Heritage rejects request for pasadoble ‘Xàbia’ to be protected

The General Directorate stated that “it is not a manifestation of traditional life or a specific musical style of the people of Xàbia, but one more piece, of the pasodoble genre, comparable to many more”.


Friday 22nd April 2022 – Mike Smith
Source: original article – Álvaro Monfort (Xàbia AL DÍA)


The technicians of the General Directorate of Heritage have rejected a request approved by the plenary session of Xàbia Council in 2018 to declare the “Pasodoble Xàbia by Salvador Salvá Sapena as an Intangible Asset of Local Relevance (BIE).

Reporting to the Culture Commission last Wednesday, the local government explained the details of the rejection that is reflected in a forceful report from the General Directorate that dismantles each and every one of the extensive arguments put forward by Xàbia to grant such a distinction of protection.

Among others, the General Directorate report considered that the proposal “does not meet the necessary requirements for a favourable declaration as a BIE“, adding that “it does not seem to need any special protection since it enjoys a great diffusion throughout the world thanks to its popularity among bands, and it is also guaranteed by its fixation in a score published in 1980 by the Salvá publishing house in Madrid and therefore would not meet the requirement to be protected for being in danger“.

In another part of its response, the General Directorate claims that the Xàbia pasodoble “is not a manifestation of traditional life or a specific musical style of the people of Xàbia, but one more piece, of the pasodoble genre, comparable to many more“.

And it concludes that “it is true that despite its young age, the piece has taken root strongly from the moment of its creation and premiere by the Band of the Xàbia Artistic Musical Centre, among the music that is performed in the town during the festive celebrations, but precisely due to its age, it does not meet the criterion regarding temporality, of continuity in time“.

But they do acknowledge that “the future possibility of initiating a general file that encompasses all the representative pasodobles of the Comunidad Valenciana” be considered.

It was at the end of November 2018 that the local council unanimously agreed to request that “Xàbia” be designated as a heritage asset for the town and set about the process to make that request formal.

The pasadoble is not only one of the most familiar tunes in the town but also beyond the town’s boundaries, making it a special composition that is not only essential at any Valencian fiesta but also across the world where it has been played and enjoyed in parts of Asia, in Mexico, and even featured on the soundtrack of the 2010 French film Els Fils à Jo.

It has become an iconic tune and in Xàbia it can be heard at almost every type of celebration: at the end of the presentations of each fiesta, in official acts during the Fogueres de Sant Joan de Xàbia, such as the elections, the presentation of the Quintà and the proclamations of the queens, concluding the summer concert of festive music, and even during the Moros i Cristians when at least two Christians troops march to its rhythm. Whenever it is played, either in formal acts or in spontaneous performances, you can guarantee that those watching will end up clapping during its chorus. It’s tradition. It’s something you must do. And make you feel proud to be part of Xàbia.


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