Mariachi Music

By: Claudia Crouthamel

History of the Music

Mariachi music originated in the Mexico State of Jalisco way back in the 19th century. This music was influenced by a variety of cultures, the two main influences are from the Mexican culture and the European culture.

Type of Music

The name of the music is called Mariachi. Mariachi is a word in french for marriage. This dance was known to be made up of three different cultures; the Africans, Europeans, and Mexicans.

Characteristics of the Music

Mariachi Music is typically uptempo and loud with trumpets. Trumpets are the loudest instrument in the band and is the most overpowering. The ideal instruments in a Mariachi band include 6 violins, 2 trumpets, and three rhythm instruments, the guitar, the vihuela, and the guitarron. There is not a lead singer in a Mariachi band. Everyone in the ensemble does some singing even if it is just during the chorus parts. Different members sing the lead in different songs. Mariachis help celebrate many different types of important cultural events and traditions. The Mariachis participates in the rite of courtship, in a society where the young members of the opposite sexes were kept apart, the serenata was a means if communication by which a young man could send a message of love to the women. Also, in many areas of Mexico, it is not unusual to be awakened by the sound of Las Mañ anitas, the traditional song for saints day, or birthdays. The bands are also commonly hired for baptisms, weddings, patriotic holidays, and even funerals.

Costumes

The members of the Mariachi wore elegant snugly tailored black suits and vests, extravagantly trimmed with embroidery and silver buttons; worn with a tie, revolver and wide brimmed sombreros.

Famous Mariachi Artists

  • Vincente Fernández
  • José Alfredo Jiménez
  • Pedro Infante
  • Aida Cuevas
  • Rocío Dúrcal

Connection to Dance

Mariachi had a special dance for the music, this dance is called Zapateado. When dancing the zapateado the performers skillfully drive the heels of their boots or shoes into the dance-floors, pounding out swift, often syncopated rhythms which complement the different rhythm of the musical instruments.

Music Today

The march music today is listened to all around the world but it most commonly found and listened to in Mexico. The future of the mariachi is that it will continue to be popular in the mexican culture.