The Music of Mexico: Mariachi

Posted on July 11th, 2016 by Carlos Damy

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KNOWN THROUGHOUT THE WORLD as the symbol of Mexico, mariachi music evokes the history and traditions of Mexican culture. Some go so far as to call it the “sound of Mexico” and claim that to hear mariachi played is to welcome joy, festivity and celebration into your heart. Which is probably why you see mariachi bands at most family parties such as weddings, birthdays, baptisms, and other milestone events. As you can see from our portfolio and social media, we regularly provide mariachi bands for our clients’ parties and corporate events as nothing says “fiesta!” quite like it! But did you know…

Singing Mariachis Baja California Mexican Music for Weddings Elena Damy Destination Wedding Planners Cabo

MARIACHI MUSIC is a fusion of musical styles that has developed over hundreds of years in the highlands of western central Mexico, particularly in the states of Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit and Michoacan. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the native people of Mexico had a highly developed musical tradition using a variety of wind and percussion instruments. The Spaniards introduced string instruments of European origin that the local people mastered and incorporated into their music. Then, with the arrival of slaves from Africa another aspect of musicality was added and mariachi as we know it was born! How lucky we are to hear and experience mariachi so often in our work as wedding planners and event producers! But did you know…

Mariachi bands baja mexico elena damy destination wedding planners 2

THE SUIT WORN BY MODERN MARIACHI MUSICIANS is an embellished version of the traje de charro, the costume worn by horse riders in the Mexican equestrian tradition, including: a waist-length jacket and fitted pants (or skirt for women) trimmed with ornate silver buttons sewn down each side, or a geometric design made with appliqued suede or embroidery, and ankle-high boots. Accessories usually include a wide elaborately embroidered belt, a large silk bow tie and the intricately decorated broad-brimmed sombrero hat, the crowning glory of this fancy ensemble. We particularly love when they dress in these sharp white and red costumes but others dress in all black which is also very striking!

mexico weddings mariachi bands for hire cabo san lucas weddings elena damy wedding plannersELENA AND I ARE FROM GUADALAJARA, the birthplace of mariachi, and our love for the music of Mexico is shared with many others. In fact, appreciation for mariachi music is on the rise! In 2011, the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) recognized mariachi as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. According to the selection committee:

“Mariachi music conveys values that promote respect for the natural heritage of regional Mexico and the local history, both in Spanish and in indigenous languages from the west of the country.”

So there you have it. Mariachi IS Mexico.

{Photos courtesy of Sarah Kate Photography}

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