Uploaded on March 16, 2011
Mariachi is a genre of music that originated in the State of Jalisco, in Western 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 made a global impact during 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 first Mexican films, and performing during presidential campaigns (Loza 1993, Turino 2003, Sheehy 2005, de la Mora 2006, Jáuregui 2007).
The term “Mariachi” is said to be an adaptation of the French word for marriage or wedding “mariage” as this type of musical formation used to play at such events. This traces from the 19th century during the reign of Maximilian I of Mexico (Archduke Maximilian of Austria) and the influence of Napoleon III over Mexico.