Sheet Music: La Bamba

TitleLa Bamba
ComposerTraditional Mexican
InstrumentationFlute and Guitar chords
KeyC major
Time signature4/4
Tempo152 BPM
Performance time0:50
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (101 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (706 kB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (706 kB)
Date added2010-05-06
Last updated2010-05-06
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 1.2 (average)
Latin American, Traditional/Folk


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Thursday 6 May 2010

Tune of the Day: La Bamba

Traditional Mexican song

“La Bamba” is a Mexican folk song, originally from the state of Veracruz, best known from a 1958 adaptation by Ritchie Valens, a top 40 hit in the U.S. charts and one of early rock and roll's best-known songs.

The song features a traditional mambo Latin rhythm, strongly influenced by Spanish flamenco. Lyrics can vary greatly vary, as performers often improvise verses while performing. The traditional aspect of “La Bamba”, however, lies in the tune itself, which remains the same through all versions. The name of the dance, which has no direct English translation, is presumably connected with the Spanish verb bambolear, meaning “to shake” or “to stomp”.

The traditional “La Bamba” was often played during weddings in Veracruz, where the bride and groom performed the accompanying dance. Today this wedding tradition is mostly lost, but the dance survives through the popularity of ballet folklórico (“folkloric dance”). The dance is performed in much the same way, displaying the newly-wed couple's unity through the performance of complicated, delicate steps in unison as well as through creation of a bow from a listón, a long red ribbon, using only their feet.