the indigenous Otomi communities of northern
Veracruz, a musical transformation has taken
place thanks to the efforts of Radio
Huayacocotla, which broadcasts from its
mountain top studio, records and plays the
local brass bands on the air. This has had
the effect of nurturing a local musical
tradition that was in danger of being
overwhelmed by popular commercial music.
While traditional stringed groups still
perform their huapangos, they have been
joined by the local brass bands that now
dominate the festivals like Carnaval and
Santa Cecilia celebrated in the region.
band music gained popularity in the 1860's
when the French-backed Austrian Naval
Commander, Archduke Ferdinand Maximillan,
ruled Mexico. Brass bands are still popular
in many parts or Mexico, but they have
experienced a unique renaissance in this
corner of the Huasteca.