Translated by Marisela G. Ricciuti F. Xiii, pp. ISBN: My only room for a difference of opinion would be that most of the book's content, in a different configuration, was actually published in English in by Wesleyan University Press under the title Banda: Mexican Musical Life across Borders. Despite the fact that bandas de viento brass, woodwind, and percussion ensembles have been an integral part of Mexican community life for more than a century and a half, the Mexican musicological gaze has tended to avoid music that does not speak to indigenous origins, colonial roots, or art music traits. The Sinaloan banda in particular, located at the social, political, and geographical periphery of Mexican life until the mid-twentieth century, was doubly removed from attention, despite its growing rise as a cultural icon of Sinaloan identity. Fortunately, Simonett, with her personal passion for brass band music instilled in her as a youth in Switzerland, has filled this void, blazing a solid research trail into the banda's history and ethnography for others to follow. The first three chapters that comprise Part 1 accompany the reader through the "meaning matrix" of Sinaloan society into the early twentieth century. The presence of an industrious, affluent ex-patriot German community supportive of public cultural life, the accessibility of imported band instruments since the mids, and the dual presence of ragtag village bands and more standardized Mexican military bands all played important roles in rooting the banda firmly in Sinaloan soil.
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The project is fairly straight-forward: the children of a poor district in southern Mexico dreamed of creating a band in order to escape the surrounding violence and crime. That dream was destined to come true…. Their aim was simple: the creation of a band in that forsaken, ramshackle neighbourhood, built at the foot of a landfill in the town of Oaxaca, some 6 hours and a half from Mexico City. The Banda started out with a music theory course, in which every fledgling musician already knew what they would play later on, but the price of a musical instrument is extremely high compared with the living standards of the families in this neighbourhood. In order to ship all this material, I got the help of my work colleagues, the on-board staff of Air France. In May, the project expanded with a set of guitars and mandolins, and in , the violins and cellos arrived.
Banda is a term to designate a genre of Regional Mexican music and the musical ensemble in which wind instruments, mostly of brass and percussion, are performed. The history of banda music in Mexico dates from the middle of the 19th century with the arrival of piston metal instruments, when the communities tried to imitate the military bands. The first bandas were formed in Southern and Central Mexico. In each village of the different territories, there are certain types of brass bands, whether traditional, private, or municipal. There are brass instruments in the state of Oaxaca that date back to the s. The traditional Oaxacan bands use a mix of saxophones and clarinets, fewer trumpets and slide trombones, and the bass drum and cymbals are played separately. One of the oldest bands recorded in Pizza is the Banda de Tlayacapan of the state of Morelos that was founded approximately in , being one of the first to play la danza del Chinelo.