The History Of Mariachi

Mariachi is one of the most popular music genres in Mexico. But do you know where it originated? In this article we share the history of Mariachi and we encourage you to download Read Conmigo’s latest bilingual book “The Mariachi Brothers” to learn more about the origins of this lively and melodic music genre.


The Origins of Mariachi Music

Like many other music genres that originated in the Americas, Mariachi music was influenced by European, Indigenous, and African sounds. The Spanish brought string instruments with them to Mexico and, while they were originally intended to play during Mass, they soon became popular in secular events.


The first Mariachi melodies originated in the small village of Cocula, in the state of Jalisco, when some local musicians put together a tune in honor of the Virgin of Pila. This new music style quickly gained regional popularity and became a favorite at the haciendas. However, the popular sound of what’s currently known as Mariachi didn’t develop until the 20th century as it evolved from rural music to a national phenomenon tied to Mexico’s folklore.


The musicians’ clothing also has evolved over time as the charro outfits that are closely associated with this music genre weren’t introduced until the late 19th century. According to Entretenimiento, the charro outfit was used during a U.S.-Mexico tour of the Mexican Traditional Orchestra (Orquesta Típica Mexicana) as a symbol of national pride.


A Typical Mariachi Group

The size of a Mariachi group varies but, minimally there are three members. The main instruments the musicians play are a guitar, a large guitar, violins and trumpets. Some groups may include a flute, a harp, or an accordion.


Traditionally, ensembles were all male. However, women started playing Mariachi in the mid 20th century, sometimes in mixed groups or in female-only bands. Nowadays, mixed groups are commonplace.


Teaching your Children about Mariachi

Sharing the history of Mariachi with your children helps them better understand the history and culture of Mexico, as well as to develop a deeper appreciation for their family’s origins.


Read Conmigo has just released a new bilingual book called The Mariachi Brothers. The two main characters in the story share their trials and tribulations to perform live as true Mariachis.


Like all Read Conmigo books, Los Hermanos Mariachi is written in English and Spanish for the purpose of encouraging Hispanic families to read together in both languages.


The Mariachi Brothers ebook can be downloaded from Read Conmigo’s website after you sign up for our program. It’s free and, in addition to having access to their digital library, members receive three books per year at home.


More about Read Conmigo

Infinity Insurance is the proud sponsor of Read Conmigo, a program that promotes bilingual literacy by offering free books in English and Spanish. Since its inception in 2011, Read Conmigo has distributed over one million books in the U.S. and has quickly become a favorite resource for bilingual educators.


Membership is free and the books are appropriate for children in Preschool through 5th grade. Sign up today and enjoy all the benefits of raising your kids in a bilingual environment!

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