Jun 24, 2024  
2023-2024 College Catalog 
2023-2024 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

MUS 122 - Mariachi Ensemble I

1 Credits, 3 Contact Hours
0 lecture periods 3 lab periods

Progressive development of performance skills for mariachi music. Includes an introduction to the important traditional, historical, and cultural contexts of mariachi music, playing and transposing songs and melodies, and learning the basics of ensemble singing.  Public performances may be required.

Information: All interested students are welcome to register. Students will audition for placement within the ensemble. May be taken two times for a maximum of two credit hours. If this course is repeated, see a financial aid or Veteran’s Affairs advisor to determine funding eligibility as appropriate.
Button linking to AZ Transfer course equivalency guide  

Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Recognize the history, traditions, and cultural importance of mariachi music.
  2. Demonstrate basic interpretation of mariachi musical selections from different regions at an introductory level.  
  3. Demonstrate basic motor skills.
  4. Demonstrate rhythmic proportional knowledge.
  5. Demonstrate proper ensemble techniques, including blending, balance, intonation, and timbres.

  1. Introduction to Mariachi Music
    1. The Mariachi Tradition
      1. History of mariachi groups in Mexico
      2. Cultural contexts of mariachi music
    2. Preliminary Evaluation of Musicianship 
      1. Assessment of aural perception, intonation, proper embouchure, tone production, posture, and playing position of instrument
      2. Review of tuning, maintenance, and care for instrument
  2. Interpretation of Mariachi Music
    1. Personal experiences with mariachi music
    2. Introduction to simple melodies
      1. Aural recognition and imitation of simple melodies
      2. Transposition of simple melodies and songs
    3. Identification of song forms and compositional techniques through recorded music from different regions
      1.  Polkas
      2.  Corridos
      3.  Rancheras
      4.  Huapangos
      5.  Sones
      6.  Paso Dobles
      7.  Valses
    4. Translating Spanish vocabulary for use with musical nomenclature.
  3. Mind and Body Control
    1. Mental intensity towards objectives in rehearsals and performances
    2. Technical control over the instrument, including demonstrating proper playing position
      1. Special features of the guitarrón and vihuela
      2. Bass movements (guitarrón)
      3. Trumpet (including embouchure and fingering positions)
      4. Harp
      5. Violin
    3. Technical control over the body, including using proper posture, alignment, breathing, and diction in ensemble singing
  4. Rhythms, Scales, Chords, and Endings
    1. Recognition of rhythmic patterns and meters
    2. Playing major scales (including one octave scales in the keys of C Major, G Major, D Major, and A Major)
    3. Identifying simple chord progressions and bass movements
    4. Aural recognition of major and minor three-part chords 
    5. Identification of the I, IV, V7 progression
    6. Identification of “de cajón” endings for rancheras, boleros, romanticos, rancheras, románticos, and corridos
  5. Ensemble Performance
    1. Importance of good group dynamics
    2. Proper musical balance and blending
    3. Proper tone quality/production, intonation, and timbres.
    4. Proper apparel for mariachi ensembles (including its authenticity and appropriate use)

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