What is Duranguense?

Duranguense is a popular Regional Mexican music genre in the United States, Mexico, and Central America. The music style differs from some of the other popular Regional Mexican music genres in several ways. It is also rapidly becoming the trendsetting genre of today’s Mexican-American youth. Duranguense is a fun, upbeat style of music that became a craze in the early 2000s and continues today.

Duranguense originates in the Mexican state of Durango, but really exploded in Chicago, Illinois. The style eventually took a firm presence in the entire Mexican origin population in the U.S., especially with the youth. Several groups have tried to take the credit for popularizing el pasito duranguense and is an argument that will not be settled any time soon.

Duranguense has a lot of similarities to other genres like banda and norteno. Duranguense is very distinct, however, in the addition of keyboards and synthesizers to produce the sounds of the melodies, bass line, and accompaniments. For example, the Yamaha DX7 and the Roland D-50 keyboards are very popular for their tuba duranguense sound the provides a heavy bass line. Most grupos also carry a saxophone player or two, along with a drum player for the tarola, a tambora player, and a singer or two.

The sound of duranguense is fast paced with a lot of treble and a lot of bass. Love songs are popular in the genre. Many songs are also about the immigrant lifestyle and the hardships that come with it. Also popular are corridos.

There is also a distinct style of dress that follows duranguense. The characteristic taco hat, also known as a sombrero duranguense or a sombrero de taco, has been immensely popularized by the movement. Also polar are boots of several different animal skins and colors with a matching belt. The fashion trend followed a lot of other mainstream fashion trends and has created a new style of dress among Mexican-Americans at bailes, regardless of whether it’s duranguense, banda, or norteno.

And then, of course, there is the distinct dance, el pasito duranguense. The dance can be very complicated if you are a beginner, but incredibly simple and natural once you have perfected your style.

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