JOSE INAZIO LOPEZ DE LUZURIAGA
Musicologist. Retired professor of the Conservatory of Donostia-San Sebastian.
In this article, the author musicologist Jose Inazio Lopez de Luzuriaga provides full support to the proposal to proclaim the “Gernikako Arbola” (The Tree of Gernika) composed by Jose Maria Iparragirre the official anthem of the Basques, so joining the manifesto recently endorsed by a significant number of Basque musicians.
It is worth remembering that the Basques have not an anthem nowadays representing the whole Basque Country.
The author of the article points out a number of rationales to advocate for the “Gernikako Arbola”, emphasizing first its symbolic value, with trees holding a special status in the Basque collective imaginary, since our ancestors held their most important meetings under a tree. Secondly, there are sociological reasons that should be highlighted, in that the lyrics of this anthem do not divide but unite. Not less important, political considerations, as Gernika stands still nowadays for the Basque pursuit of freedom. Finally, he notes the musical reasons, worth also highlighting, according to the musicologist Luzuriaga.
On balance, the author summarizes his view at the end of the article, noting that “those of us who have sung the Gernikako Arbola since an early age are well familiar with the solemn atmosphere it invokes, and know that no other song can spark the feelings of belonging to and being part of a people as it does”.