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Mariachi Music in America

Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

Daniel Sheehy

Publication Date - August 2005

ISBN: 9780195141467

128 pages
Book with CD/DVD
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock


Mariachi Music in America is one of several case-study volumes that can be used along with Thinking Musically, the core book in the Global Music Series. Thinking Musically incorporates music from many diverse cultures and establishes the framework for exploring the practice of music around the world. It sets the stage for an array of case-study volumes, each of which focuses on a single area of the world. Each case study uses the contemporary musical situation as a point of departure, covering historical information and traditions as they relate to the present. Visit www.oup.com/us/globalmusic for a list of case studies in the Global Music Series. The website also includes instructional materials to accompany each study.
This unique volume provides an accessible introduction to the social, cultural, and economic conditions surrounding mariachi music in the United States. Large immigrations of Mexicans to the U.S., the power of the international recording industry, and the fluid travel of mariachi musicians between the two countries have resulted in a strong base of musical continuity across the political border. Drawing on thirty-five years of personal performance experience and on interviews with leading mariachi musicians, author Daniel Sheehy offers first-hand perspectives on the music's stylistic cornerstones, aesthetic standards, social standing, and economic life. He explains how mariachi music is simultaneously a folk music rooted in more than 150 years of tradition, a commodity governed by market considerations, and a dynamic course of activity that has been shaped and expanded by musical innovation and social meaning. The book focuses on the rising popularity of mariachi music amongst Mexican Americans--over the last twenty-five years, numerous mariachi festivals have become annual events in the U.S., a multitude of workshops and school programs have been developed, and more women have become involved in public mariachi performances. Mariachi Music in America is a captivating study that will interest students, aspiring performers, teachers, and aficionados alike.
Enhanced by vivid photos and illustrations and first-hand accounts of musicians, organizers, and audiences, Mariachi Music in America is packaged with a 50-minute CD containing examples of the music discussed in the book. It also features guided listening and hands-on activities that encourage readers to engage actively and critically with the music.

About the Author(s)

Daniel Sheehy served as Director of Folk & Traditional Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts from 1992-2000 and as staff ethnomusicologist and Assistant Director from 1978-1992. A Fulbright-Hays scholar in Veracruz, Mexico, he earned his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from UCLA in 1979. He is coeditor of the second volume of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean (1998). He has performed mariachi music since 1968.

Table of Contents

    CD Track List
    1. An Introduction to Mariachi Culture
    Mariachi Music and Culture
    Issues for Reflection
    Personal Perspectives from the Author
    The Purpose of This Book
    2. The Modern Mariachi Sound
    Modern Mariachi
    Before "Mariachi," 1519-1852
    The Mariachi Emerges
    Mariachi: The Musical Group
    The Modern Mariachi Takes Shape
    Instruments of the Modern Mariachi
    The Vihuela
    The Guitarrón
    The Harp
    Musical Forms
    Poetic Forms
    The Copla
    The Seguidilla
    The Son
    Other Genres
    The Canción Ranchera
    The Bolero Ranchero
    The Huanpango
    The Polka
    3. The Social Life of Mariachi Music
    The Social Dimension
    Nati Cano's Dream
    The Birth of La Fonda
    Social Dimensions of Mariachi Meaning
    José Hernández's Motivation
    The Value of Tradition
    Women in the Mariachi
    Rebecca Gonzales: Opening the Way for Women in the Mariachi
    Laura Sobrino: The Challenge of Change
    4. Mariachi Economy: Al Talón, Chambas, Plantas, Shows, and la Mariachada
    Mariachi as a Product and a Profession
    The Expanding Mariachi Market
    Performance Settings
    Al Talón
    La Mariachada
    5. !Viva el Mariachi! Tacos with Ketchup or Salsa? The Challenge of Change
    The Threads of Change
    Social Threads
    Mariachi in Schools
    Mariachi Festivals
    Social Movements
    Chicano Movimiento
    Women's Liberation Movement
    Conclusion: The Challenge of Change, the Future

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