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A Brief History on the Mariachi Tradition


Simpler Mariachi Harmonic Patterns:

by Laura Garciacano Sobrino

I. Moving from Tonic to Dominant (Dominant here is represented by the roman numeral II, as in Mariachi terms II is "segunda," or V7)

II. Moving from Tonic to Sub-Dominant

3. Moving from Tonic to Sub-Dominant to Dominant and resolving to Tonic

A General Rule: Unlike bass movement in classical theory, the first bass note on the Dominant is "reversed" by our standards,  falling on the “weaker” note. This rule applies to all mariachi song forms.  For example, in the key of C  the bass notes on the tonic are:
C, G, C, G, C, G etc

When the harmony changes to the Dominant 7, the bass does not lead with ‘G’, the musician generally prepares (in mariachi terminology, the “preparación”) for the chord change while still in the Tonic, with the 3rd of the scale:
C, G, C, G, C, E
and then begins on the Dominant with the 2nd of the scale:
D, G, D, G, D, G etc

4. More “complicated” harmony: Moving to v7/V or V7/V:


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