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gancho | August 23, 2017

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There is something you need to know about the musicality of tango

There is something you need to know about the musicality of tango

A good sense of musicality is essential for every dancer. Especially if you are a tanguero as the music is much more complex, varied and colorful.

Could musicality be improved?

Absolutely! Not only can it be improved, but it should be done so. To have a much deeper, more pleasurable experience, dancers should understand the structure of the music.

Even more so in tango! Understanding and knowing how to teach musicality is extremely important in tango. Vague instructions such as “feel the music” and “listen to the music” are not enough.

Some time ago musicality wasn’t taught at all. Than came a turning point and when the world of tango realized its importance, and since, the quantity and quality of exercises, practices, tips and instructions on how to improve musicality started increasing.

Teaching musicality

A good starting point might be Joaquín Amenábar’s book, “Let’s dance to the music”The book comes complete with a DVD, instructional videos and other materials, giving a precise, comprehensive overview of the musicality of tango, milonga and vals.

Joaquín Amenábar is a bandoneonist and teacher of bandoneon at the University of Buenos Aires. He also has his own orquestra, and his musicality workshops are world famous. He’s already been to Budapest twice! As I’ve said before, his book is the perfect starting point for practicing musicality!

Now to the point:
Tango music is built of predictively repetitive parts!

The rule is simple. Within a song, certain parts repeat themselves, sometimes more than once. The structure of the music follows a musical rondo. But what exactly is this rondo?
It is a musical form originating from the XVII century France where the main theme is interrupted by interludes and repeated throughout the song.

Are you doubtful?
Let’s check it on the following video!
Different parts of the song will be referred to with letters of the alphabet.

Part A (00:00-00:33)
Part B  (00:34-01:03)
Part A repeated (01:04-01:33)
Part C (1:33-2:03)
Part A repeated (02:04-02:33)
Test it for yourself as you listen to the music!

Carlos Di Sarli: Mareada

Now that you know the secret, get ready to use your knowledge in your dance!
Be careful though, as repetitions vary from song to song. In some cases a variation of the main theme is repeated: the main theme with a different melody or rhythm.

Video example by TangoViPedia

Joaquín Amenábar’s book was welcomed by Shlomo Laufer,  the founder of TangoViPedia.
The following video was inspired by the book:

Shlomo Laufer – TangoViPedia

Simple in its complexity. Try to hear the repetitive sequences in other songs too! All classic tango music can be dissected the same way.

Endre Szeghalmi

This post is published on Endre’s blog, here. Thank you Endre for sharing it with gancho-readers 🙂

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