Ever since antiquity, music transcription has been the intrinsic way of visual representation of sound, sometimes in detail and sometimes in the form of a guide. Throughout time, the visual capture of music has been the only way to store and preserve it over time, but also the exclusive means of reproducing it. In any case, visual transfer should be considered as an auxiliary tool, since oral dissemination and storage in the memory of artists have been the most timeless techniques for the diffusion of music through time and space. During Europe's so-called "classical" musical period, with its most powerful centers of production, such as today's Austria, Germany, France and Italy, and especially in its path towards Romanticism, music transcription, that is, the musical score, was considered by some composers as the very embodiment of their work.
Understandably, in the modern capitalist world, music transcription, as the primary tool for the substantialization of music, brought under its purview repertoires that were not connected, were not disseminated, and did not function on the basis of their transcription. This offered to the music product sales centers an additional tool to expand their action network: non-scholar musics acquired a convenient way of circulating them, enhancing their popularity, even in places very far from those of their original creation. At the end of the 19th century, however, the phenomenon of sound recording and reproduction rearranged relationships and disrupted the status quo of publishing houses, claiming a share of the market, offering a product that was extremely complete and immediate. The publishing houses tried to react with legal measures, but it became impossible to stop the dynamics of the new phenomenon: the prevalence of commercial discography was now a fact, for most of the 20th century.
As far as non-scholar music is concerned, commercial printed musical scores were publications of the musical texts of songs or instrumental pieces (for the publishing activity in Greece see Lerch-Kalavrytinos, 2003: 4-5
). For the needs of musical scores, the songs were arranged mainly (but not only) for piano or for piano and voice, generally without complex performance requirements. Multi-instrumental or technically demanding orchestrations were systematically avoided. The lyrics were printed below the notes of the melodic development of the singing parts and, sometimes, their translations into other languages. For the most part, the musical scores were two or four pages long, and came with a themed front and back cover.
The song falls into the trend of exoticism, under the ethnocentric lens of which the Western world imagined, among others, the Spanish world and its musical universe. The meaning of exoticism concerns, on the one hand, the characteristics of that which is outside the sphere of identity and, on the other hand, the attraction exerted by that which has such characteristics. The widespread acceptance of the phenomenon is obvious: the multidimensional linguistic, musical and visual wealth accumulated around and within exoticism created a common stock of knowledge that perpetually feeds the collective and individual imaginary. The locations represented in exoticism, that is, the East, Latin America, Spain, Hawaii, are par excellence imaginary, disconnected from the real world. They are revealed like a theatrical stage, with alternating scenes, where fantasies are dramatized, overwhelm the senses and release intense emotions, offering the "visitor" an ideal experience, outside the limitations of the conventional world.