Mariachi Music in America: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

Mariachi Music in America: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

Mariachi Music in America: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

Mariachi Music in America: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

Synopsis

Mariachi Music in America is one of several case-study volumes that can be used along with Thinking Musically, the core book in the Global Music Series. Thinking Musically incorporates music from many diverse cultures and establishes the framework for exploring the practice of music around theworld. It sets the stage for an array of case-study volumes, each of which focuses on a single area of the world. Each case study uses the contemporary musical situation as a point of departure, covering historical information and traditions as they relate to the present. Visitwww.oup.com/us/globalmusic for a list of case studies in the Global Music Series. The website also includes instructional materials to accompany each study. This unique volume provides an accessible introduction to the social, cultural, and economic conditions surrounding mariachi music in the United States. Large immigrations of Mexicans to the U.S., the power of the international recording industry, and the fluid travel of mariachi musicians betweenthe two countries have resulted in a strong base of musical continuity across the political border. Drawing on thirty-five years of personal performance experience and on interviews with leading mariachi musicians, author Daniel Sheehy offers first-hand perspectives on the music's stylisticcornerstones, aesthetic standards, social standing, and economic life. He explains how mariachi music is simultaneously a folk music rooted in more than 150 years of tradition, a commodity governed by market considerations, and a dynamic course of activity that has been shaped and expanded bymusical innovation and social meaning. The book focuses on the rising popularity of mariachi music amongst Mexican Americans--over the last twenty-five years, numerous mariachi festivals have become annual events in the U.S., a multitude of workshops and school programs have been developed, and morewomen have become involved in public mariachi performances. Mariachi Music in America is a captivating study that will interest students, aspiring performers, teachers, and aficionados alike. Enhanced by vivid photos and illustrations and first-hand accounts of musicians, organizers, and audiences, Mariachi Music in America is packaged with a 50-minute CD containing examples of the music discussed in the book. It also features guided listening and hands-on activities that encouragereaders to engage actively and critically with the music.

Excerpt

In the past three decades interest in music around the world has surged, as evidenced in the proliferation of courses at the college level, the burgeoning “world music” market in the recording business, and the extent to which musical performance is evoked as a lure in the international tourist industry. This heightened interest has encouraged an explosion in ethnomusicological research and publication, including the production of reference works and textbooks. The original model for the “world music” course—if this is Tuesday, this must be Japan—has grown old, as has the format of textbooks for it, either a series of articles in single multiauthored volumes that subscribe to the idea of “a survey” and have created a canon of cultures for study, or singleauthored studies purporting to cover world musics or ethnomusicology. The time has come for a change.

This Global Music Series offers a new paradigm. Teachers can now design their own courses; choosing from a set of case study volumes, they can decide which and how many musics they will cover. The series also does something else; rather than uniformly taking a large region and giving superficial examples from several different countries within it, in some case studies authors have focused on a specific culture or a few countries within a larger region. Its length and approach permits each volume greater depth than the usual survey. Themes significant in each volume guide the choice of music that is discussed. The contemporary musical situation is the point of departure in all the volumes, with historical information and traditions covered as they elucidate the present. In addition, a set of unifying topics such as gender, globalization, and authenticity occur throughout the series. These are addressed in the framing volume, Thinking Musically, which sets the stage for the case studies by introducing ways to think about how people make music meaningful and useful in their lives and presenting basic musical concepts as they are practiced in musical systems around . . .

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