Perhaps the best-known musical style that has germinated in Mexico is that of the mariachi.

This style of music was born in the beautiful state of Jalisco, and has special characteristics in the musicians' clothing, in their poetic songs, and in the dramatic presentation of their songs. This style has a huge emphasis on stage-presence and on singing and playing with feeling. It is music designed to move you.

The number of members in a band varies according to the elements. We can find bands of 6 to 12 members, with instruments that combine to produce a big sound.

Poets in the night

The tradition is that the song is an interpretation of reciting poetry, accompanied by music and a great voice.

The work of these musicians normally begins at night when the time for serenades begins. The serenade is the ultimate love-gift to another person in Mexico. A serenade is appropriate for Saint Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, birthdays, anniversaries and any occasion that calls for a heart-felt gift.


Trumpet: The sweet and strong sound of this wind intsrtument gives presence to the whole sound. The trumpet takes part in solos and elegantly holds the harmony. Normally a mariachi band will have 2 to 4 trumpets, depending on the total number of band members.

Guitarron: as its name indicates, it comes from the guitar family. It is typical of Mexico, the box is of great size which gives a serious and noticeable sound, taking great part of the harmony and beats.

Vihuela: Again, an instrument typical of Mexico with 5 nylon cords. The opposite in size to it’s large cousin the guitarron, the vihuela has a small body and produces and is played with an elegant and rhythmical strum (rasgeo).

Guitar: the guitar is the universal instrument and an essential inclusion in the acoustic music of the mariachis. The guitar complements the guitarron and the vihuela.

Violin: the violin, like the trumpet, takes solos and the harmony, making the high tones. The violin has established itself as part of the mariachi family. Usually 3 to 6 violins are used by mariachi depending on the total number of band members.


The gitos, or screams, are easy to imagine if you remember the cartoon character Speedy Gonzalez.

Common calls are

  • Yehaaaaaaaaa!
  • Si señor!!!
  • como jijos no!!
  • among longer colloquial sayings that excite the audience.


    The clothes, or traje, are very elegant and exotic. The suit is accompanied by a sombrero and boots. Decorative details in gold and silver adorn the sombrero, the bolero-style jacket, as well as creating a line down the exterior edge of the suit pants. These embellishments are traditionally a symbol of status for the wearer. Originally the silver and gold being solid precious metal sewn onto the traje. The suit may be black, white or any color as long as the band members wear it uniformly. Red, green, and coffee colored traje make a big impact when worn by a large group.

    Favorite singers

    Some of the more popular singers in Mexico are:

    Gone but not forgotten

  • Jorge Negrete
  • Antonio Aguillar
  • Lola Beltran
  • Pedro Infante
  • And more recently

  • Alejandro Fernandez
  • Pedro Fernandez
  • Pepe Aguillar
  • Juan Gabriel

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