Long note

Malagueña Salerosa is a Mexican Son Huasteco song covered hundreds of times (including versions by Plácido Domingo, José Feliciano, and Avenged Sevenfold). It’s also a challenge: how long can a singer sustain a single note?

Mariachi
Cow Bite [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The song dates back at least as far as the 1940s, although it was probably written much earlier. It’s about a man pining for an unattainable woman, who isn’t interested because (he says) he’s just too poor.

Malagueña Salerosa is a common part of mariachi bands’ playlists, and it’s often used as a way to show off how long a singer can draw out one note while retaining the correct tone and adequate volume.

Avenged Sevenfold, for example, managed 11 seconds. Chingón famously covered the song on the Kill Bill Vol. 2 soundtrack – they got to 12 or 13 seconds, although it gets pretty quiet towards the end. My personal favourite is an obscure cover by La Gloria Quintet (you can listen to it below), which tops out at more than 20 seconds. Beautiful.

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