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Genaro Codina

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Genaro Codina


Genaro Codina (10 September 1852, Zacatecas, Mexico - 22 November 1901, Zacatecas) was a Mexican composer.

Genaro Codina y Hernandez was Zacatecas, a mining city on the semi-arid plains of the north central Mexican state of the same name. His parents were Santiago Codina and Maria Dolores (Hernandez). Codina enjoyed singing and also played several instruments when he was young, but he preferred the portable folk harp. In 1863, when he was 11, he entered the private school of Luis Galindo. Later, on several occasions, Codina was incarcerated in the prison of El Cobre (The Copper). Although the precise reason for his imprisonment is unknown, he lived during the oppressive dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz, when little or no legal reason was needed to send a person to jail. While in prison, with his harp as his constant companion, he entertained his comrades with his music and also learned a large number of folk songs which were later used in his publications. In 1887 he dedicated his march Porfirio Diaz to the president. From then on he remained a free man and was also given a government job as an accountant for the rest of his life.

Codina wrote music in a variety of forms, including polkas, quadrilles, at least eight waltzes, ten mazurkas, six schotisches, and numerous other dances. At least two of his wa1tzes, Los Ojos de Luz and Luz y Herlinda, were dedicated to his daughters. His best-known marches include Inauguración, Mexico, Patria Mia, Viva México, and Zacatecas, likely the most popular march in Mexican history.

In addition to his musical accomplishments, Codina became known as a manufacturer of spectacular fireworks and balloons, objects which were in great demand at the Mexican folk festivals.

Works for Winds


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 132.