicano Music, some of which have appeared in various newspapers, magazines and websites.



Important Notices

Course E-Reserves Password

Sign up for moodle and set up online class profile:

Mayan Calendar



Class Accommodations

Course Information Overview

Course Description

CHS 410 explores regional and national history, culture, society, religion, and aesthetics through musical investigations intended to encourage musical activism. Jacques Attali’s radical definition of music as “not simply a reflection of culture, but as a harbinger of change, an anticipatory abstraction of the shape of things to come” is useful here. Attali explains his political economy of music in the following manner.

Its styles and economic organization are ahead of the rest of society because it explores, much faster than material reality can, the entire range of possibilities in a given code. It makes audible the new world that will gradually become visible, that will impose itself and regulate the order of things; it is not only the image of things, but the transcending of the everyday, the herald of the future. For this reason musicians, even when officially recognized, are dangerous, disturbing, and subversive; for this reason it is impossible to separate their history from that of repression and surveillance (2006: 11).

Students read current scholarship devoted to the role of music-culture in the expression of ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and nationalism over several political generations of Mexican, Latina/o, and Chicana/o people. Enrollment involves a commitment to regular class and concert attendance, written short essays and music assignments, informed group discussions, critical thinking, singing and musical performance. Fluency in Spanish is useful but not required.

Chicana critic, Yolanda Broyles-Gonzalez believes, Musics are major markers of shifting popular identities with the push and pull of twentieth-century capitalism. The industrialization, urbanization, and migration that has accelerated sharply since the 1930s in Mexico and the United States has created tension between the rural and urban cultural spheres—replete with mutual stereotyping and derision and power struggles articulated in part through musical traditions. Localized social tension is enmeshed in the violent larger process of nation formation, global capitalist development, and the historically attendant regionalist (rural) uprisings seeking to claim local autonomy in the face of a centralizing hegemonic power and globalizing economic interests (2002, 189).

Among the existential realms touched and transformed by the vibrational field of music is the untold suffering and indignities experienced at the workplaces of physical wage labor. Music is a physically and spiritually transformative process. Seen in this way, we can only fathom the survivalist importance of musical rehumanization by examining it in the context of dehumanizing working-class jobs and chronically violent raza histories (2002, 196).



Course Prerequisites

CHS418 will rely on and utilize the universitie's newest classroom technology. Students must sign up for moodle and set up online class profile: Moodle http://moodle.csun.edu. If you have never used this technology, see http://docs.moodle.org to access moodle and to learn how to navigate this program. Students should check grades, announcements, chat-rooms, forums, events, links, quizzes, and study guides which will be posted weekly on Moodle. If you have any problems, see the CSUN moodle web site for suppporting documentation and other resources. Please read Peter Garcia's web page and online syllabus beforehand and read the CSUN Student Conduct Code and Academic Policy before the second week of class.


Student Learning Objectives

Course Objectives

Students examine, listen to, and analyze various forms of musical activism from the 1960s Civil Rights Struggles within the United States including the black power, third world feminist, and Native American movements including Nueva Cancíon movement throughout Latin America in addition to the Hippie Counterculture in California. Music continues to be an effective art form used in raising political awareness and social consciousness since the earliest days of el movimiento Chicano.

Students learn how Mexican and Central American immigrants are using Spanish language traditional and folk musics and traditional media (TV, film, and radio) alongside newer technology (internet, youtube, mySpace.com) as a means of coping with life in the United States and maintaining cultural values and connections to family, friends, and relatives back home. Students learn how artistic forms resist the dominant capitalist hegemony and the pressure to assimilate and speak English only within a globalizing world.

Students are introduced to the political economy of music and how the recording industry splits off production from performance and performance from transmission. This splitting of sounds from natural sources and the devastating human consequences when this rapture occurs between the “first- order” link between music and its immediate social context is examined in hopes of encouraging live musical participation and concert support.

Music-culture is here regarded as cultural reclamation, linguistic “counterterrorism”, and as a decolonizing intervention. By the end of the course, students are motivated to further explore musical archives that exist of Mexican, Latino, and other ethnic world musics with an awareness of specific modern genres (cancion, ranchera, corrido, bolero, and son) in addition to important musical and regional styles (mariachi, banda, conjunto, rap/Hiphop). They also are acquainted with popular and legendary singers, composers, and ensembles and typical cancionero (song books) recognizing particular compositional features, interpretation, and stylistic particularities




Grade Break Down:

10 points 2 musical event reports

25 research term paper

15 points group presentation with study guide/outlines over reading assignments

50 points (midterm 25/ final exam 25)

Total: 100 points

Course Requirements, Concert Reports, Musical Activism and Final Research Papers

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Requirements:

Concert Attendance and Reports:

Attendance of two musical events such as music concerts, dances, rehearsals; music lectures on related course topics with written critiques (no less than 2 entire double spaced pages minimum with evidence of attendance including flyer, ticket stub, newspaper announcement, program or photographs) is required.

Musicianship and Musical Activism:

In his Analytical Studies in World Music, ethnomusicologist/musical theorist Michael Tenzer writes:

As stated, there are many justifications and goals for analysis. But today one of them surely ought to be activism—the development and promotion of a relevant and timely musicianship in accord with international and cross-cultural nature of contemporary music creation. Once all of this is recognized and accepted, the task of theory and analysis becomes a fully global affair. (2006:19).

Musical participation including in class performances, rhythm study, solfege etudes, singing workshops, scales, harmony, and music theory homework are covered as a means of development and promotion of a relevant and timely musicianship in accord with the international and cross cultural nature of contemporary music creation. Participation does not measure talent, training, or previous experience.

Final Research Papers

Research papers must be at-least 2,500 words (8-12 pages) including transcription/musical score analysis in order to earn a passing grade in this class. In order to earn the highest mark on your final project-you should plan on interviewing a musician or musical expert for your research paper. The interview should provide insight directly relevant to your topic and substantial quotes from the interview must be present in your paper. An “A” quality research paper must also have a thesis that states a proposition that is then explored via research and presented in class. Your essay should also begin with an introduction describing the topic, why you chose it, and stating your specific thesis. The paper should also explain specific musical qualities, sound characteristics, and stylistic attributes via western music theory and/or ethnotheory and provide a visual score or transcriptions illustrating important musical details, acoustic features, or performance points. The paper should end with a conclusion that revisits the original thesis, reflects upon what you learned via the research about the connection between music and culture and how the experience has impacted or altered your views and changed you or your group as people. A bibliography will be provided showing that a variety of sources including your textbooks with at least 5 encyclopedias, books, and articles were used. Your paper must also use materials such as quotes, theory, ideas from your course textbooks and articles. Be sure to critique any internet or online sources regarding accuracy, reliability, and who posted material and for what purpose.

Group Discussion Leaders

Discussion Questions: For most class meetings, a pair or group of students will make a class presentation over assigned literature or participate in small group artistic project while studying the role of the arts in political activism and society. Students will prepare a 5 to 6 slide powerpoint presentation leading the class in a group discussion over the reading assignment which will also be posted on Moodle. Please label the file with your last name followed by (student number) and title of the article you are covering. The first slide should include your name, class information and the full citation of the article or chapter you are presenting. Title (in quotes), author's name, and book or volume title (italicized) should all be centered. The second slide should include a brief overview of the article and some meaningful quotes. The remaining slides ought to explain vocabulary, illustrate important concepts, or review and critique various theories used in the scholarly analysis. Your presentation should also include important internet links, photos, audio footage, youtube, or additional media and cool video files that are related to the case studies or illustrate the cultural and art forms you are presenting. Your final slide may include some of the discussion and study questions provided in the syllabus or you may prepare new questions with class discussion open for general platica (conversation).

Class Participation and Attendance

Class Participation and Attendance: Participation and attendance is extremely important. Absences, arriving late to class, immature, disrespectful and disorderly conduct and lack of participation will have a considerable effect on your grade. Asking questions and requesting clarification or elaboration of readings is considered participation and is highly encouraged. If a student is late, it is his/her responsibility to let professor know after the class, so that the professor does not mark him/her absent.

12-15 points= participates almost every class meeting, regularly and consistently

8-12 points = participates often, but not consistently

4-8 points = participates occasionally

0—4 points = participates rarely or not at all

Course Schedule

Course Calendar

Week 1: Prehistory, Geography and Music-Culture

[Day 1] : Introduction, Syllabi, Course Requirements

Student and Class Introductions

Pass Out Syllabi and Course Explanation, Textbooks and Articles

--ethnomusicology, comparative musicology, musical folklore



--aesthetics, performance, vocal and instrumental, composition,


Discuss: Mythological origins of Mexican Music and Aztec belief systems.

Read: Royball, Jimmy Newmoon “Danza” (pp. 218-220) and “Baile Folklórico” (pp. 52-55) in the Enyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture 2004, Volume 1. Connecticut: Greenwood Press. Cordelia Candelaria, Arturo Aldama and Peter J. Garcia, editors.

View: Pacho Lane Danza Trilogy: Eagle’s Children

Vocabulary: Los Voladores, Quetzalcoatl, Totonac, La Fiesta de San Salvador

Study Questions: Which Native Indian group performs “los Voladores” and during which festival include place and date? What is the choreographic, spiritual, and cultural meaning and importance of the dance? Describe the music including instruments, rhythm, choreography, symbolism, context, and gender roles of dancers and musicians.

[Day 2]: Aztec and Conchero Danza

Discuss: Alphabetical synopsis of Aztec Instruments

Read/Discuss in class: Stevenson, Robert Music in the Aztec and Inca Territory Pp. 86-91 @1976 Berkeley: University of California Press.

Macehualiztli: Danza Guerrera Mexica: Expanding the K-16 Curriculum

Read: Kurath, Tula “Los Concheros: Danza de Promesa” (pp. 387-399) in Journal of American Folklore 59(234) @1947.

Discussion Leader:

View: : Pacho Lane’s Danza Trilogy:Tree of Life”

Vocabulary: Anasazi, Hohokam, Mogollon, Aztec/Mexica, Olmec, Toltec, Huehuetl, Danza Azteca, Danza Conchero, huipil, maxtli, penacho, mestizaje, casta, promesa, manda, ofrenda, compromiso

Study Questions: What is the difference between Conchero and Azteca dancers? Can past civilizations be revived, ancestral languages relearned, and cultures reinvented? If so what role would ancient ritual such as danza have in reviving contemporary Aztec culture? How has Danza Azteca survived and changed since the Spanish conquest and what does it mean today? What is the difference between danza and baile folklorico? Provide some details regarding the costumes. Where is death located according to Aztec worldview and from which side of the circle do the danzantes enter? Explain why? Provide three Aztec (Nahuatl) terms for flute and describe the different types of instruments that accompany Voladores, Aztecas, and Concheros.

Week Two: Spanish Colonialism: Auto Sacramentales, Christianity, and History

[Day 3: Los Matachines” and “Juegos de Moros y Cristianos

Read: Romero, Brenda “Cultural Interaction in New Mexico as Illustrated in the Matachines Dance” Pp. 154-183 in Music of Multicultural America Kip Lornell and Anne K. Rasmussen editors @1997 New York: Schirmer Books.

Discussion Leader:

Listen: Juegos de Moros y Cristianos

View: Los Matachines de la Santa Cruz

Vocabulary: autos sacramentales, Moros y Cristianos, La Danza de Los Matachines, La Malinche, El Monarca, El Toro/Viejo, Los Danzantes, Abuelos, sound, notation, staff, clef, time, beat, tempo, rhythm, meter (compound, simple, asymmetric), rest, meter, signature, measure/bar, double bar, pitch, clef, melody, diatonic scales: major, minor, whole step, half step, ritual, dance, choreography, improvisation

Study Questions: What is the historical significance of Moros y Cristianos in Iberia and the Americas? How was it used to Christianize Indian and African people during colonial times? In what ways is Los Matachines similar to and different from Moros y Cristianos? Name the characters in Los Matachines and describe their unique ritual attire and accoutrements. Discuss the various levels of meaning in the performance, community, and devotion? Is ritual danza an effective medium used to exorcise evil or negative energy within the Chicana/o and Mexican communities?

[Day 4]: “La Pastorela” y “Las Posadas”

Read: Herrera-Sobek, Maria “Luis Valdez’s La Pastorela: “The Shepherds’Tale”: Tradition, Hybridity, and Transformation” Pp. 133-144 in Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses, 43 @2001.

Discussion Leader:

Vocabulary: los Pastores, auto sacramentales, La Posada, Satanas, San Miguel Arcangel, Lucifer, Lalo Guerrero, Freddy Fender, mandas, promesas, Flaco Jimenez, Linda Ronstadt,

Sing: Cuando por el oriente, De la Real Jerusalén, Vamos Todos a Belen, A la Ru, las Posadas

View: Luis Valdez’s “La Pastorela

Study Questions: Discuss the role of la pastorela in colonial times and how its meaning(s) and function(s) changed over time? Discuss the dramatic and humorous uses of angels and devils in the story throughout. How does the translation into the English language impact its dramatic affect and meaning overall? How authentic has Luis Valdez stayed to the original music of la pastorela

Week 3: Spanish Colonial Balladry and Mexican Corridos

[Day 5]: Romances, Décimas, and Inditas

Read: Rivera, Rowena Aurora “A Fifteenth-Century Spanish Romance in New Mexico” Pp. 8-12 in Western Folklore.

Discusssion Leader:

Read: Herrera-Sobek, Maria “The Discourse of Love and Despecho: Representations of Women in the Chicano Décima” Pp. 69-81 in AZTLAN Vol. 18 No. 1.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Romero, Brenda "La Indita of New Mexico: Gender and Cultural Identification," in Chicana Traditions, Continuity and Change, edited by Olga Najera-Ramirez and Norma Cantu. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, pp. 56-80

Discussion Leader:

Sing: La Delgadina, El Caballerito,

View: Finish La Pastorela

Vocabulary: romance, decíma, alabado, alabanza, verso, copla, indita, vocables, son, strophic form, through composed, return form, chromatic/whole tone/pentatonic scale, accidentals, key, tonic, key signature, strophic form, return form, syncopation, ostinato, vocables, repeat sign, cadence, through composed

Study Questions: Be able to discuss Spanish-Mexican balladry in terms of poetic, narrative, musical composition, and performance. What themes and moral values are central in the songs? What do Spanish colonial ballads reveal about Mexican historical violence, moral values, sexuality, family structure, and gender roles?

[Day 6]: Corridos and Narcocorridos

Read: García, Peter J. “Violent Ballads as Border Representations: The Aesthetics of Violence in the Mexican and Chicana/o Corrido” in Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life Issue#61 September 2002.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Simonett, Helena “Narcocorridos: An Emerging Micromusic of Nuevo L.A.” Pp. 315-337 in Ethnomusicology @2001.

Discussion Leader:

Listen: El Corrido de Gregorio Cortez (Sparx Cantan Corridos Vol. 1)

El Corrido de Juanito, (Sparx Cantan Corridos Vol. 1)

El Contrabandista, (Chalino Sanchez)

Tragedia en Nueva York, (As de la Sierra)

Study Questions: Discuss Mexican corridos in terms of poetic, narrative, and musical composition, performance, and recordings. Discuss the legendary status of Chalino Sanchez and the musical career of Los Tigres del Norte. Who are the protagonists in narcocorridos? How does Simonett distinguish between commissioned and commercial corridos? Does the composer/performer of Tragedia en Nueva York blame the United States for the terrorist attacks?

Vocabulary: Sparx, Lorenzo Antonio, Narcocorridos, Chalino Sanchez, Los Tigres del Norte, 911 Corridos

Week 4: Cantantes y Cancíones

[Day 7]: Cancion Ranchera and Jose Alfredo Jimenez

Read: Gradante, William “El Hijo del Pueblo”: José Alfredo Jiménez and the Mexican Canción Ranchera” Pp. 36-59 in Latin American Music Review, Vol. 3, No. 1 Spring/Summer 1982. University of Texas Press.

Discussion Leader:

Sing/Listen: Cielito Lindo, El Rey, Ella, Tú Solo Tú, La Media Vuelta, Los Laureles

El Golpe Traidor, Atotonilco, La Llorona, Volver, Volver

View: Pedro Infante

Vocabulary: bel canto, aria, opera, estribillo, José Alfredo Jiménez, Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Vicente Fernandez, Alejandro Fernandez, Lucha Villa, Lola Beltran, charros, bel canto, Canciones de Mi Padre, Linda Ronstadt, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, eighth notes/rests, quarter notes/rests, half notes/rests, whole notes/rests, dance, style, performance, improvisation, transcription, culture, multiculturalism, acculturation/assimilation, genre,

Study Questions: Discuss the lyrical content of the compositions and describe the musical career of José Alfredo Jiménez. What was the appeal of the Mexican idol Pedro Infante? What contributes to Pedro Infante’s legendary success as a former celebrity, singer, and actor and why does he remain as such a major sex symbol in Mexican popular culture? How are Mexican women portrayed in the canción ranchera? Describe the musical origins of the songs.

View: Canciones de Mi Padre

[Day 8]: Boleros and Cancion Romantica

DUE: Hardcopy of Music Event Report Due in Garcia’s Mailbox (South Hall) no later than 5:00PM. Email copies accepted to postpone tardiness but hard copy due w/in 24 hours.

Read: Pedelty, Mark “The Bolero: The Birth, Life, and Decline of Mexican Modernity” Pp. 30-58 in Latin American Music Review , Vol. 20, No. 1 Spring/Summer 1999. University of Texas Press.

Discussion Leader:

(Espinoza) “Tanto Tiempo Disfrutamos . . .: Revisiting the Gender and Sexual Politics of Chicana/o Youth Culture in East Los Angeles in the 1960s” Pp. 89-106 in Gaspar de Alba’s Velvet Barrios: Popular Culture and Chicana/o Sexualities.

Discussion Leader:

Sing: Solamente Una Vez, No Me Queda Más, Sabor a Mí, Besame Mucho,

Study Questions: How does the Mexican bolero express the Postrevolutionary Mexico urban experience? How did El Salon Mexico reflect class division in Mexican society. List at least 3 classic boleros composed by Agustin Lara and critique Luis Miguel’s interpretation of the genre in his 3 recent “Romances” recordings. List at least 3 bolero recordings by the late Rocio Durcal? Discuss Ersi Arvizu’s interpretation of Sabor a Mi and why it was a hit during the 1970s?

Vocabulary: El Chicano, Ersi Arvizu, Luis Miguel, Rocio Durcal, Agustin Lara, Maria Felix, El Salon Mexico, Mexican Revolution, habanera rhythm

Week Five: Mariachi and Jarocho Musics

[Day 9]: Los Mariachis y Linda Ronstadt

Read: Sheehy, Daniel “Mexícan Mariachi Music: Made in the U.S.A.” Pp. 133-154 in Music of Multicultural Americas: A Study of Twelve Musical Communities.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Jaquez, Cándida “Meeting La Cantante Through Verse, Song, and Performance” Pp. 167-182 in Chicana Traditions: Continuity and Change.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Stanford, E. Thomas “The Mexican Son” Pp. 66-86 in 1972/Yearbook of the International Folk Music Council. Vol. 4, 25th Anniversary Edition. Available on JSTOR: The Scholarly Journal Archives or on e-reserve.

Read: Loza, Steven “From Veracruz to Los Angeles: The Reinterpretation of the Son Jarocho” Pp. 179-194 in Latin American Music Review , Vol. 13, No. 2 Fall/Winter 1992. University of Texas Press

Discussion Leader:

Listen: El Toro Relajo, El Crucifijo de Piedra, La Cicada

Vocabulary: corrido, cancion ranchera, bolero, son: Jalisciense, Jarocho, Huasteca, huapango. traje de charro, sombrero, la bamba, guitarrón, vihuela, Mariachi Sol de Mexico, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, syncopation, contratiempo, sesquialtera, compound/simple meter

View: Canciones de Mi Padre

Study Questions: Why is mariachi music a national symbol of Mexican culture and how has it changed in the United States? Discuss Linda Ronstadt as an American “pop” singer and Mexican mariachi cantante. Describe the use of baile folklorico in the production of Canciones de Mi Padre. Who is included in the genealogy of sexy charro singers from the 1950s to the present including Alejandro Fernandez? Describe the stereotypical qualities embodied in the singer and the songs. How does the traje de charro construct an erotic, sensual, idealized masculinity? Describe the traje de charro (Mexican tuxedo) including sombero and how it negotiates gender politics through masculine aesthetics. Define machismo and in which songs from the repertoire do we most find it expressed lyrically? Know the names of the musical instruments and repertoire including: huapango; son (jalisco, jarocho, and veracruzano types); bolero, ranchera, and corrido. What instruments comprise a typical jarocho ensemble and where are its origins? Discuss the poetic, musical, and performative elements in son jarocho. Discuss Los Lobos interpretation of Jarocho music.

[Day 10]: Midterm

Midterm Exam through Son Jarocho (Loza article)- Bring Scantron Sheets

Week Six: Rock, Rap, and Reggaeton

[Day 11]: Rock en Español: Café Tacuba, Juanga, War

Listen/Sing: La Rana

Read: Esterrich, Carmelo & Javier H. Murillo “Rock with Punk with Pop with Folklore: Transformations and Renewal in Aterciopelados and Café Tacuba” Pp. 187-216 in Latin American Music Review Vol. 21, No. 1 Spring/Summer 2000. University of Texas Press

Discussion Leader:

Read: Geirola, Gustavo “Juan Gabriel: Cultura Popular y Sexo de los Angeles” Pp. 232-267 in Latin American Music Review, Vol. 14, No. 2 Fall/Winter 1993. University of Texas Press.

Discussion Leader (Spanish article):

Read: Johnson, Gaye T.M. “A Sifting of Centuries: Afro-Chicano Interaction and Popular Musical Culture in California, 1960-2000”. Pp. 316-329 in Decolonial Voices: Chicana/o Cultural Studies in the 21st Century. Edited by Aldama J. Arturo and Naomi H. Quiñonez

Discussion Leader:

Vocabulary: Juan Gabriel, Rocio Durcal, Thee Midniters, punk, Café Tacuba, La Ley, Molotov, El Tri, Chicano Power, Motown, doowop, funk, disco, punk rock, glam rock, latin soul, Latin jazz, triads (major, minor, diminished, augmented)

Listen: La Frontera

View: Tribute to Lalo Guerrero

Study Questions: Discuss the neutral pronouns in the lyrical compositions of Juan Gabriel. Does gender ambivalence indicate a reliable marker of sexual preference or orientation? Does Juan Gabriel’s sexuality matter to his audience? How are his music recordings, concerts, and collaborations regarded in Mexico and the United States? What nationality was Rocio Durcal and why was she so popular in Mexico? Describe her musical collaborations with Juan Gabriel. Sketch the musical “onda” or “scene” in Southern California from the 1960s through 2000. Which styles were popular and which artists were truly innovative and original? Esterrich and Murillo redefine Rock as an attitude rather than a musical style or genre. Critique their definition and the blurring of genres and styles in the performance and composition of Café Tacuba.

[Day 12]: Rap and Hip-Hop

Read: Delgado, Fernando Pedro “Chicano Ideology Revisited: Rap Music and the (Re)articulation of Chicanismo” Pp. 95-113 in Western Journal of Communication, Vol. 62, No. 2 Spring 1998.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Rodriguez, Richard “The Verse of the Godfather: Signifying Family and Nationalism in Chicano Rap and Hip-Hop Culture” Pp. 107-122 in Velvet Barrios: Popular Culture & Chicana/o Sexualities Edited by Alicia Gaspar de Alba @2003 Palgrave Macmillan

Discussion Leader:

View: Chicano Rap Underground

Vocabulary: Kid Frost, Lighter Shade of Brown, Chicano2dabone, rap, hip/hop, poetry, melodic types, texture, sampling, tracks, scratching, break-dancing, graffiti, tatuaje,

Study Questions: How has MTV influenced how people experience music? Do rap lyrics represent the unofficial voice and gripes of the poor and oppressed? What kind of themes are expressed in Chicana/o rap music? Distinguish between the different styles or sounds of various rap artists. What issues does Rodriguez raise with Frost’s narrow definition of raza and familia? Discuss musical hybridity and mixture within rap music. Discuss the musical performances, concerts, and recordings of progressive groups like Acquid and Ozomotli. Whats the scoop on reggaeton: hybrid commercial crap or sexy new Latin dance craze? Describe Reggaeton and where might one hear it in Southern California?

Week Seven: SoCal and Movimiento Musics

[Day 13]: So Cal Rock n Roll

Due: Hardcopy of Music Event Report Due in Garcia’s Mailbox (South Hall) no later than5:00PM. Email copies accepted to postpone tardiness but hard copy due w/in 24 hours

Read: Reyes and Waldman’s Land of A Thousand Dances: Chicano Rock ‘n’ Roll from Southern California


Read: Guerrero, Mark Chicano Music Articles Articles

The articles give the following information on the artists: a.) background and history b.) accomplishments c.) information on recordings, including what is currently available and where to get it d.) current projects, if any e.) in some cases, what's to come including opinions, and personal and musical experiences with the artists. Artists covered have achieved international fame, others a momentary national notoriety or long-lasting regional success but all enjoyed various fame or monetary success, but nevertheless created and recorded music worthy of recognition and preservation. Most of the articles are based on personal interviews and hence provide an insider “emic” native musician perspective. Photos of the artists available in the "Photo Gallery" page with free “sound bytes” of their music at the end of each article. Sound bytes provide students with opportunities to hear many of the groups and artists covered. (1): Mark Guerrero Introductory Article (15)Chris Montez: Rock and Pop Hit Maker of the 60s; (2): Chan Romero: Rock & Roll Pioneer (7): Carmencristina Moreno: Chicana Lady of Song. (3) Don Tosti Master of Music; (8) Lalo Guerrero: The Father of Chicano Music (25) Malo: “Suavecito” to Latin Legends; (28) Dr. Loco’s Rockin Jalapeño Band: José Cuellar Ph.D. by Day, Loco by Night. (29) The Sisters: Ersi, Rosella, and Mary Arvizu;(24) Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara: 60s Eastside Band from Pomona (20) Tango: From East L.A., not Argentina (22) Geree: Chicana/Latin Soul Singer Supreme. (10): Cannibal and the Headhunters: 1960s Chicano R & B Hit Makers; (11) The Premiers: Chicano Rock Hit Makers; (17) Little Ray: East L.A. Superstar of the 60s. (4): El Chicano: Latin Rock Pioneers (12) The Blendells: 1960s Chicano Rock Hit Makers. (21) Los Illegals: Pachuco Punk Rockers of the 80s; (23) Redbone: Cajun Funk with a Touch of Soul; (27) Yaqui: East L.A. Rock Band of the 70s. (9): Los Lobos: How Did the Wolf Survive?.

Listen/Vocabulary: Carlos Santana, Canibal and the Headhunters, The Premiers, Lil’ Ray, Yaqui, Redbone, Los Illegals, El Chicano, the Blendells, blues, Latin Rock, The Sisters, Ruben Funkahuatl Guevara, Malo, Dr Loco’s Rockin Jalapeño Band, Art Laboe Show, Huggy Bear, 12 bar blues, jazz, mambo, cha-cha-cha, rhythm & blues, rock ‘n’ roll, interval types: perfect, major, minor, diminished, augmented, chords, triads, Eastsound Sound, East L.A., Inland Empire, Orange County. Surf rock, R&B, Lalo Guerrero, Don Tosti, Chico Sesma, Marijuana Boogie, Ballad of Pancho Lopez, No Chicanos on TV, Chuck Higgins, “Pachuko Hop” “Wetback Hop” Richard Berry’s “Louie Louie”.

View: La Bamba or PBS California Rock n Roll

Vocabulary: Ritchie Valens, La Bamba, Los Lobos, Son Jarocho, rock ‘n’ roll, Freddy Fender, Chris Montez, Trini Lopez, Carmencristina Moreno, Don Tosti, Chan Romero, Lalo Guererro, Chico Sesma, ostinato, timbre, tessitura, dance, organology, rock ‘n’ roll,

Study Questions: Discuss the musical career of Ritchie Valens and name his three biggest hits. Describe the musical influences, performances, and recordings of Los Lobos. Why did Lalo Guerrero change his name? What impact did Jazz music and musicians have on Chicana/o culture in the United States? What was the cultural impact of rock ‘n’ roll throughout Greater Mexico and the Southwest United States. According to Reyes and Waldman, an entire subset of 1960s pop songs celebrated the joys of being young in California, identify these.

[Day 14]: Songs of Route 66 and Tejano Musics

Reading: Manuel Peña’s “Introduction” pp. 3-26 in Música Tejana: The Cultural Economy of Artistic Transformation.

Read: Manuel Peña’s Chapter 1: “Music of the Nineteenth Century: An Overview” pp. 27-49 in Música Tejana: The Cultural Economy of Artistic Transformation.

Discussion Leader:

Manuel Peña’s Chapter 2 “Vocal Music of the Twentieth Century” pp. 50-85 in Música Tejana: The Cultural Economy of Artistic Transformation.

Discussion Leader:

Recommended Read: Guerrero, Mark Chicano Music Articles Articles

(14) Trini Lopez: From Barrio to International Superstar (16) Freddy Fender: Tex-Mex Superstar (5) Flaco Jimenez: the Patron Saint of Conjunto Music.

Vocabulary: use-value, exchange-value, organic, superorganic, accidentals, flats, sharps, naturals, circle of fifths, order of accidentals, key signatures, cumbia-rap, reggaeton, techno, house, old school, Acquid, Ozomotli; 12 bar blues; bluegrass, Country Western, Honky Tonk, Will Rogers, Lincoln Highway, Nat King Cole, tonic, supertonic, mediant, subdominant, dominant, submediant, subtonic

Study Questions: What does Peña mean by use-value and exchange value? Does capitalism compromise social relationships? How did Route 66 use American popular music to mythologize the Southwest and integrate the area into the national imaginary? Describe the various American popular musical styles and artists and explain the influences on later Mexican-American music

Listen: Songs of Route 66

View: Songs of the Homeland

[Day 15]: Tejano Music

Read: Manuel Peña’s Chapter 3: “The Texas-Mexican Conjunto” pp. 86-117 in Música Tejana: The Cultural Economy of Artistic Transformation.

Discussion Leader:

Manuel Peña’s Chapter 4: “The Orquesta Tejana” pp. 118-149 in Música Tejana: The Cultural Economy of Artistic Transformation.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Manuel Peña’s Chapter 5: “La Onda Chicana: Pinnacle of the Orquesta Tradition” pp. 150-183 in Música Tejana: The Cultural Economy of Artistic Transformation.

Discussion Leader:

View: Songs of the Homeland

Vocabulary: accordion, bajo sexto, Beto Villa, Lydia Mendoza, Little Joe Hernandez, “Las Nubes”, Sunny (Ozuna) and the Sunglows, Carlos Santana, conjunto/norteño, orquesta tipica, R & B, rock ‘n’ roll, Country Western, Flaco Jimenez, Narcisso Martinez, Valerio Longorio, polka

Study Questions: Tejano music is a broad genre consisting of several styles including conjunto, orquesta, R & B, Country Western and Mariachi. Be able to identify the most important musical instruments, musicians, and singers for each expression. Why is regional identity so pronounced in Texas? What do musical styles reveal about particular social classes among Mexican people in Texas? Describe how Tex-Mex is transforming from an organic regional symbol of identity to a commercial commodity with mass pan-Latino appeal?

[Day 16]: Selena and Kumbia Kings

Manuel Peña’s Chapter 6: “Tejano Music of the Post-Chicano Era” pp. 184-218 in Música Tejana: The Cultural Economy of Artistic Transformation

Discussion Leader:

Read: Vargas, Deborah “Cruzando Frontejas: Remapping Selena’s Tejano Music “Crossover” Pp. 224-236 in Chicana Traditions: Continuity and Change. Eds. Norma Cantú & Olga Nájera-Ramirez.

Discussion Leader:

Vocabulary: A.B. Quintanilla, Kumbia Kings, Los Dinos, Chris Perez, Jennifer Lopez, Barrio Boyz, cumbia, Selena Quintanilla-Perez, Thalia, Paulina Rubio, Banda el Recodo, Pablo Monero, Ana Barbara, Shakira, parallel and relative major and minor scales.

View: Selena Remembered

Study Questions: What styles and genres are mixing with conjunto music? Who are the leading acordeanistas in the contemporary Tejano scene? Discuss the erotic elements in Selena’s musical performances and videos as a Latina pop star including choreography, singing style, songs, fashion, visual images, and hair. Describe the high points of Selena’s musical career and identify at least 3 of her greatest hits. What is the lasting legacy of Selena and her musical influence on today’s Mexican, Latina/o, and Chicana/o music cultures?

Week Ten: Barrio Rhythm

[Day 17]: Mexican Los Angeles

Read: Loza, Steve “Introduction” and Chapter 1 “Society and Music in Los Angeles” Pp. xvii-40 in Barrio Rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Loza, Steve Chapter 2 “Barrio Rhythm” Pp. 41-50 in Barrio Rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Macias, Anthony “Introduction: The Mexican American Generation, Music, and Los Angeles” Pp. 1-11 and Chapter 1 “Mojo in Motion: The Swing Era” Pp. 12-60 in Mexican American Mojo: Popular Music, Dance, and Urban Culture in Los Angeles, 1935-1968,

Discussion Leader:

[Day 18]: Mexican American Mojo

Read: Macias, Anthony Chapter 2 “The Drape Shape: Intercultural Style Politics” Pp. 63-117 in Mexican American Mojo: Popular Music, Dance, and Urban Culture in Los Angeles, 1935-1968,

Discussion Leader:

Read: Macias, Anthony Chapter 3 “Boogie Woogie Breakthrough: The Rhythm and Blues Era” Pp. 118-172 in Mexican American Mojo: Popular Music, Dance, and Urban Culture in Los Angeles, 1935-1968,

Discussion Leader:

Read: Loza, Steve Chapter 3 “A Chronicle of Musical Life: Los Angeles, 1945-90” Pp. 54-130 in Barrio Rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles.

Discussion Leader:

Week Eleven: California during the 1950s through El Movimiento Chicano

[Day 19] From Ritchie Valens through Los Lobos

Read: Loza, Steve Chapter 4 “Profiles of the Artists: The War Veterans” Pp. 131-184 in in Barrio Rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Macias, Anthony Chapter 4 “Come on Let’s Go: The Rock and Roll Era” Pp. 175-228 in Mexican American Mojo: Popular Music, Dance, and Urban Culture in Los Angeles, 1935-1968.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Macias, Anthony Chapter 5 “Con Sabor Latino: Latin Jazz, the Mambo, and Latin Holidays in Los Angeles” Pp. 229-280 and Conclusion “Alternate Takes and Political Generations” Pp. 281 -290 in Mexican American Mojo: Popular Music, Dance, and Urban Culture in Los Angeles, 1935-1968,

Discussion Leader:

[Day 20]: Banda

Read: Loza, Steve Chapter 5 “Profiles of the Artists: Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” Pp. 185-259 and Chapter 6 “Change, Conflict, and Childhoods” Pp. 259-278 in Barrio Rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles.

Read: Simonett, Helena “Introduction” Pp. 1-24 and “Chapter 1 “A New Sound in “Nuevo L.A.” Pp. 25-51 in Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Simonett, Helena Chapter 2 “The Quebradita Dance Craze” Pp. 52-76 in Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders.

Week Twelve: Dance Crazes

[Day 21] Technobanda

Read: Simonett, Helena Chapter 3 “Technobanda and the Politics of Identity” Pp. 78-98 in Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Simonett, Helena Chapter 4 The Sociohistorical Roots of Banda Music” Pp. 99-129 in Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders.

Discussion Leader:

[Day 22] Transnational Musical Culture

Read; Simonett, Helena Chapter 5 “Music in the Center, Music on the Periphery” Pp. 130-154 in Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Read; Simonett, Helena Chapter 6 “Tradition, Sedimentation and Innovation” Pp. 155-200 in Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders.

Discussion Leader:

Week Thirteen: Banda

[Day 21] Technobanda

Read: Simonett, Helena Chapter 7 “The Music of a Transnational Subculture” Pp. 201-225 in Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders.

Discussion Leader:

Read: Read; Simonett, Helena Chapter 8 “Another Sound in “Nuevo L.A.” Pp. 226-254 in Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders.

Discussion Leader:

[Day 22] Barrio Rhythm

Read: Simonett, Helena Chapter 9 “Technobanda’s Lasting Influence” Pp. 255-272 and “Epilogue” Pp. 273-281 in Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders.

Discussion Leader:

Week Fourteen: LA SoCal music

[Day 23] Barrio Rhythm

View: Chicano rock! : the sounds of East Los Angeles [videorecording] DVD ML 394 .C45 2009

[Day 24] Banda

Read: Kun, Josh “What is an MC If He Can’t Rap to Banda? Making Music in Nuevo L.A.” Pp. 741-758 American Quarterly

Discussion Leader:

Vocabulary: Banda el Recodo, banda de viento, banda Sinaloense, banda orquesta, technobanda Akwid, Quinto Sol, Ollin, Aztlan Underground, Quetzal, Yeska, Ejercito Nacional de Liberacion Nacional (EZLN), Zapatistas

Study Questions: Describe the popularity and politics behind Banda music today and the evolution from Banda de Viento to Technobanda? Discuss the postmodern musical mixture of elements such as Juan Gabriel, hip hop, Banda el Recodo within “No Hay Manera”. Discuss the political issues and recordings of Ozomatli, Quinto Sol, Aztlan Underground, Ollin, Yeska, and Akwid. Discuss new forms of musical activism and its huge appeal to raza audiences today?

Week Fifteen: Post Chicano Music in California

[Day 25] Ozomotli

Read: Viesca, Victor Hugo “The Battle of Los Angeles: The Cultural Politics of Chicana/o Music in the Greater Eastside” Pp. 719-739 American Quarterly

Discussion Leader:

Read: Viesca, Victor Hugo ‘Straight Out the Barrio: Ozomatli and the Importance of Place in the Formation of Chicana/o Popular Culture in Los Angeles” pp, 479-494 from Culutral Values 4.4 (October), 2000 reprinted from The Popular Culture Studies Reader, Raiford Guins and Omayra Zaragoza editors @2005 SAGE Publications.

Discussion Leader:

Vocabulary: Ozomatli, Quetzal, Aztlan Underground, Yeska, Ollin, Blues Experiment, Ejercito Nacional de Liberacion Nacional (EZLN), Zapatistas, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Mathews, Maná, banda, cumbia, hip hop.

Listen: Cumbia de Los Muertos, ‘O Le Le”, “Chota”, “Coming War”,

Questions: Why does Viesca regard Ozomatli as a ‘global’ band from a ‘global barrio’ and their Post-Nationalist Chicanismo. How is the emerging Chicano identity salvaging the term from its previous hyperpolitical essentialist confines and letting it loose on the modern world to evolve and take on new, broader permutations?

[Day 26] Final Review and Morrissey

Read: Arellano, Gustavo “Their Charming Man: Dispatches from the Latino Morrissey love-in” Pp. 18-25 Orange County Weekly 4 March, 2006.

Vocabulary: Morissey, Smiths, Morissey/Smith tribute Band, punk, Ramones, Talking Heads

Questions: Discuss the popularity of Morissey and the Smiths among Chicano youth and the tribute bands in southern California.

Review for Final Exam

Final Exam: