Brass bands have been a staple of Mexican life, particularly at village parties and weddings, for over one hundred years. But it wasn't until the end of the 20th century that these groups made the transition from fiesta to arena. Occasionally accompanied by a guitar, banda's primary sound is bright and underscored by a booming tuba. Make no mistake: you'll hear horns and lots of them. A banda group can play any style -- cumbia and ranchera, or merengue and salsa -- as long as the song is arranged for brass.