Guadalajara mariachis.jpg

Traditional mariachi band
Stylistic origins Son Jaliscience
Cultural origins 18th century, Cocula, Jalisco
Typical instruments Violin, guitarrón, guitarra de golpe, vihuela, guitar, trumpet, and occasionally a harp
Ranchera, Traditional
Other topics
CharroJarabe tapatío(also the name of a song)

Mariachi is a genre of music that originated in the State of Jalisco, in Mexico. It is an integration of stringed instruments highly influenced by the cultural impacts of the historical development of Western Mexico. Throughout the history of mariachi, musicians have experimented with brass, wind, and percussion instruments. In addition, sociohistorical factors have influenced the repertoire in terms of the performance of diverse regional song forms as well as the evolution of the performance attire. Mariachi is important to the study of Mexican music because, as an ensemble created during the colonial period, it found its essence during the postcolonial era, blossomed during the nationalist era, and has made a global impact in contemporary times. Throughout this development, particularly since the nationalist era, mariachi music has become emblematic of Mexican music by appropriating various Mexican regional song forms, experimenting in popular radio programs, appearing in the earliest Mexican films, and performing during presidential campaigns (Loza 1993, Turino 2003, Sheehy 2005, de la Mora 2006, Jáuregui 2007).

"The consensus of modern scholars is that the word mariachi is indigenous to Mexico. The now-extinct Coca language of central Jalisco is the most frequently cited as its probable source. Legend erroneously attributes the word to the French Intervention of the 1860s, explaining it as a corruption of the French word mariage, and citing a similarity between mariachi (or its archaic variant, mariache) and the French word for wedding. Historical documents prove that both the word mariachi and the ensemble it designates pre-date the French occupation of Mexico, making any similarity with the French word a phonetic coincidence" (Clark, 1996).

The mariachi ensemble generally consists of violins, trumpets, a classical guitar, a vihuela (a high-pitched, five-string guitar), a guitarrón (a large acoustic bass guitar) and, on occasion, a harp. The musicians dress in silver-studded charro outfits with wide-brimmed hats. The original Mariachis were Mexican street musicians or buskers,[1] but many today are professional entertainers making paid appearances in the entertainment industry. Professionals can usually play more than one instrument, and all can sing. They sometimes accompany ranchera singers such as Vicente Fernández or even pop star Luis Miguel. Although ranchera singers dress in a traje de charro (Charro suit), they are not considered mariachis. Mariachi music, as well as other forms of traditional Mexican music, is also noted for the grito mexicano, a yell done at musical interludes within a song, either by the musicians or the audience.

Mariachi Herencia Mexicana singers Celia Correa, formerly of Laredo, and Robert Vidaurri from San Antonio perform on March 20, 2010, in Zapata, Texas

Although mariachis play at events such as weddings and formal occasions such as a quinceañeras (a girl's fifteenth birthday celebration), they are often used to serenade women because many of the songs have romantic lyrics. Trios of mariachis may be found for hire to seranade; the best known venues are the Plaza de los Mariachis in Guadalajara and the Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City). Mother's days are also a popular occasion for mariachis. Prices vary immensely and are seldom cheap.

Foreign tourists often confuse mariachis with other types of buskers seen in Mexico, such as the jarochos, typical of the State of Veracruz, or "norteño" bands, which come from the Northern states of Mexico. The term Mariachi refers only to musicians who dress and play in a style typical of Jalisco, though the style and music has spread far. Usually a guitarrón and a vihuela must be present for a group to be considered mariachi.

Mariachis playing at the Tenampa in Mexico City
Mariachis playing at the Tenampa in Mexico City



Current mariachi instrumentation includes a guitarrón, a vihuela, a guitar, violins, and trumpets. Some groups might use a guitarra de golpe (a guitar mid-way in size and tone between the guitarrón and vihuela), a mariachi harp or even a flute. Since the 1970s some singers have occasionally added other instruments such as accordion, organ, keyboard, harmonica, saxophone and even drums, although they were considered additions, never part of the mariachi instrumentation itself. During the last years some artists have made fusions of mariachi with orchestra and percussion, giving birth to a Mariachi/pop ballad crossover style.

A complete mariachi group has as many as eight violins, two trumpets, and a guitar. The vihuela is a high-pitched, round-backed guitar-like instrument that gives the Mariachi its typical rhythmic vitality. The guitarrón is a deep-voiced guitar that serves as the bass of the ensemble. The mariachi harp usually doubles the bass line, but may also ornament the melody. These latter three instruments have European origins, but their present forms are strictly Mexican.

Musical forms

Mariachi in Guadalajara, Jalisco
  • Metre in 2/4 [chun-ta]
  • Canción ranchera (a dos tiempos)
  • Corrido (a dos tiempos)
  • "Polka"
  • Pasodoble
  • Marcha
  • Metre in 3/4 [chun-ta-ta]
  • Canción ranchera (tres tiempos)
  • Corrido (tres tiempos)
  • Valses mexicanos
  • Son Jaliscience
  • Huapango
  • Metre in 4/4 [2 bars = chun-ta-chun-ta / chun-ta-ta-ta]
  • Metre in 6/8
  • Metre mixed
  • "Muerte de un gallero" (corrido-son)
  • "El Charro Mexicano" (ranchera-son)
  • Classical music obertures

Mariachis and artists

Mariachi singing


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mariachi — Mariachi …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • Mariachi — Orígenes musicales son jalisciense, sonecitos del país, canció …   Wikipedia Español

  • mariachi — ‘Música y baile populares mexicanos’, ‘conjunto de músicos que interpretan esta música vestidos a la usanza charra’ y, también, ‘cada uno de estos músicos’: «La música mexicana, en especial el mariachi, gusta mucho en España» (Excélsior [Méx.] 20 …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • Mariachi —   [spanisch/mexikanisch, marɪ atʃɪ], charakteristisches mexikanisches Instrumentalensemble. Der Name könnte als Verkleinerungsform von »Maria« ( chi; mexikanische Dialektbildung) entstanden oder vom französischen »mariage« (=Hochzeit, Heirat)… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • mariachi — o mariachis sustantivo masculino 1. Música y baile populares mexicanos de ritmo muy alegre y bullicioso: Tocaremos un mariachi para que lo bailen nuestros invitados. 2. Orquesta formada por violines, trompetas, guitarras e instrumentos populares… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • mariachi — [MARIÁCI] s. m. (în Mexic) muzician ambulant care se produce la festivităţi, la nunţi etc. (< sp. mariachi) Trimis de raduborza, 10.05.2008. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • mariachi — ● mariachi nom masculin (de mariage) Au Mexique, nom donné à des musiciens ambulants vêtus de costumes de fantaisie, qui jouent, en groupes, lors des mariages, des festivités …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • mariachi — Mexican strolling musical band, 1941, from Mexican Spanish, from Fr. mariage marriage (see MARRIAGE (Cf. marriage)), so called because such bands performed at wedding celebrations. As an adjective by 1967 …   Etymology dictionary

  • mariachi — o mariachis (Del fr. mariage, matrimonio). 1. m. Música y baile populares mexicanos procedentes del Estado de Jalisco. 2. Orquesta popular mexicana que interpreta esta música. 3. Cada uno de los componentes de esta orquesta. 4. Conjunto… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • mariachi — ☆ mariachi [mär΄ē ä′chē ] n. pl. mariachis [MexSp < Fr mariage (see MARRIAGE): from providing music at wedding celebrations] 1. a member of a strolling band of musicians in Mexico 2. such a band 3. their music …   English World dictionary

  • Mariachi — Eine Mariachigruppe beim Mariachifestival von Guadalajara. Mariachi ist die Bezeichnung für eine typisch mexikanische Musikformation aus dem Bundesstaat Jalisco und ihre Musiker. Die Mariachi Musik ist dennoch nur eine der vielen Facetten der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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