Buñol is recognized for its robust musical activity, derived from the continuous work of its two musical societies and their educational work with the music schools. Also worthy of notice is the formative activity of the San Rafael Municipal School, with twenty-one teachers and more than 200 students, which com­pletes the source of both music bands and extends its educa­tional network to the whole La Hoya de Buñol region.

The prestigious concert “Mano a Mano” (a Battle of the Bands) is celebrated in mid Au­gust (on a Saturday evening) at the Auditorio Municipal. Since 1974, it has put both Musical So­cieties of Buñol, La Artística and La Armónica, in a one-on-one, healthy, musical rivalry. This is the paramount concert of band music in the Valencian Commu­nity each year. On this day, both the spectator and the musician can watch, play, and enjoy, with their training at its full. (Thanks to the summer dates many of the professional musicians in both Symphonic Bands can par­ticipate). The “Mano a Mano” concert in Buñol was declared Festivity of International Tourist Interest in 2014.

The origin of the Sociedad Musical La Artística goes back to the last century. It was founded on the 1st of May, 1883; at that historical moment, after the dis-solution of the diff erent musical groups that existed in the local-ity, D. Idelfonso Carrascosa con- sidered that since the railroad was about to make its appear- ance in Buñol, it was necessary to regroup the scattered musi- cians and form a Music Band, which, under the name of “Música de Buñol” would enliven that historical moment, as well as other events of any kind that could happen in the locality: fes- tive, religious, etc.

At present, its more than 180 musicians are directed by the renowned Dutch Director Henrie Adams and, in addition, has 330 federated musicians for any extraordinary event in which the Musical Society participates.

The symphonic band of the Musical Instruction Center “La Harmonica”, with more than 125 years of history, is considered one of the most prestigious amateur bands in the world. When it was founded in 1888 its first members came from the most humble sectors of the population, day laborers and small farmers with workers from the local artisan workshops that would soon become modern industries. Proof of those humble and mechanistic origins are the professional dedications of its founding teachers, Fernando Ruiz was a carpenter and Manuel Rehués a farmer.

But La Armonica is much more, it is an important living articulation of the social fabric of the population throughout the year. It is during the festivities that are held at the end of Au­gust each year, when the day of El Litro takes place. In these fes­tivities hundreds of litreros and litreras participate in a direct or indirect way: the gala of the soci­ety with the presentation of the different Misses de La Armónica, parades, floral offerings with participants dressed in the tradi­tional local costumes and a great cavalcade mean the maximum exaltation of the litrero spirit, to be part of a group. Because be­ing a litrero or a litrera is much more than being part of a musi­cal entity. It is a feeling and as such it is irrational and cannot be entirely explained by words or other parameters.

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