The structure of “Córdoba " has already been described. The piece opens and closes with the quiet, spoken voices of members of the orchestra repeating “Córdoba, lejana y sola". The piano starts to play, then the whole rhythm section plays, as Phil starts to sing. There are three vocal verses, each six bars long, separated by eight-bar passages for the horns. So each vocal verse starts on a different step of the chord sequence.
The harmonies of brass and reeds gradually build up, and Steve Cook, on bass guitar, solos over the massed horns in the middle. High unison trumpets mark the peak of the number, and Phil reprises the last verse of the song over the gradual decrescendo of the band, switching to c trumpet as chimes toll out the three simple chords, and as "Cordoba” fades away to the whispering voices that began it. Throughout the piece, the rhythm section maintains a steady momentum, with a marchlike tattoo on the snare drum to offset the slowly shifting chords.