Originally this was a tango song about a compulsive gambler at a race track. In this context, “por una cabeza” means “by a head” – in other words the result of the race is very close and the gambler only just avoids ruin.
You now have a great excuse to re-watch the marvellous tango scene from “Scent of a Woman”, as the piece they are dancing to is “Por una Cabeza”. Hit “full screen” and enjoy in HD…
Here is a mandolin orchestra version by the San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra:
The arrangement we are playing is by Valdo Preema, and this is a purchased piece so please get your copy from the repertoire committee.
M1, M2 and Mla: I have marked in quite a bit of tremolo – certainly a lot more than when we played it before. I hope we can manage the tremolo, but we will probably practice without to start with, to get our timing solid.
M1 and M2: the octaves are played divisi and please arrange as early as possible who is playing which notes.
M2 and Mla: practice G minor scale like mad, starting on each scale degree in turn!