Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mark's Trip to Mexico - Part 5, Mariachis

On Saturday night, we had a surprise visit from a local mariachi group.
These mariachis consisted of two Spanish guitars, two trumpets, one vihuela (a high-pitched, five-string guitar) and one guitarrĂ³n (an oversized acoustic bass guitar).

One of our travel companions, Rosita, reminded us what musicologists and folklorists say is the origin of mariachi. It is a variation of the French word “mariage” (meaning wedding or marriage) and comes from the time in the nineteenth century when Maximillian of Habsburg, was Emperor of Mexico. According to this theory, the French named the Mariachi after the celebration with which it was most commonly associated.

All of this heady conversation occurred before the dancing started (I wonder who got that going? Yes, you should’ve seen some of my moves. Loco in any language.) They played my favorite ballad, “Alla En El Rancho Grande,” and it just kept getting better.

No comments: