Contact Us

Have a question or just want to say hola?

Send us a message and we'll respond as quickly as we can. 

Malecón de Mazatlán

+52 (669) 982-1100

#1 Boutique Hotel in Mazatlan, Mexico

13 Facts About Banda Music You Never Knew

Blog Posts

Your Official Travel Guide of Things to do in Mazatlan.

13 Facts About Banda Music You Never Knew

Sophia Boccard


Let’s imagine we’re in a lively restaurant in town and there’s music blasting across the 10 speakers located throughout. Customers, primarily locals, dining, will scream and shout and whistle at one another just to be heard over the loud music. Outside the open-air restaurant with wooden columns supporting the sporadically shaded roof, there are groups of foreigners gawking, trying to understand where that noise is coming from. Banda music, a beloved style of music very much like pop, rock, electronic and heavy metal, has a way of polarizing listeners as either lovers or haters of the genre. While the music is revered by many Mexicans, not many people know the history of where or how the music came to be. We want to give you the crash course – see below for 13 fun facts about Banda music.


1. Banda generally means “band” in Spanish, and among the plethora of regional bands across Mexico, Banda Sinaloense is identified as the style of music most people think of when referring to Banda

2. This type of music is made up of a variety of ensembles consisting of percussion, brass and woodwind instruments

3. During the Second Mexican Empire in the 1860s, headed by Maximilian I – a puppet of Napoleon – military bands performed to the tune of brass music of German immigrants


4. German immigrants brought over polka music thus helping spur a marriage between traditional Mexican music and German polka music

5. The genre appealed to both rural and urban residents and exploded in popularity until the late 1890s

6. During the Mexican Revolution in the 1910s, revolutionary leaders such as Pancho Villa, would bring wind bands everywhere they went, bringing the music to fight and helped sustain its popularity into the 20th century


7. Instruments used are tubas, bass drums with cymbals, clarinets, snare drums, trombones with valves and saxhorns

8. As a recognized musical genre in the 1940s, bands average anywhere from nine to 12 members, typically with a lead singer and a second voice

9. The 1950s and 1960s brought about the incorporation of new instruments such as slide trombones and saxophones, allowing bands to perform mainstream dance music and popular pieces like the big band mambo


10. Banda continues to draw a wide range of danceable rhythms that range from polka, fox trot, bolero, cha-cha, waltz, cumbia and mambo

11. The tambora, a drum covered with animal hide, is the instrument most often identified with Banda


12. Some of the most famous bands are the groups Banda Sinaloense, who in the 1990s reached international popularity, while the “mother of all bands” is the prominent group Banda el Recodo

13. El grito mexicano, a yell by the performers or audience members during a musical interlude, is a staple in Banda music in addition to other forms of traditional Mexican music