World Music Day series (5) – The Music of MEXICO & Guadalajara’s Mariachi Outdoor Sculpture
June 21st is World Music Day, also known as Fête de la Musique in France, where it all started. This week I bring you a whole variety of music genres. I do this by means of a Putumayo world collection vis-à-vis an artwork that in my opinion best portrays that particular music genre.
Today I give you a taste of Mexican Music through Putumayo’s “MEXICO” music collection and an outdoor Mariachi sculpture in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Savor the spicy and romantic flavors of Mexican music,
from the sones of Veracruz to the boleros of Oaxaca
Putumayo is pleased to present Mexico, a collection of compelling songs from a country whose musical culture is as diverse as its landscape. From the sones of Veracruz to the boleros of Oaxaca, Mexican music is both upbeat and poignant, and offers listeners a surprising array of traditional and contemporary sounds.
There are many reasons why people from around the world travel to Mexico, from the beauty of its natural landscape to the richness of its culture. Some probably just love the food! We hope that this collection reminds anyone who is from or has visited Mexico of the enchantment it offers, and encourages those who have never been to discover its charm and beauty.
|A Mariachi Band Outdoor Sculpture
Tlaquepaque, Guadalajara, Mexico
When I think of Mexican music the first image that comes to mind is a band of moustachioed mariachis…so i thought it will be nice to make a little mention of Mariachi history while we are visiting the world of Mexican music.So here goes…
Mariachi Music & Its Roots
The roots of the Mariachi go back hundreds of years. It was the music of country people; music that celebrated the joys, the struggles, and the triumphs of the Mexican people. The Mariachi was a version of Spanish theatrical orchestra containing violins, guitars, and a harp. Groups were small and not generally known outside of the region from which they came.
The musical form and ensemble of the Mariachi developed differently from region to region. The ensemble that is familiar today began to take shape in the the nineteenth century in the state of Jalisco. In other areas such as Veracruz and Huasteca, the northeast region of the country, the ensemble evolved differently. By the end of the nineteenth century, the cocula or the vihuela, two violins, and the guitarron were the instruments of the Mariachi.
By the 1950’s the Mariachi ensemble was becoming more flexible and orchestral without losing it’s traditional base. The classical guitar, two trumpets and more violins were added to make the ensemble more adaptable and able to play different styles other than the son (a type of traditional folk song that is an essential element to the mariachi repetoire).
I have chosen to feature Putumayo’s “MEXICO” music collection alongside Guadalajara’s outdoor Mariachi sculpture because they both give us a feel of the music culture/tradition of Mexico. Having traveled and lived in Mexico in the past, I can attest to the fact that music is a great part of Mexican life – birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and even when there is no occasion, count on Mexicans to come up with a reason to celebrate…walking hand-in-hand with a beloved on a sweetly-breezed night is enough of a moment to celebrate. And the mariachis bedecked in their traditional garb with instruments at hand are hovering around the ‘zócalo’ (the main square)ready to make that appointed moment extra special. The mariachi outdoor sculpture in Guadalajara aptly symbolizes the nature of Mexican music- it is something shared openly, passionately and with constancy- not only with those dear and near -but also with those who are just passing through. The number of the players to me symbolizes the fact that Mexican culture is mostly about ‘feeling part of a family’ (by blood, by friendship, by shared passions). Life is always to be celebrated in the company of the essential others in your life, never in isolation. Mexicans are a people with wide open arms who will extend the family welcome to a stranger..for where else can you all too often see the sign “Mi Casa es su casa.” (Lit. meaning: “My house is your house.”Fig.meaning: “Make yourself at home.”)