The music according to Saint John

Music is so fundamental in Holy Week in Cartagena, that here you hear what you see, and you see what you hear. It is enough to hear the sounds of La Dolorosa and to be seeing without seeing them, the red capes of the penitents, low in the air of the dawn of Good Friday. Or see a white cape and listen, without actually hearing them, the bars of “San Juan” on the solemn night of Good Friday. Heavenly music to the beat of the applause, warm and spontaneous, as San Juan passes by ”.


“The music plays. The shroud is raised. The penitents and throne of Saint John march…… it is the prodigy of the brotherhood of Saint John. Pure aesthetics. The unique art and aesthetics of the Cartagena processions. From the Holy Week according to Saint John. Because Holy Week in Cartagena, rhythmic, neat, sublime, is the heritage of the members of the Saint John brotherhood.

And music is so fundamental in Holy Week in Cartagena, that here you hear what you see, and you see what you hear. It is enough to hear the sounds of La Dolorosa …. “The penitents of Saint John are coming, look at them that they are doing well, they are setting the pace well, a very natural step …”, and be seeing without seeing them, the red capes, satin to the air of the dawn of Good Friday. Or see a white cape and listen, without actually hearing them, the bars of “Saint John” on the solemn night of Good Friday. Heavenly music to the beat of the applause, warm and spontaneous, as Saint John passes by ”.

Detalle de los músicos de la Unión Musical Torrevejense, la cual viene acompañando a San Juan desde 1966. Foto: Moisés Ruiz, 2015.

In addition to the aforementioned “Dolorosa” (Antonio San Nicolás, 1925) and “San Juan” (El Desierro, Vicente Victoria, 1891), San Juan Marrajo has two of his own compositions: The first, released in 1975 and composed by José Torres Escribano in 1975 for the Golden Jubilee of the group, in fulfillment of a promise made to Juan Pérez-Campos, called “Discípulo Amado”. The second, composed in 2003 by Guillermo Soto Valero, entitled “Santo Amor de San Juan”.

Music that is performed every year by the Torrevejense Musical Union. Union that has been accompanying San Juan since 1935; since 1966 without interruption.

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Association, under the baton of its director, Jaime Belda, they recorded a magnificent CD with 15 marches, entitled “Cartagena según to San Juan.” In 2015 a second CD was recorded, also performed by the Torrevejense Musical Union and with Jaime Belda as director, with 13 marches, entitled “Así Marcha San Juan”.

The U. M. Torrevejense is “Member of Honor” of the Agrupación de San Juan Marrajo since 2002, in which they celebrated their 75th anniversary.

Detalle de la partitura de la Marcha de San Juan.

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