Right in the heart of La Mejorada, just steps away from its iconic park with the statue of the Niños Héroes, you’ll find a 19 century Casona painted soft blue with white details. This is the Museo de la Canción Yucateca, a place that is dedicated – in its own words – to rescuing, preserving, promoting, and disseminating Yucatecan music. A marvel, if you ask me.
The journey through the history of Yucatecan music begins as soon as you set foot into the museum, where you are greeted by monumental bronze sculptures of Guty Cárdenas, Ricardo Palmerín, and Pepe Domínguez, famous composers from Yucatán. In addition to each one measuring three meters, they are located on individual bases. You can imagine the final size of these sculptural pieces, they become monuments in their own right!
Inside, you will find eight permanent – and chronological – exhibition rooms that narrate the history of our state’s music. From its pre-Hispanic origins, to the birth and golden age of trova, and the more modern times of this genre known for its romanticism.
You might think that the experience can be somewhat overwhelming, with centuries of history. However, the journey aided by visual resources and Yucatecan music is so enjoyable and entertaining that time will fly by.
The museum is impressive as is the quantity and quality of its collection. It is especially notable for having oil portraits of the most important men and women – composers, poets, and performers – of the genre, texts, photographs, objects, and historical instruments. As well as personal objects that belonged to some of the greatest representatives of this music style. Of course, this includes Armando Manzanero!
Are you interested in seeing the ocarinas, a genuine tunkul, snails, and other instruments used by the Maya for their music? Original photographs from the 19 century? The original score and a violin that belonged to Chan Cil, patriarch of Yucatecan music? Or maybe Guty Cardenas is more to your liking? In the Museo de la Canción Yucateca you will find an entire room dedicated to him, including one of his guitars and the opportunity to listen to 25 songs by this great troubadour.
In addition, the museum has an open-air stage made up of an acoustical shell that is used for concerts and various musical activities, such as the famous Trova Wednesdays… now taking social distance and other protocols for a pleasant and safe evening out.
Do you feel like a cultural excursion with hours of Yucatecan music? The Museo de la Canción Yucateca is waiting for you.
Calle 57 #464 x 48, Centro, Mérida
Mon. – closed
Tue. – Fri. 10 am – 5 pm / Sat. – Sun. 10 am – 2 pm
General admission: $50 pesos
Students and Inapam: $25 pesos
(Sundays free for Mexican residents)
Trova Wednesday: $50 pesos
Editorial by Olivia Camarena
Photography by Cecilia García Oliveri and Yucatán Today for use in Yucatán Today.
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