[Tango-L] Tango Music for Dancing

Tango Society of Central Illinois tango.society at gmail.com
Thu Feb 21 12:18:38 EST 2008

On 2/20/08, doug at swingfusion.com <doug at swingfusion.com> wrote:
>  Defining the dance strictly by the music creates a very slippery slope.
>  Tell me - what is tango?  Is it only OT Victor and the Old Guard?  Does it
>  move forward in time to D'Arienzo (who still played a lot of 2/4 time just
>  as did the old guard)?  What about the Golden Age orchestras that played
>  primarily in 4/4 rather than 2/4?  Perhaps tango only means Old Guard and
>  Golden Age?  What about D'Arienzo of the '50s?  Or later years DiSarli. On
>  what day did they quit playing tango and start playing non-tango?  Piazzolla
>  was a bandoneon player in Troilo's orchestra.  Did he play tango when he
>  played with Triolo?  And on what day did Piazzolla quit playing tango?  Etc.
>  I don't get black and white.

Consider the music played at milongas in Buenos Aires, the environment
that is the cultural core of tango, the gold standard against which to
identify the boundaries of tango. Even using this criterion, there is
some fuzziness around the edges of what is appropriate music for
playing tango. In my own experience at Buenos Aires milongas, I
believe virtually ALL DJs play music from the following core. This is
what you will hear regularly at Buenos Aires milongas:

Biagi w/ Ortiz tango 40s
Calo w/ Beron tango 40s
Calo vals 40 (various vocalists)
Canaro w/ Fama or Maida tangos & milongas 30s
Canaro (mostly Quinteto Pirincho) instrumental milongas 30s
D'agostino w/ Vargas tangos 40s
D'arienzo tango & vals instrumentals 30s
D'arienzo w/ Maure tango 40s
De Angeles w/ Dante & Martel vals 40s
Di Sarli tango 40s with various vocalists (Rufino, Duran, Podesta)
Di Sarli w/ Rufino milonga 40s
Donato w/ Lagos tango & milonga 30s
Fresedo tango instumental 30s
Fresedo w/ Ray tango 30s
Laurenz tangos 40s: instrumentals, vocals w/ Casas or Podesta
Pugliese tango instrumentals 40s
Rodriguez w/ Moreno tango 40s
Tanturi w/ Castillo tango & vals 30s-40s
Tanturi w/ Campos tango 40s
Troilo tango instrumentals 1941-45
Troilo w/ Fiorentino milongas 40s

Some DJs choose from among the following as well from time to time.
Perhaps almost all DJs play from this list, given enough time. They're
just heard less often, in my experience.

Biago tango instrumentals 40s
Biagi vals 40s: instrumentals or various vocalists
Calo w/ Podesta tango 40s
Canaro & Quinteto Princho vals 30s-40s (instrumental, various vocalists)
Canaro tango instrumentals 30s
D'arienzo tango instrumentals 40s
De Angelis w/ Dante &/or Martel tangos 40s
Demare w/ Beron tangos 40s
Di Sarli tango instrumentals 40s
Donato tango instrumentals 30s
Laurenz vals (various vocalists) 40s
Lomuto various instrumental & vocal
Orquesta Tipic Victor tangos 30s, mostly instrumental
Troilo w/ Fiorentino vals 40s

I hope I haven't missed anything, but this is what I've recognized and remember.

Not all DJs play from the 50s. If they do, it is limited to:

De Angelis tango instumentals
Di Sarli tango instrumentals
Pugliese tango instrumentals

The only music I've heard more than once or twice after 1960:

Pugliese Vals 'Desde el Alma'.

This is a wealth of great music for dancing. One could not go wrong a
a DJ in playing entirely from this list. Given this great selection of
music that porten~os love to dance to, why play anything else?


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