Mariachi Music Performance and Culture



Course Number




Course Description

This course is repeatable for up to a total of twelve (12) credits. Ever since its establishment as a centerpiece of Mexican popular culture in the first half of the 20th century, Mariachi music has acted both as a central expression of Mexican identity and also as one of the most widely recognized representations of Mexican people and culture for those outside of this community. Students in this class will explore this cultural and artistic movement through both academic engagement and hands-on experience in creating this music themselves. Class meetings will include sessions in which we will discuss academic and popular texts on Mariachi music and culture as well as participating in discussions with guest speakers and performers, and sessions in which class members will learn to perform Mariachi music in both individual and ensemble formats. No experience in performing Mariachi music is required for this class- all instruction and expected musical collaborations will be designed to fit the experience level of each individual student.

Materials Fee


Required Texts

Wade, Bonnie C. Thinking Musically: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Sheehy, Daniel Edward. Mariachi Music in America: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 

Texts for this course will also include other articles, book chapters, and music as assigned by the instructor.

NB: Alternate readings will be provided for students who have already received credit for this course in an earlier quarter.


S/NX Grading; Narrative Evaluation.

Evaluation will take account of regular attendance, evidence of critical reading, engagement in class discussion and completion of assignments.



Fall 2023

Course Instructor(s)

Mark Miyake

Course Subject