Huapango, poems from Latin America and Quebec


1912 – 1958

The Revolución Mexicana played an equally vital role in the career of José Pablo Moncayo García (1912–1958), who, being of the post-Revolution generation, grew up in a Mexico where cultural policy favoured rapid artistic growth.

He formed the Grupo de los cuatro in 1935 with Daniel Ayala, Salvador Contreras, and Blas Galindo, all composers aged twenty or under; the group is a witness to the political climate which favoured, at this time, the development of a robust artistic avant-garde. Moncayo’s style is representative of the post-Romantic period when the upcoming generation championed both national folk music and new musical currents.

Moncayo’s Huapango (1941) is markedly inspired by Mexican folklore. The huapango genre dates to the 17th century and originated in the adaptation of European instruments to the Indigenous musical traditions of Mexico. Typically, its ternary rhythm is supported by zapateado, a lively dance rhythm created by heels hitting the floor and a melody heard in the instruments’ high register. In the early 20th century, mariachi bands adopted the huapango, causing it to evolve into music for trumpet and guitar, in an idiom that has become largely emblematic of Mexico.