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Mariachi Music Gets World Heritage Listing

Posted: November 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: ART, Art News, Tune | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mariachi Music Gets World Heritage Listing

Mariachis Muertos credit Sean Patrick TraverMexico’s Mariachi music has been added to UNESCO’s – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – list of “intangible cultural heritage” in need of preservation.

Meeting in Bali – Indonesia – from 22 to 29 November, 2011; the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage inscribed 11 new elements on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and 19 on the Representative List of the Inangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

UNESCO recognized Mariachi music “for delivering values of respect for the natural heritage of Mexico”

“We have something to be proud of, mariachi is something that identifies all Mexicans anywhere in the world and this validates that,” said Luis Martinez, a violinist of the mariachi band Los Reales, one of dozens that plays in Guadalajara.

The capital of Jalisco state, the birthplace of mariachi, has hosted an international mariachi festival since 1994 which draws more than 10,000 performers from as far away as Japan.

Mariachi is a form of traditional Mexican music performed by groups of strolling players with instruments including guitars, violins and trumpets.
But it is threatened in its home country due to the popularisation of other kinds of music among Mexican youth.

“Sometimes people say many things are mariachi which in fact are not,” says Pedro Gutierrez, a member of Oro Azteca, another group which plays in Guadalajara.

“This is good news for Mexican culture, because mariachi is one of the cultural forms that evokes a national cultural imagination,” said Efrain Franco Frias of the University of Guadalajara.

The researcher noted that “the mariachi tradition not exists only in Mexico. There is a very strong presence for example among Latinos in the US, and in Paris about 30 mariachi groups have been documented, not to mention the hundreds in Central and South America.”

The Mexican music was among the new entries chosen by envoys at a meeting in Indonesia to be inscribed on the UN cultural agency’s list of intangible heritage items.

“Mariachi is a traditional music and fundamental element of Mexican culture, transmitting values, heritage, history and different Indian languages,” the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation said.

“Modern mariachi music includes a wide repertoire of songs from different regions of the country and musical genres. Musicians learn by ear from father to son and through performances at festive, religious and civil events.”

The list aims at ensuring “better visibility of the intangible cultural heritage and raising awareness of its importance while encouraging dialogue that respects cultural diversity,” according to UNESCO.

source: unesco
source: abc
source: afp
photo source: sean patrick traver