Best known as “The Mexican Hat Dance,” El Jarabe Tapatío is the official dance of Mexico and has a rich history that dates back hundreds of years!
Jarabe, which translates to syrup, is a term of endearment like calling someone your “sweetie” and is also the generic name for this style of courtship dance. Los Tapatíos are natives of Jalisco, a Mexican state on the Pacific coast. During the dance, the man throws his most prized possession, his sombrero, on the floor. The woman accepts him when she dances on its brim and puts the hat on her own head. (Source)
The main theme of El Jarabe Tapatío is a teacher’s dream and covers so much in such a short amount of time! Harmonically, this song illustrates the tonic-dominant axis, moving between the I chord (the tonic) and the V chord (the dominant). Melodically, we play the full range of the bells from low A up to high d. There are descending motifs, arpeggios and semitone approaches. Rhythmically, there’s a mix of eighth notes and syncopation in a compound duple meter time signature. El Jarabe Tapatío is arranged in the key of F major and includes note names, solfège + MP3 track.