Conjunto Style Overview
Conjunto Music Description
Mexican conjunto music, also known as conjunto tejano, was born in south Texas at the end of the 19th century, after German settlers introduced the button accordion. The bajo sexto has come to accompany the button accordion and is integral to the conjunto sound. Many conjuntos are concentrated in the Southwestern portion of the United States, primarily in Texas and California. In Mexico the term conjunto is associated with norteño and tejano music. Since tejano was bred out of norteño music originally this association is not entirely false. However, due to various cultural and socioeconomic developments in the 1900s, norteño musicians began trailblazing the tejano genre as a tangent to conjunto.
In the United States and Mexico, a conjunto band is composed of four main instruments: the button accordion, the bajo sexto, an electric bass, and a drum kit. They are popular in northern Mexico and southern Texas. German and East European settlers brought their accordions, waltzes and polkas to the region, which were adapted by the local population. Texas accordion player Flaco Jiménez is probably the best-known conjunto musician in the United States, with a career spanning sixty years and earning him six Grammy awards. "Chulas Fronteras" is a documentary film from the 1970s which illustrates how the music meshed into the lives of families in south Texas and northern Mexico.
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