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  1. Mariachi Mariachi stands for a type of traditional Mexican folk music performed by a small group of strolling musicians. By Yasmin Peña

  2. Mariachi Description Mariachi music emerged in the late 1700’s/early 1800’s. The performer, musical style and the musical ensemble are all contributing factors to make up a Mariachi band. The size of a mariachi band varies depending on the availability of musicians; usually a mariachi group today consists of as many as eight violins, two trumpets and at least one guitar. In the 19th centaury mariachi bands consisted solely of stringed instruments, so traditionally mariachi guitars include the vihuela – a round back guitar that provides rhythm and a bass guitar called guitarrón – a large fretless six string bass guitar that also provides rhythm. There is also sometimes a Mexican folk harp, which can provide bass as well as ornament the melody. Initially mariachi music was strictly instrumental, but over time it has come to include some vocal elements.

  3. Mariachi Lyrics The vocal style emphasizes operatic qualities and instrumental performance demonstrates a level of virtuosity that conveys advanced musical training. Historically, mariachi groups have been made up of men but there is growing acceptance of female mariachis.As mariachi bands are expected to play requests, they may need to know hundreds of different songs. Most songs are about machismo (strong masculine pride), love, betrayal, death, politics, revolutionary heroes and even animals and country life from the genre origins as rural son music. One particularly famous song is “La Cucaracha” (The Cockroach).

  4. Mariachi Music Styles The majority of mariachi bands are associated with either family or religious celebrations along with serenades, which is a piece of music sung or played in the open air. One of the most common pieces played by the bands is “Las Mañanitas” for birthdays and celebrations.Mariachi bands have now also become very popular in the UK at weddings and parties. However instead of preforming traditional Mariachi standards they are adopting popular songs related to this era and playing them in a Mariachi style and on Mariachi instrumentation.

  5. Mariachi Importance Over time Mariachi bands have gained more and more importance and have become very famous over the years. This is not only because it is a traditional aspect of the Mexican culture but also it has become very popular to people to hire a Mariachi band for their parties or celebrations as a fun and new way of including music at their events. The origin of the word Mariachi comes from the Mexicans wrongly pronouncing the word ‘marriages’ and later on the Americans thinking they were saying Mariachi. So the word developed from the Mexicans distorting the word marriage. The dress code in Mariachi bands is also very important, to set the vibrancy of the performance, it is quite strict on what you should wear including Mexican wear and sombreros.

  6. Compare & Contrast 20th centaury music can be a band or group of people, just like Mariachi bands. 20th Century music is very free and varied and is not traditional. Mariachi bands are very traditional and culture related. 20th Century music can be various and have very many different styles preformed by many different type of people. Mariachi bands always play the same style of music and is performed by a specific set of musicians. Both genres of music can be hired by people for a special event such as a wedding or birthday. There can be a mix of all sorts of different instruments in 20th century music, it can vary all the time and constantly change. There is always the same instruments being used in a Mariachi band.

  7. Reflection Throughout this research project I have learnt many interesting facts about Mariachi bands and expanded on what I already knew about them. I learnt interesting things such as how the name ‘Mariachi’ developed and how it came into modern society. It is inspirational how the Mariachi bands have stayed popular throughout history and it is cultural however is accepted and brings joy to special events. I found the research project very interesting and rather fun, not so much as a task but as an investigation.

  8. Bibliography Herring By Yasmin Peña