Episode 2: Mexico

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Google Images / Mariachis
Google Images / Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan
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Google Images / Vicente Fernandez

Welcome to Mexico. In Episode 2, Music of The World will start the journey in the heart of Mexico, the state of Jalisco, where in the 19th century the Mariachi music is said to have originated. The main three vibrant genres of traditional Mexican music are Mariachi, Ranchera, and Norteño (Grupero).

Mariachi music is the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Mexican music. The term Mariachi is believed to be originated from the French term “marriage” which means marriage, as this music was often played at weddings. Mariachis also play at quinceañeras (girls’ 15th birthday parties), on Mother’s Day, and they are often used to serenade women on their birthday. The band usually consists of violins, trumpets, a classical guitar and a “vihuela” (a five string guitar). Musicians wear a traditional silver studded “Charro” suit, including a sombrero. Mariachi music is said to have originated in the state of Jalisco in the 19th century. We will listen to the Mariachis Vargas de Tecalitlán from Tecalitlán.

Then, we will move to the region of Guadalajara to listen to two bands playing Ranchera and Norteño music. The bands are called Banda Carnaval from Mazatlán and Porter from Guadalajara.

Ranchera music draws on traditional folklore and its songs are usually about love, patriotism or nature. “El Grito Mexicano” a yell that is done during instrumental interludes either by the musicians or by members of the audience is common in Ranchera music. The word Ranchera was derived from the word “rancho” because the music originated on the ranches of rural Mexico. Ranchera music is said to have been born of a new national consciousness during the Mexican revolution in reaction to the aristocratic tastes of the era. Rancheras are varied and can reflect the tempo of a waltz, a polka or a bolero.


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