PRATIE PLACE

Saturday, January 15, 2005

New enthusiasm: mariachi music

I've been singing music in languages other than English since 1972 (starting with Russian and other Slavic languages) but it wasn't until last year I started getting interested in Latin American music. First the tango, then some waltzes, and finally really old mariachi music. Learn about the rhythms of the "son" at Laura Sobrino's site. The bass lines are very cool - most of the time, the bass does not play on the downbeat. It's good for our band, because we don't have a percussionist - not many Latin rhythms work really well without percussion, but mariachi does. My favorite song at the moment is Zaizar's "El Cofrecito." I love how Mexican songs can be about the most (supposedly) devastating sadness, yet they sound at the same time so very cheerful. This is the opposite of Yiddish songs, which often sound heart-rendingly sad when they are really about successful love ventures or good food.
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