It is said that the word ‘Mirachi’ comes from a French word that means ‘marriage’. This is dated back to the French occupation of Mexico in the 1860s. But the actual origin of the name remains a mystery. However, now, it is thought to be representing the wood used to create ancient instruments and dancing platforms. Even today, Mariachi bands are most popularly seen at weddings.
The Rise of the Mariachi
The mariachi movement began in Jalisco, Mexico in the 19th century as a regional folk. It was then transformed into an urban phenomenon and represented Mexico as a whole. After the Mexican revolution, the government wanted to create a new national identity. mariachi became a symbol of freedom for Mexico’s people with their songs of loyalty, love, politics, and revolutionary heroes.
The common instruments of the mariachi include:
Vihuela: It has five strings and a bowed back and slightly larger than a ukulele. It is played with a thumb pick.
Acoustic Guitar: It has the same rhythmic patterns as vihuela and both these instruments provide a strong foundation for the band.
Guitarrón: The guitarrón is the group’s bass foundation and the most important instrument of the mariachi band. It is said that if there is no guitarrón, there should be no performance.
Violin: It provides rich texture and adds emotional weight. Due to the instrument’s versatility, the tone can change from emotional to ecstatic in an instant.
Trumpet: A trumpet is used to support the melody and adds an essence to the band.
Other instruments: At times, other instruments like flute, French horn, accordion, and organ are used.
Mariachi Music of Modern Day Today, mariachi music is played all over the world, from the US to Japan and Europe. Mariachi music represents its pride, tradition, and freedom.