Tango (genre)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tango is a genre of music whose centers are Buenos Aires , Argentina , and Montevideo , Uruguay . Today there are mainly three styles: Tango in 4/8 time, Milonga in 2/4 time and Vals in 3/4 time. Other styles are z. B. Candombe (with African influences) and Canyengue . Tango music was exported to all parts of the world from around 1920 (especially to Europe and Japan in the respective tango fashion waves), musically adapted in many countries and further developed into independent art forms (see German Tango andFinnish tango ). In the classical music of the tango was especially through the work of Astor Piazzolla integrated. There are currently also approaches to combine tango with pop trends (see Electrotango ). In addition to music, the art form of tango also includes the lyrical part of text poetry and interpretation in dance.

historical development

Tango originated in Argentina between 1850 and 1900 as a mixture of many forms of music from the confrontation of European musical styles (Italian music, Polish polka etc.) with Latin American music (milonga, habanera) and African rhythm ( candombe ). The name tango is probably borrowed from the much older Andalusian tango practiced in Spain, which was also popular in Argentina in the middle of the 19th century. Tango in the sense of this article developed in Argentina in a different direction than tango flamenco .

The harmonic substructure of the tango is European, but the rhythm includes z. T. African and Latin American models (the rhythm of the habanera is derived from African rhythms). The first tangos were notated in 2/4 time; From about 1920 at the latest, however, the quieter 4/8 time was preferred. The playing style of the tango orchestras is partly polyphonic and largely equal between the instrument groups, in such a way that the instruments can alternate in their function as rhythm instruments or as supporting instruments for theme and contrecanto.

Since the 1920s, two trends have crystallized in the development of tango: a traditional one, which is based on the origins of tango and emphasizes a distinctive rhythm and simple harmonies with few solo interpretations; a second trend is looking for new opportunities. It is mostly chamber music and partly introduces new instruments and rhythms. The first line is typical of the orchestras of Francisco Canaro , Edgardo Donato , Francisco Lomuto , Roberto Firpo , the second line is that of Osvaldo Fresedo , Julio De Caro , Pedro Maffia .

Interpretation practice

A typical tango orchestra (so-called sexteto típico) consists of a piano , a double bass , two violins and two bandoneóns . Depending on the musical orientation, however, wide variations in the instrumentation are possible, this ranges from minimal instrumentation (bandoneon solo) up to the usual in the Golden Tango time (around 1940) Mammoth orchestras ( Orquestas Típicas) with sometimes over 30 musicians, of whom about a third were bandoneonists. This instrument, which is so important for tango, was imported by immigrants around 1880 and its sound symbolizes the melancholy character of tango. Furthermore, the bandoneon sounds like a violin in the higher registers, which simplifies the interaction with these and makes it interesting. The playing technique and the use of the sound character in the instrumentation were not fixed and were developed to virtuosity in the first half of the twentieth century. The piano was introduced to the tango orchestra by Roberto Firpo , while the double bass was introduced by Francisco Canaro through the integration of a jazz bassist into the orchestrabecame an integral part of the tango orchestra. In addition to purely instrumental forms of interpretation, there are also forms of tango estribillista and tango canción , in which a singer enriches the orchestra or is accompanied by an instrument. The most famous and revered tango singer is Carlos Gardel .

By the early 1940s, many tango performers had achieved such great technical virtuosity that many of them signed contracts with philharmonic orchestras in Buenos Aires and elsewhere (e.g. orchestras of the Teatro Colon).

The influence of professional arrangers has significantly shaped the character of the most famous orchestras. Some of the most important examples are Argentino Galván, Hector Bartolo, Miguel Nijensohn, Osmar Maderna, etc. The first arrangers worked with the orchestras of Caló , Troilo , Pugliese , Francini-Pontier , Fresedo and Elvino Vardaro . The most famous orchestras were founded by Osvaldo Pugliese , Aníbal Troilo , Carlos Di Sarli and Juan D'Arienzo ( the big four ). Also Astor Piazzolla was formed in 1946 his ownOrquesta típica .

Until the 1950s, tango was the music and dance of all social classes in Argentina. In the period after the Argentine President Juan Perón was overthrown by the military in 1955 , the popularity of tango music also waned - in this time of upheaval it was considered "music of the old" and unfashionable. The last great orquestas disappeared around 1960.

Musicians (selection)






Dances and dance styles


  • Dieter Reichardt: Tango. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt 1984, ISBN 3-518-37587-3
  • Arne Birkenstock & Helena Ruegg: Tango. DTV, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-423-24273-6
  • Horacio Salas: The Tango. Abrazos Books, Stuttgart 2002. ISBN 3-89657-604-6
  • Egon Ludwig: Tango Lexicon. Lexikon Imprint Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-89602-294-6
  • Wolfram Fleischhauer: Three minutes with reality. Knaur, 2002, ISBN 3-426-62256-4
  • Horacio Vazquez-Rial: Tango that burns your heart. Piper, 2005, ISBN 3-492-04703-3
  • Horacio Salas & Lato: Tango. Wistfulness that you can dance to. Edition Elke Heidenreich at C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-570-58021-9
  • Luis Adolfo Sierra: Historia de la orquesta típica: evolución instrumental del tango Buenos Aires: Ed. Corregidor, 1997, ISBN 950-05-1007-3
  • Jürgen Torp: Old Atlantic Tangos / Rhythmic Configurations in the Change of Times and Cultures, Series: Popular Music and Jazz in Research, Vol. 14, LIT Verlag Berlin-Münster-Vienna-Zurich-London, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8258 -0700-9

Individual evidence

  1. Christine Denniston: Couple Dancing and the Beginning of Tango. In: history-of-tango.com. 2003, accessed January 5, 2016 .

Web links