[Tango-L] What defines tango music for dancing

Oleh Kovalchuke tangospring at gmail.com
Sun Feb 3 15:41:44 EST 2008

To me, as a dancer, good tango arrangement has to include these five elements:

  1. A variety of rhythm: single-, double- and occasional
quadruple-time beats, as well as silent, implied beats.
  2. Smooth, flowing melody.
  3. Surges in the melody (that "swinging" feel).
  4. A variety in the arrangement, where different instruments or
voice interweave and come to forefront of the orchestra.
  5. Bandoneon.

As a dancer I hear and express the qualities 1-4 to in the dance.
Bandoneon, with its ability to produce either bellowing, or sharp, or
quick keyboard sound (sometimes all three are overlaid), is
particularly suited to express these qualities.

Here is good introductory article on Bandoneon technique:

Oleh Kovalchuke
Argentine Tango: Connection, Balance, Rhythm

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