Music Societies, a resource to take advantage of


The existence of the Musical Societies in Valencia is undoubtedly the most singular differential Valencian cultural phenomenon, despite the fact that the social sciences and academia in general have paid little attention to it. The most serious literature is scarce and the usual treatment has been more historical and descriptive than interpretative. What is certain is that at this point there is no consistent theory that explains, with convincing causal arguments, why in Valencia, the existence of the musical associative phenomenon manifests itself so globally, so capillarised over the territory and so transversally, socially and generationally. When we resort to the idiosyncrasy of the Valencians, the taste for music or the climate, we have no plausible hypotheses. From the point of view of demand, we only have indications about the amount of party music that our tradition of festivals demands (but probably this is also explained by the previous existence of bands), as well as the fact that musical training is a strong and growing desire of Valencians. As we have already reported in other texts, the origins of the Sociedades Musicales can be traced back to the first half of the 19th century, when the political and social upheavals were reflected in the different names they adopted: “Primitiva”, “Nueva”, “Vieja”, reflecting the different political affiliations of their members. The consolidation of the Bandas expressed different phenomena, from the reconversion of bands of military origin to initiatives led by canons, chapel masters or parish organists. As E. López Chávarri has aptly put it: music bands have a tradition made up of multiple elements, as heterogeneous as the theatre, the Church, the guilds, the political parties and a long etcetera. With this historical perspective it seems clear that in all cases they are the fruit of the associative effort of the most dynamic or civilly active parts of the citizen fabric in combination with a popular demand for music that is associated with any festive rites.

Pau Rausell Köster Magazine Data de publicació 2012 Publication Arriben bandes: les societats musicals valencianes Pages 105-118 City València