Analyzing Mariachi Traditional and
Popular Song Forms
- Perhaps the most traditional song form from the mariachi
- Has both instrumental and versed songs in this form,
mostly in major keys. Some minor key sections
- Most mariachis consider this in 3/4, some will say
alternating 3/4 and 6/8, some ethnomusicologists say
12/8, due to the alternating rhythmic pattern.
Traditionally performed with dancers.
- There are different regional styles with the mariachi
- Several identifying musical factors:
1. alternating basic rhythmic pattern in the armonía
(guitars, vihuela) and guitarrón. Basic pattern
consists of one measure of 6/8 feel (guitarrón goes
against time, contratiempo, in the 6/8 measure)
with the next measure a definate 3/4.
2. Has a traditional identifying tag ending. About
80% of the time is the following:
The rest of the time, the following is used:
- Sones with sung verses typically will have an
introduction which is many times a similar melody to the
vocal melody. A chorus refrain may follow the main verse(s). There is a return to the instrumental
interlude using the same melodic introduction to separate
verses, or there may be a new instrumental theme
played. This may play through two to three times
before the tag ending is played.
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