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Hispanic Folk Music of New Mexico and the Southwest

A Self-Portrait of a People

John Donald Robb

Publication Year: 2014

First published in 1980 and now available only from the University of New Mexico Press, this classic compilation of New Mexico folk music is based on thirty-five years of field research by a giant of modern music. Composer John Donald Robb, a passionate aficionado of the traditions of his adopted state, traveled New Mexico recording and transcribing music from the time he arrived in the Southwest in 1941.

Published by: University of New Mexico Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Foreword: Reflections on the Author, John Donald Robb

Jack Loeffler

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pp. xi-xiv

John Donald Robb was eighty-eight years old when his magnum opus, Hispanic Folk Music of New Mexico and the Southwest, was originally published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 1980. He dedicated this work to his...

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Prologue

Enrique Lamadrid

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pp. xv-xviii

John Donald Robb loved the soulful music of Los Pastores like a child loves a lullaby. These Christmas plays with shepherds, angels, devils, and the Holy Family in search of epiphany are performed all over greater Mexico on both

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Preface

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pp. xix-xxii

Mankind has always been attracted to elemental things. We live among the seeming humdrum of prosaic things, usually unaware of the incredible richness of those "things" and the equally incredible richness of the popular vocabulary with which we name them...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xxiii-xxiv

Although most of the transcriptions and translations are mine, I owe a debt of gratitude, first, to my many informants listed in the index of my collection of recordings and in particular to those who have made major contributions, including...

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Explanation of Format

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pp. xxv-2

Each example used in this work is designated by an alphanumeric symbol representing the section in which the example appears and the number of the example within that section. For instance, the section dealing with the romance...

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Introduction

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pp. 3-16

Deep among the mountains and valleys of the American Southwest lie the villages of the descendants of the Spanish conquerors. Here, incredibly, still live a people whose family language is Spanish, who still dance...

Part I: Secular Song Texts and Melodies

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pp. 17-23

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Section A: Romance

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pp. 24-88

The romance was one of the earliest types of Hispanic folk songs to attract the attention of New Mexico folklorists, Aurelio M. Espinosa having published twenty-seven versions of ten traditional Spanish romances in...

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Section B: Corrido

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pp. 89-200

Like the romance, the corrida is a narrative ballad. Unlike the romance, it deals with ordinary people and their adventures or misadventures. It seems to have originated in Mexico, at least in the form in which it is...

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Section C: Canción

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pp. 201-313

The romance was one of the earliest types of Hispanic folk songs to attract the attention of New Mexico folklorists, Aurelio M. Espinosa having published twenty-seven versions of ten traditional Spanish romances in...

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Section D: Relación and Related Forms

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pp. 314-375

Mendoza states that the relation, having the same form as the romance, differs from it only in its fluent narrative and in its light tone and occasional humor (Mendoza 9d, p. 194). He groups the relation together with...

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Section E: Décima

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pp. 376-417

One type of folk song that formerly flourished in New Mexico and other parts of the Southwest is the decima. Although now moribund in New Mexico, it is remembered in other areas in the New World. It is known...

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Section F: Indita

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pp. 418-461

There seems to be a good deal of confusion over the nature and origins of the indita. Campa in his Spanish Folk Poetry in New Mexico stated that the term cancibn has always been used in New Mexico to include decimas, corridas, cuandos, and inditas and...

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Section G: Trovo

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pp. 462-480

The trovo is a type of song contest in which two or more persons sing alternate verses. The word trova in Spanish is defined as a metrical composition or a parody. The word, apparently derived from the word trovador...

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Section H: Cuando

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pp. 481-488

Occasionally one encounters a song text in which each verse ends with the word cuando. These songs are called cuandos by the singers, and despite their relative rarity I am including the examples below under that heading...

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Section I: Occupations

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pp. 489-546

Unlike the foregoing song texts, which have been classified on the basis of their form, the songs included in this section are grouped together here primarily because of their subject...

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Section J: Patriotism, History, Politics

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pp. 547-566

Patriotism. It is heartening to know that there are those so filled with love and gratitude to our country and the freedoms it protects that they have felt impelled to compose and sing songs inspired by that love and...

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Section K: Courtship and Marriage

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pp. 567-577

The most frequently encountered songs on the subject of courtship and marriage are the entregas de novios, or delivery of the newlyweds. Ruben Cobos has described other wedding...

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Section L:. Social Commentary

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pp. 578-587

Many of the songs of this type are the reflections of old men who react savagely to changes of custom, which to me (now eighty-seven) seem to be innocent. Certainly the use of bustles today does not appear to be as...

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Section M: Popular Songs

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pp. 588-592

Scholars usually draw a line between so-called popular songs, written and performed by professionals for money, and folk music, conceived of as a spontaneous expression of the thoughts and feelings of a people in reaction...

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Section N: Miscellaneous Secular

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pp. 593-608

In this section I have included the secular songs that are, so to speak, left over. The relatively few examples given here are included largely to call attention to the ramifications of the subject of Hispanic folk music...

Part II. Religious Song Texts and Melodies

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pp. 609-611

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Section O: Alabado

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pp. 612-643

The alabados are associated with the religious sect commonly known as the Penitentes, although they prefer to be known by the title of Hermanos de Nuestra Padre Jesus. In fact when I used the word "Penitente" ...

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Section P: Alabanza

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pp. 644-679

The alabanza may generally be defined for our purposes here as a song in praise of the Virgin Mary, a saint, or other holy figure. Whereas the alabados are generally distinguishable by their characteristic unmeasured...

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Section Q: Décima a lo Divino

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pp. 680-689

The decima a lo divino differs from the ordinary secular decima primarily in its religious subject matter. See Section E for the history and formal structure of the decima....

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Section S: Himno

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pp. 690-701

The himno is the familiar country hymn as sung in the village churches. In contrast to the unmeasured and melismatic music of the alabados, it is syllabic (with one syllable per note) and measured in duple or triple meter...

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Section T: Rogativa

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pp. 702-709

Rogativa in Spanish means prayer, and accordingly grouped under this heading are those religious song texts in the nature of prayers. They include prayers of various types. Salgan, Salgan, Salgan (T4-4b), for example, is of a special type known as the...

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Section U: Despedimento

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pp. 710-716

Cobos in one of his articles in El Nuevo Mexicano expresses the conviction that at least one of the despedimentos, Adios Acompahamiento (Ul), was brought from Spain in the seventeenth century (Cobos 4, 5/4/50). This opinion finds some confirmation in the...

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Section V: Miscellaneous Religious

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pp. 717-736

I suppose that it might be possible to find and classify a number of other types of Hispanic folk songs that have flourished or may be emerging in the American Southwest. I believe, however, that the foregoing represent...

Part III: Instrumental Melodies

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pp. 737-740

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Section W. Matachines Dance and Related Forms

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pp. 741-790

The tradition of ritual dancing in the Spanish villages of the Southwest, like the folk play Los Pastores, is engaged in a struggle for survival, possibly a losing struggle. It tends to die out in a village and then to be revived...

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Section X: Social Dances

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pp. 791-825

Under this heading I have included an assorted group of the tunes, almost invariably fiddle tunes, to which the Spanish-American villagers danced. They were recorded by the fiddlers themselves, usually old men. The...

Section Y. Other Instrumental Melodies

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pp. 826-828

Appendices

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A: Piano-Vocal Arrangements of Selected Songs

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pp. 831-859

In the course of an interview in Rio de Janeiro, Heitor Villa-Lobos, who was known in his country as "Mr. Folklore/' told me: "I am not a folklorist. I use folklore to form my musical personality." I confess that I have something of this...

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B: Song Literature of the Villages

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pp. 860-863

One striking feature of village life in the Southwest is the corpus of songs that circulate in a particular region telling of well-known local characters and noteworthy local events both recent...

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C: Sampling of Despedidas

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pp. 864-

A charming feature of a number of folk songs, especially prominent in the corridas, is the despedida, or final verse. It may serve as a moral to the story (as in B17b, Jesus Cadenas), a simple...

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D: Songs with Chorus or Refrain

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pp. 865-

One of the most artful and attractive features which, as is shown below, is common to many of the types of songs described in this book is the coro (chorus) or refran (refrain). It can consist...

E: Form for Analysis of Folk Melodies

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pp. 866-868

Definitions

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pp. 869-870

Bibliography

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pp. 871-873

Discography

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pp. 874-

Index of Titles

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pp. 875-880

Index of First Lines

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pp. 881-884

General Index

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pp. 885-891


E-ISBN-13: 9780826344328
E-ISBN-10: 0826344321
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826344304

Page Count: 920
Publication Year: 2014