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El Árbol Que Tú Olvidaste

Essay by   •  July 8, 2019  •  Coursework  •  286 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,500 Views

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Harsh Harpalani

Assignment 2

The piece I will be talking about is “El Árbol Que Tú Olvidaste” (which translates to “The Tree You Forgot About”) by Atahualpa Yupanqui. It was mentioned in Class 4: “Can Music Have A Specific Purpose?”. Like many referential pieces, the title of the piece already gives the (soon to be) listener an idea of what mental image to keep in mind. In this case, it brings to mind the popular children’s story “The Giving Tree”. With this image already in my mind, the initial string instrument (I believe a Mexican guitar) during the first 10 seconds of the song remind me of sorrowful, somber thoughts—such as that of a tree that once gave everything away and has now been forgotten since it cannot give anything more.

One of the most prominent musical concepts demonstrated by this selection is that there is a solo performer singing the entire way through. He adds life to the song by delivering at a slow pace but prominent volume, emphasizing every word of his to the listener. Furthermore, by only having a single instrument in the background (the Mexican guitar), he controls the entire delivery of the song as he is singing as well as adding the melody in the background. Sometimes, he lets the melody shine (0:00, 1:36) and other times he minimizes the melody to let his voice carry most of the weight (2:00). Another prominent musical concept this piece captures is through its purpose of serving as a shining hope for resistance during the 1950’s Latin American protests. His song captures the disappointment many people had in the government, who at the time had “forgotten” about the people and was only acting in self interest.



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