Sample Video Review on of “La bamba”
- A short video of “La bamba” (on D2L) provides an opportunity for you to view the instruments and performance style used in son jarocho. Using the textbook information along with the video, describe the performance.
There are three elements to consider: instruments, including one linked especially to son jarocho; the possible origin of its complex rhythms; and the characteristics of the lyrics.
The performance of La bamba is unique in that it is characterized by the use of specific instruments including requinto and jarana jarocha that have the resemblance of a guitar, in conjunction with either one or two harps. It also comprises sophisticated lyrics that are made of traditional verses, which begin by describing the importance of grace in the bamba dance.
- Listen to the recording of “La negra.” Using the text book, name and briefly describe the primary musical instruments used in this performance.
The key instruments used in performing the famous La negra song are inclusive of a guitarron which is more of an acoustic bass guitar made of the very first horizontal string bass. This instrument has only one string found from animal gut. In addition, the vihuela was also useful in this performance for the purposes of rhythm and harmony.
- What event is the mariachi aficionado, Cornélio García, covering in this film? Why is it significant?
The event being covered by Cornélio García is the performance of Mariachi Vargas when President Lázaro Cárdenas was being inaugurated in the year 1934 in the Mexico City. This was a very significant event as it led to the group gaining popularity as the country’s police department musicians courtesy of the president’s directive.
- Why is the Venezuelan mariachi ensemble’s participation in the event significant to the larger genre of mariachi music?
The fact that the Venezuelan mariachi band participated in this particular event is very important to the overall genre of mariachi music in that it has enabled the latter to gain global recognition as one of the most influential genres of Mexican music. It also allowed mariachi music to gain more airplay in and beyond Mexico.
- How does the rural mariachi differ from the urban mariachi in composition of the ensemble and transmission of the music?
The rural mariachi ensembles are mainly considered string bands primarily dealing with instruments made of strings while the urban mariachi ensembles add some extra instrumentation like the trumpet. The transmission of the music in the rural mariachi ensembles does not involve radio as intensively as the urban mariachi ensembles.
- What does the rural mariachi’s song, “La Concha,” and the membership of the ensemble tell us about mariachi music?
According to La Concha, which is one of the very popular rural mariachi songs, mariachi music is one kind of music that appreciates a great variety of special specific instruments in its performance. In spite of having various adjustments and modifications to suite the present audience, the sound and flavor of the original mariachi remains the same.
- What are the different occasions in which the street mariachis play?
Street mariachis are normally played in particular special occasions and instances. Some of these occasions include traditional and cultural celebrations. They are also played in the occasions of advocating for justice and equality among the people living in various Mexican cities. Some mariachi musicians play the street mariachi upon being requested by influential individuals.
- What does leader, Don Pepe Martínez, say makes Mariachi de la Técalitlan special?
In Don Pepe Martinez’s view, Mariachi de la Técalitlan is very special in such a way that it showed inclusion of elements of train which is being used widely in the current performances. Additionally, it led to the formation of the very original Mariachi Vargas ensemble in the southern section of the Jalisco state.
- What is the origin of the charro costume? Who was Emiliano Zapata?
This is the costume widely used during the special performances of mariachi music, and featured the simplicity of the country wears in conjuction with various inspirations. Some included additional features like red bandanna fixed on the neck. Emiliano Zapata is the figure behind the development and appreciation of such a costume.
- What are los corridos? What purpose(s) did and do they serve?
Los corridos refers to components of the song lyrics especially in son jarocho, which are inclusive of such aspects as the welcoming statement followed by a series of verses that alternate with instrumental intervals, and a final finishing statement. The los corridos are very influential in ensuring the format and flow of the lyrics is as smooth as possible.
Díaz-Sánchez, Micaela, and Alexandro D. Hernández. “The son jarocho as Afro-Mexican resistance music.” The Journal of Pan African Studies 6.1 (2013): 187-209.
Figueroa Hernández, Rafael, and Rafael Figueroa Hernández. Son jarocho: Guía histórico-musical. No. Sirsi) a452819. 2007.