The Timeless Romance of the Guitar: From Capricho Árabe to Modern Day Masterpieces
After battering with Covid-19 in 2020-2021, Spain has surged in 2022 brand finance’s soft power index, jumping from 22nd to 11th, it has performed very well in culture & heritage (5th) and also people and values (9th). Spain has crafted its public diplomacy in non-traditional approach very smartly according to Stephan Keukeleire’s “structural diplomacy” or “the process of dialogue and negotiation by which actors in the international system seek to influence or shape sustainable external political, legal, economic, social and security structures at different relevant levels in a given geographic space”.
Can you behold the magnificent contrast of red against the verdant background? Photo: Source
According to Keukeleire, the term "structural" encompasses two key elements. Firstly, it pertains to shaping or exerting influence on the structure, which Keukeleire defines as the organizing principles, rules of the game, and institutions. Secondly, the adjective "structural" highlights the long-term nature of this influence. It is in this vein that Keukeleire asserts that Structural Diplomacy should promote the sustainability of these international structures, including the organizing principles, rules of the game, and institutions.
The efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are geared towards exerting a substantial impact at the heart of the international system. As such, Spanish diplomacy has been working to mold the fundamental principles, core rules, and established customs of the international community. In recent times, Spain has initiated, established, and presided over significant and promising efforts to transform relationships among various international actors. Some of the finest examples of this innovative approach are the Ibero American Community of Nations, the Barcelona Process, and the Alliance of Civilizations.
This ambition to influence the international society must be viewed as a long-term strategy. In other words, Spain has emerged as an actor that prioritizes the stability of the international system. To this end, this new Spanish diplomacy must avoid aggressive or intolerant behavior, and instead, be founded on legitimate and sustainable actions. The ultimate goal of Spanish diplomacy is for its partners to perceive its commitment to enhancing bilateral relationships and securing the longevity of the international system.
One compelling representation of Spanish culture can be seen in "Capricho Árabe," one of Tárrega's most renowned compositions and a seminal piece in the classical guitar repertoire. This piece embodies the influence of Arabic music on Spain, particularly in the region of Andalusia. During the period of the 8th to 15th centuries, the region was ruled by the Moors, and their impact on Spanish culture, including music, was substantial. The inclusion of Arabic scales, rhythms, and modes in "Capricho Árabe" is a testament to this cultural exchange.
Tárrega was captivated by the alluring sound of Arabic music, and he sought to infuse these elements into his own works. "Capricho Árabe" is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of the fusion of Spanish and Arabic musical traditions, and it has since become a timeless classic of the classical guitar repertoire.
The enduring appeal of the guitar can be traced back to the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean, where it was first used to accompany songs and dances. Over time, the instrument evolved and took on its familiar form and structure, becoming a popular choice among the nobility in the Renaissance era. In this time, the guitar was serenaded with ballads, a symbol of love and devotion.
As the 19th and 20th centuries approached, the guitar was transformed into a powerful tool for protest and social change, playing a crucial role in the political and cultural landscape of the time through its association with songs of love and freedom. Despite this newfound purpose, the guitar's romantic appeal was not forgotten, as it found its way into various genres of music, including blues, jazz, and rock and roll. In these genres, the guitar was used to express the deepest of emotions, from Elvis Presley's swiveling hips to Jimi Hendrix's blazing guitar solos. To this day, the guitar remains an integral part of the musical landscape, a symbol of love and passion.
In the present day, the guitar continues to be a beloved musical instrument, with musicians of all genres utilizing its versatility to communicate their deepest emotions and stories. From the twang of country to the electrifying energy of rock, or even the exotic notes of "Capricho Árabe," the guitar has maintained its place as a cornerstone in the musical world.
Its enduring association with love and romance remains steadfast, captivating the hearts of listeners through its timeless melodies. Whether played in the intimacy of a private space or before an audience of thousands, the guitar's impact as a symbol of love and devotion endures. Its versatile beauty will continue to enchant audiences for generations to come.