The first history of the music that binds together Mexican immigrant communities

Msica nortea, a musical genre with its roots in the folk ballad traditions of Northern Mexico and the Texas-Mexican border region, has become a hugely popular musical style in the U.S., particularly among Mexican immigrants. Featuring evocative songs about undocumented border-crossers, drug traffickers, and the plight of immigrant workers, msica nortea has become "the" music of a OC nation between nations.OCO "Msica Nortea "is the first definitive history of this transnational music that has found enormous commercial success in "norteam(r)rica."


Cathy Ragland, an ethnomusicologist and former music critic, serves up the fascinating fifty-year story of msica nortea, enlivened by interviews with important musicians and her own first-hand observations of live musical performances. Beyond calling our attention to musical influences, Ragland shows readers the social and economic forces at work behind the music. By comparing msica nortea with other popular musical forms, including conjunto tejano, she helps us understand and appreciate the musical ties that bind the Mexican diaspora.