Following independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico lost large tracts of land to the United States, including Texas and part of Oklahoma in 1845, with the remainder of Oklahoma ceded in 1848. Shifting borders intensified cross-cultural exchange between Mexico and the United States. Mexican sacred music traditions, including those dating to Spain’s colonial period, remained vibrant in southern Texas, New Mexico, and southern California. By the mid-nineteenth century, Anglophone hymnody became increasingly influential within Mexico, competing with vernacular music traditions including sacred genres like villancicos, coplas, alabados and the practice of sung rosaries.
The 1860 secularization of Mexico opened the door to Protestant evangelism led by US-based denominations. In 1877, Presbyterian foreign missionaries published a hymnal for use in Mexican churches. Both the Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South followed in 1881, with a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints denominational hymnal appearing in 1907. Despite metrical hymnody having no direct analogue in the Spanish-speaking world, the collections drew heavily on this tradition. When Mexican Protestant denominations began publishing their own hymn collections—such as the Baptist Himnario issued in León in 1915 or the 1923 Estados y liturgia de la Iglesia Evangélica Mexicana e himnario provisional—these publications continued to combine Spanish texts with the forms and performance practice of English metrical hymnody.
New strands of sacred music traditions were introduced at the turn of the twentieth century during a period of increased immigration from China, Japan, Eastern Europe, and the Ottoman Empire. Other immigrant communities, such as Mennonites of Volga German descent, crossed the US-Mexico border.