We are celebrating the Banda genre with our new list! Don’t you just love lists? You know we do. Before we get to the list let’s address what Banda music is and its history.
What is Banda Music?
Banda music is a subgenre of Latin music. Banda is a style of Regional Mexican music and the musical ensemble (Banda means “band” in Spanish) of wind instruments, mostly of brass and percussion. If you’re thinking Banda (often confused with Mariachi) sounds like polka, you’re not wrong.
“German immigrants brought over polka music thus helping spur a marriage between traditional Mexican music and German polka music.” Casa Lucia
In this video, you’ll hear the traditional Banda sound. Do you hear trumpets, a clarinet, and a tuba? According to Berklee, you’ll typically see a Banda including “3 Trumpets, 4 clarinets, 3 valve trombones, 2 Eb alto horns, and 1 sousaphone.”
What is the History of Banda Music?
The history of Banda music in Mexico dates from the mid-1800s with the arrival of piston metal (brass) instruments. The first Bandas were formed in Southern and Central Mexico. Pancho Villa had Bandas with him wherever he went — as dictators often do — and that popularized the music along with access to brass instruments.
Banda hasn’t died in popularity, though, NPR’s podcast about the tuba revolution even talked about the rise of theft of those instruments in Los Angeles.
“I think in Mexican Banda music the tuba has always been kind of in the back, a very limited role for the tuba. Always necessary because that’s the base, that’s the kind of the propelling motor of the band, but always kind of, you know, not too sexy. In time some new musicians came about. They were better.” Sam Quinones
Banda is even getting more views than Bruno Mars and Cardi B!
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Hot 50 Banda Songs
Do you think Amazon missed your favorite? We’d love to know which. Leave it in the comments below. Our list of the top 50 Banda songs is ranked by downloads on Amazon.
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Last Updated: March 14, 2021
If you think a Banda song should be on our list, be sure to comment below so that we can add it.