Mariachi Music

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Many of us may remember the old Walt Disney movie, The Three Caballeros, who’s second group member out of the three was Panchito Pistols, the rooster. He was from Mexico and brought the style of Mariachi music to the group. Panchito, although he is just a cartoon character, may not only have introduced us to our first bit of Mariachi music at a very young age, but is also a good example of how Mariachi music is considered to be the best representation of the Mexican culture!

Mariachi music the typical music you hear playing in all of the popular Mexican stores or restaurants here in the U.S. because of it’s enchanting rhythm and lively beats that give us the idea of what a joyous country Mexico is. Mariachi music is distinguished from other types of music by it’s instruments, unique style of dress, and the songs themselves!

The two instruments used that give a Mariachi band it’s distinct sound are called a guitarron and a vihuela. The guitarron resembles a large bass guitar, and also has a belly in the back. It has six strings tuned within an octave and a half range, and is the heart of the Mariachi ensemble. The vihuela is a variation of a small guitar with a belly in the back and five treble strings. Other instruments found in your typical Mariachi band include trumpets, violins, and guitars.

The Mariachi costume consists of ankle boots, a sombrero, a mono or large bow tie, a short jacket, snug trousers without back pockets and shiny buttons along the side, and a wide belt. This costume is known as “charro”, or Mexican cowboy. In Mexico, women are not allowed to be in a Mariachi group. It is strictly for men. But here in the U.S., more and more women have been joining them!

Mariachi lyrics, for the most part, are humorous and not to be taken seriously. Simply because of what a happy and fun style of music it is! The rhythmic pattern distinguishes is from the other styles of music. It is an alteration between 3/4 and 6/8 with heavy syncopation. The...
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