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The Accordion in the AmericasKlezmer, Polka, Tango, Zydeco, and More!$
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Helena Simonett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037207

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037207.001.0001

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“Tejano and Proud”

“Tejano and Proud”

Regional Accordion Traditions of South Texas and the Border Region

(p.87) 5 “Tejano and Proud”
The Accordion in the Americas

Cathy Ragland

University of Illinois Press

This chapter illustrates how the diatonic accordion symbolically embodies the Texan-Mexican community's economic struggle while also distinguishing it as the core of an “authentic” Tejano conjunto sound despite the significant change and fragmentation the music has undergone, particularly during the last fifty years. This Tejano population would also try to distinguish itself musically from the more recent waves of Mexican immigrants who tend to cling on to their own kind of accordion-based music—música norteña. While for the Tejano the accordion symbolizes the cultural memory of a working-class past that allows them to celebrate their role in the making of a prosperous Texan and American society, for Mexican immigrants it is a symbol of regional identity and, at the same time, of their transnational experience.

Keywords:   diatonic accordion, Tejanos, Texan-Mexicans, musical instruments, Mexican immigrants

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