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"Ethnic" Los Angeles

Comparative Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality

Anne Cong-Huyen, Thania Lucero, Joyce Park, Constance Cheeks, Charlie Kim, Sophia Cole, Julio Damian Rodriguez, Andrea Mora, Jazz Kiang, Samantha Tran, Katie Nak, Authors

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History of Mariachi

Some important information to know is how exactly mariachi music came to be. Mariachi music can be traced back hundreds of years ago, dating back to Mexicans from the 1800s.

It was said to be a music of the country people. Mariachi was, "a version of Spanish theatrical orchestra containing violins, guitars, and a harp". Nowadays, mariachi groups can contain as many as 20 people. Back then, many of these mariachi ensembles were small and not very well-known.

The outfits that mariachi musicians wear during performances are quite extravagant. You will not usually see a mariachi group perform without a traditional "charro suit" with all the bells and whistles: sombrero, vest, boots, and ribbon tie.

Traditionally, mariachi music was used for wedding ceremonies and theatrical background. Many Indians and mestizo musicians began to recreate European instruments as their own, such as violins, guitars, harps, and brass horns.  

Here is a photo showing a few of the instruments mariachi musicians use.

Later on, instruments such as the accordion and trumpet became added onto the mariachi genre of music.

During the late 1970s many of these mariachi groups became very popular as Hispanic immigration increased and started integrating into the homes of Angelinos. Some very popular groups include Mariachi los Camperos, Vicente Fernandez, Pepe Aguilar, and women such as Rocio Durcal and Aida Cuevas

Here is a perfect video showing how famous mariachi artists such as Vicente Fernandez perform mariachi music with their traditional clothing and instrument.

To learn more about the history of mariachi music, read this web article titled "Puro Mariachi" (which is translated to "Pure Mariachi") which talks more about mariachi music then and now.

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