The Huapango is the name of a northeastern Mexican musical style developed from the fandango. It accompanies a lively dance popular around the Gulf of Mexico, or Huasteca region. It can be played by anything from a guitar duo to a full mariachi band, which may include trumpets and guitarrones. The name itself may mean ‘on a wooden stand’, as the huapango is danced on a platform.
Huapango típico (son huasteco)
Sung only by the men, the classical, or "typical" huapango is characterized by a complex rhythmic structure mixing duple and triple meters which reflect the intricate steps of the dance . At a point when the players begin singing in falsetto, the characteristically busy violins will stop and the zapateo, or sound of the heels on the floor softens. A very popular huapango is El querreque in which two singers alternate wit and banter.
The huapango norteño is a fast dance piece in 6/8. This dance style and rhythm was included in early conjunto norteño music (music by northern bands.) The instrumentation of this type of ensemble may consist of accordion, bajo sexto, double bass, drums and saxophone.
Huapango de mariachi
The huapango in mariachi has alternating rhythmic patterns similar to the son jaliscience. Both major and minor keys are used. One of the distinctive characteristics is the use of a falsetto by the vocalist. Another characteristic is the use of busy violin passages for the musical introductions and interludes.