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Submitted by hannah on Tue, 07/02/2019 - 11:13

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Opus 6 Newsletter #4

Tuesday, June 25th

Travel The World With Opus Electives

Destination #3: Mexico



Mariachi is a Mexican musical genre. This style of music includes instruments such as the violin, viola, trumpet, guitar, voice, vihuela, and guitarrón. Mariachi is sung and performed in large ensembles, just like the one we have here at SMYO and Opus camp.

v Vihuela 

 The Vihuela is one of the instruments within a mariachi ensemble. It is a small, deep-bodied rhythm guitar. The vihuela fills in the rhythmic patterns outlined by the guitarrón. Unlike the guitar, the vihuela is used primarily for the rhythmic function - its convex back and high-pitched strings amplify its percussive qualities, while its short neck makes it hard to play melodies. It features reentrant tuning, which means the strings are not in order from lowest to highest pitch. This enhances its percussive quality. 

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The guitarrón is a large Mexican six-string acoustic bass. It was developed from the sixteenth-century Spanish "bajo de uña". The guitarrón is usually played by doubling notes at the octave. Its large size is needed to amplify the deep bass notes, that act as the sonic foundation of every mariachi song. A mariachi can not perform without a guitarrón. In early mariachi groups, the harp was often used to provide this rhythmic function (the harp also has low notes!), but as the groups became more mobile, the guitarrón tended to replace the harp because it was easier to transport.

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Camp Payment Options

  • Check made out to "SMYO", mailed or delivered on the first day of camp

  • Cash, delivered on the first day of camp

  • Venmo, sent to @Shabnam-Fasa

  • Online, with a 2% service fee added (cash or check preferred)

Mailing address:
SMYO, PO Box 128, Santa Monica CA 90406



Countdown to camp: 13 days!

Santa Monica Youth Orchestra (310)985-3439