Saturday, January 13, 8880

Mexico - Mariachi Music (c. 1880)

Mexico is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the North Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico.

Covering almost 2 million square kilometers,Mexico is the fifth-largest country in the Americas by total area and the 14th largest in the world. With an estimated population of 109 million, it is the 11th most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.

Mariachi is a type of musical group,

originally from Cocula, Jalisco, Mexico. Usually a mariachi consists of at least three violins, two trumpets, one Mexican guitar, one vihuela (a high-pitched, five-string guitar) and one guitarrón (a small-scaled acoustic bass). They dress in silver studded charro outfits with wide-brimmed hats. The original Mariachi were Mexican street musicians or buskers.

Many mariachis are professional entertainers performing in the mainstream entertainment industry. Professionals are normally skilled at more than one instrument, and they also sing.

Although mariachis are hired to play at events such as weddings and other formal occasions, such as a quinceañera (15th-birthday celebrations for girls), they are very often used to serenade women because many of the songs in a typical repertoire have as a theme the desire to touch the heart of the opposite sex. Some of the songs are sad; others are about how much that special someone appreciates your company. Trios of mariachis can be found for hire in different places at night (the best known venues are Plaza de los Mariachis in Guadalajara and Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City) for the purposes of serenading. Mother's days are also another popular occasion for mariachis.

Tourists frequently confuse mariachis with all types of buskers seen in Mexico, such as jarochos. Mariachi refers to musicians who dress and play in a style typical of the Mexican state of Jalisco, although the style and music played has spread far beyond the limits of Jalisco and jalisciense music itself. Generally a guitarrón and a vihuela must be included for a group to be considered a mariachi.

Mariachi music resulted from the confluence of several different influences: European-styled concert ensembles on haciendas composed of violins, harp, guitars, jawharps and other instruments, simpler coastal folk ensembles whose African influence gives mariachi some of its key rhythmic elements, and the harp and violin ensembles of the tierra caliente.

The style originated in the Mexican state of Jalisco, in the town of Cocula, in the 19th century, the first example cited in print dates from 1880.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the vihuela, two violins, and the guitarrón which had replaced the harp, were the instruments of the mariachi(s). Trumpets, now a key part of the mariachi sound were introduced later, during the early days of broadcast radio.

Mexico - Mariachi - Las Mananitas

El Jabali (The Boar)

[8880 Ukelele / 8880 Mariachi Music / 8879 Respighi]