Survey of Mexican (Folk) Music



Two short videos, Resurrecting Ancient Mesoamerican Music and the entertaining Breathing Life into an Ancient Instrument, use collections from the Peabody Museum (Harvard) to discuss methods for learning about musical history and also to provide access to sounds of a group of ‘ancient’ musical instruments.

1. Archaeologists are using an “ensemble approach” to understand the musical world of indigenous people in Mesoamerica. Name and briefly describe their four sources of information.

2. Describe the characteristics of the instruments featured in the videos and provide your own impression of their sounds.

3. Write a paragraph characterizing the relationship of the performer José Cuellar to the Mesoamerican instruments he both plays and discusses in the videos.

Huichol and Yoeme music (audio and video):

4. In the Huichol corn dance video there are two primary musical instruments. Name the instruments (in Huichol language). What European instruments do they look like? [The instruments are illustrated in your textbook]

5. Describe at least two differences between the Huichol corn dance video and the Harvest chant audio recording linked to your textbook?

6. Briefly describe the Yoeme (Yaqui) dance shown in the excerpt from the Seyewailo video. Include information on the dance, the music and instruments, the text, and the clothing of the dancer. [This video is also referenced in your textbook].

7. In addition to the Yoeme and Huichol peoples, approximately how many other indigenous tribal communities or societies are there in Mexico? Which states have the largest indigenous populations? Which section(s) of Mexico have the highest concentration of indigenous peoples (northeast, northwest, central east, etc.)?




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