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Huapango

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Title: Huapango  
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Subject: Regional styles of Mexican music, Norteño (music), Music of Mexico, Mexican music, Son del Montón
Collection: Mexican Styles of Music
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Huapango

Son Huasteco trio at the Alfredo Guati Rojo National Watercolor Museum in Mexico City

Huapango is a Mexican folk dance and music style, part of the style Son Huasteco. The word may be a corruption of the Nahuatl word cuauhpanco that literally means "on top of the wood", alluding to a wooden platform on which dancers can make zapateado dance steps. It is interpreted in different forms, the most common being the classic huapango interpreted by a trio of musicians (un trio huasteco); the huapango norteño interpreted by a group (un conjunto norteño); and the huapango de mariachi, which can be performed by a large number of musicians.

Huapango típico (son huasteco)


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The classical trio huasteco brings together a violin, a huapanguera and a jarana huasteca. The classical huapango is characterized by a complex rhythmic structure mixing duple and triple meters which reflect the intricate steps of the dance. When the players sing (in a duet, in a falsetto tone), the violin stops, and the zapateado (the rhythm provided by heels hitting the floor) softens . The huapango is danced by men and women as couples. A very popular huapango is El querreque, in which two singers alternate pert and funny repartees.

Huapango norteño

Fringed leather jackets called cueras and outfit for dancing to huapangos and sones from Tamaulipas displayed at the Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City
Huapango performed by conjunto norteño

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The huapango norteño is a fast dance piece in 6/8. This dance style and rhythm was included in early conjunto norteño (music). It is performed by conjunto norteño (northern groups). The instrumentation of this type of ensemble consists of accordion, bajo sexto, double bass, drums and saxophone.

Huapango de mariachi

Huapango performed by mariachi band

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The huapango in mariachi has alternating rhythmic patterns similar to the son jaliscience. Both major and minor keys are used. One of the distinctive characteristics is the use of a falsetto by the vocalist. Another characteristic is the use of busy violin passages for the musical introductions and interludes. Famous songs include "Cucurrucucú paloma" and "Malagueña".

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