Before Cortes, arrived in Mexico, music was played using the likes of drums, reed, and clay flutes, rattles, and conch shell horns, and was an integral part in religious celebrations. However, as the spread of Christianity happened, in several areas these instruments made way for instruments that were imported by the Spanish, like guitars, violins, harps, woodwinds, and brass horns. The Indian and mestizo musicians learned how to play these European instruments well and created some of their own, often giving them shapes and tunings from their own inventions.
Music and dance were extremely crucial aspects of the Spanish theatrical productions and were very popular throughout the Spanish-speaking community in the colonial period. The traditional Spanish theatrical orchestra in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries were comprised of violins, normally 2, harps, and guitars. It was from this that the most distinctive regional of Mexico created the famous Mariachi.
Both musicologists and folklorists argued for decades about the origins of the phrase Mariachi. The explanation, which appears frequently upon record jackets and travel brochures is it is a variation of the French word mariage and comes from sometime in the 19th century when Maximilian was the Emperor of Mexico. According to this legend, the Mariachi were named by the French; however, this explanation, sometimes regarded as doubtful by linguists, was completely discredited when the use of this word was found pre-dating a time when the French came to Mexico.
To date, though, the best scholarly opinion is this word has some native roots. One theory is it is derived from the name of the wood which is used to create the platform that performers danced to music, played by village musicians. However, whatever its true story is, we may never find out entirely; however, today the word only has one meaning, which is crystal clear – it means one of the most enchanting musical ensembles heard anywhere in the world.