GMP 3013: El Mariachi Gringo
Listen along with the score here: (52) El Mariachi Gringo, by Dr. Daniel Thrower, for Brass Quintet - YouTube
During the process of authoring his book on trumpet repertoire (“Comprehensive Trumpet Skills, Book 10: Repertoire and Style”), Dr. Thrower explored the genres of mariachi music in 2019. Having been a long-time fan of the virtuosic Mexican trumpeter Rafael Méndez, and again piqued by the dry staccato notes, heavy vibrato, and powerful trumpet tone used in mariachi tunes, Dr. Thrower tried his hand at composing in the style. Though Dr. Thrower is indeed a blond-haired, blue-eyed Gringo, he was quite fluent in Spanish at one point in life. He loves exploring a wide variety of cultures, and he maintains fluency in Portuguese.
“El Mariachi Gringo” begins as a high brass trio with a grand Mexicana theme, replete with typically virtuosic motifs. In lieu of the strong male mariachi singer, the trombone takes the vocal spot accompanied by a rhythmic guitarrón-type of line in the tuba, punctuated by the high brass, after which the introductory theme returns, this time accentuated by underlying flashes in the low brass. The vocal line then presents itself in the high brass, harmonized, and repeating in a major key. Atypical of mariachi music, however, is a winding down to a slight pause, after which the tuba begins a soft rendition of the guitarrón accompaniment pattern which builds by adding the other themes in succession until they all sound simultaneously, climaxing to an exciting frenzy to end the piece. Like most mariachi songs, “El Mariachi Gringo” is about three minutes long.
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"You and your compositions deserve first rate ensembles, they’re that good! It’s an honor to know you and, from time to time, celebrate your wonderful accomplishments."
Dr. Daniel N. Thrower
"Gilded Music Press" was created specifically to make Dr. Daniel Thrower's high-quality music available. Dr. Thrower has been composing music and writing educational supplements for decades. He describes his music as a "personal musical journal". From his work with military ensembles to faculty and students of all ages, his music and teaching materials are created to edify audiences, professional colleagues, students, and himself. Through "Gilded Music Press" the global music community benefits from his excellent research, experience, and creative output. Many have enjoyed and benefited from his work throughout the world, and you will too once you discover his phenomenal products!