Exploring Music in Spain

Submitted by Meghan Rydell on the 2024 Summer SPAN Intermediate program in Granada, Spain…

The angel that welcomes visitors into Cordoba, a city in Spain where we took a day trip. The images shows the beautiful view of the city that was only accentuated by the music of an accordion (which is not seen in the picture).

One of my favorite things about Spain so far is the music, which ripples through the narrow streets of Granada. Some afternoons, I take walks to explore parts of the city, and at every turn, I see a guitar or violin player performing palos of Flamenco music. I truly realized the prominence of musicians in Granada when walking through the Plaza de las Pasiegas and shops near the Royal Chapel where Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand are buried. At the beginning of my walk, I ad put my headphones in, but when I saw the first guitar player, I took them out to listen and realized the music of the city was constant, and better than anything I was listening to! There were at least four or five performers whose music echoed through the streets and filled them with rhythmic, passionate songs. In U.S. cities like New York, you often see street performers, but there is something so raw and authentic about the music in Granada. To the artists, playing is about more than just receiving a few pennies or trying to get discovered. Performances are not about using the crowd to advance the art; they are about telling a story of culture, which includes love, triumph, loss, and grief, all within a string of notes and chords. Besides the fact that every musician was so skilled in their ability to play their instruments, the passion of the performance was visible. On a simple walk, I felt the artist’s emotions as the music died down from exciting peaks to quiet solace. (Submitted June 14, 2024)