The Origins of Banda

By Antonio Nuñez and Tino Hernandez

Music has a huge variety of genres and includes a numerous amount of stars and singing sensations, but without a doubt one of the most popular and recognized genres is the Mexican Banda. Banda is a type of brass-based and traditional form of Mexican music that is consisted of a wide variety of songs which include rancheras, corridos, cumbias, baladas, and boleros.

Banda was created in the state of Sinaloa in the 1880’s and originated from German Polka music. It has been innovated and made popular by a number of artists. Bandas are a musical group that contain ten to twenty members and usually have three singers. Although three are the number of singers recommended for a Banda, a few brave vocalists have decided to tackle this genre solo and have succeeded. In the list of successful solo Banda singers are well known names like Julion Alvarez and Jenni Rivera.


Jenni Rivera is considered to be one of the most outstanding Banda singers in history, due to all the recognition and achievements she received with regards to being a woman, Banda was a male dominated genre for years and many female artists attempted to become a hit in the Banda world but did not succeed. Jenni Rivera in fact did succeed and her music was heard all around the world. She sold over 20 million records making her the highest earning Banda singer of all time.jenni-rivera-with-the-flag

Banda music is loved by many but we decided to ask a few people what makes this genre their favorite. When asked this question former Century High student, Miguel Hernandez, told us, “I love this genre because it’s different from all others; it uses bass drums, woodwind, and percussion. The sounds these three can generate is just amazing.” We also decided to ask a middle school student named Cesar Nuñez for an answer. He stated, “I really like Banda music.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been listening to it since I was little.”

Some hate Banda and many more love it, but the truth is that Banda has proven to be a popular and dominant force not only in Mexican music, but in music overall, having created some of the best singers and musical groups and including their songs on the top of many highly recognized music charts.


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