The students I’ve interviewed at the School of Mexican music seem confident that the old tunes will never die. People will keep singing them at the top of their lungs at festivals and parties, and no Mexican wedding will ever be complete without them. Alejandra, the talented ranchera singer who sits next to me in chorus, sums it up like this:
“I used to go out to clubs with my cousins. I’d dance to the hits, electronica, rock en español, and all that. But whenever we had a party, at the end of the night, it was always me who sang. Everybody drunk, and I would sing. They never forgot that I would sing. So somehow, Mexican music has always had an important role. Maybe in different intensities, but it’s always been present in everybody.”
Despite the cultural value of singing old, “pure” Mexican songs (which have plenty of European ingredients, like guitars and waltzes, themselves), day-to-day Mexico City pulses with lots of imported sounds, too.
Here are a few examples of what the city sounded like when I stepped out of the School of Mexican music and took a walk around town: