Conjunto (Spanish pronunciation: [koŋˈxunto], group) literally translates as "group," and is regionally accepted in Texas as defining a genre of music (also known as Conjunto music or Conjunto Tejano) that was born out of south Texas at the end of the 19th Century, after German settlers introduced the button accordion. The bajo sexto has come to accompany the button accordion and is integral to the Conjunto sound. Many conjuntos are concentrated in the Southwestern portion of the United States, primarily in Texas and California. In Mexico the term conjunto is associated with Norteño and Tejano music. Since Tejano was bred out of Norteño music originally, this association is not entirely false. However, due to various cultural and socioeconomic developments in the 1900s, Norteña musicians began trailblazing the Tejano genre as a tangent to conjunto.
Despite widely recognized as Mexican, conjunto is also used by Caribbean, Son Jarocho and Cuban groups, such as the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba. Other words used to describe musical groups are orquesta, banda, charanga, or the name may refer to the number of members in the group such as septeto for a septet, for example.
In the US and Mexico, a conjunto band is composed of four main instruments: the button accordion, the bajo sexto, an electric bass, and a drum kit. They are popular in Northern Mexico and Southern Texas. German and East European settlers brought their accordions, waltzes and polkas to the region, which were adapted by the local population.
Texas accordion player Flaco Jimenez is probably the best-known conjunto musician in the United States, with a career spanning 60 years and earning him 5 Grammy awards.
"Chulas Fronteras" is a documentary film from the 1970s which illustrates how the music meshed into the lives of families in South Texas and Northern Mexico.
- Ragland, Cathy (2009). Música Norteña: Mexican Migrants Creating a Nation between Nations. Philadelphia: Temple Press. ISBN 978-1-59213-746-6.
- "Playing From the Heart", WBGU-PBS documentary featuring a Conjunto musician.
- "Conjunto definition"
- "Accordion Dreams", PBS documentary covering the history of Conjunto music up to the 1990s
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