Tango Argentino > New to argentine tango, introductions and seeking good music

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Dren, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Dren

    Dren New Member

    Hi everyone, I'm an argentine tango newbie. I've recently been attending a variety of tango, salsa, and bachata classes. I'm new but so far I prefer tango and bachata. I've been to two 3 hour tango classes now (with socializing/milonga for the last hour).

    Tango seems like a good fit for me and with my current college schedule it's the only one that I will be able to consistently attend anyway.

    I like the expressive freedom that tango seems to offer and it's elegant/minimalist/deliberate character seems to fit my personality pretty well. I didn't particualry enjoy shaking my body around flamboyantly in salsa. Argentine tango has a nice presence and passive strength to it.

    I've barely danced at all in my life, although I feel like I might want to make this a new hobby. I'm 24 years old. The first time I went to tango I pretty much didn't even know what lead and follow even meant. I was absolutely terrible the first time, but by the second time it felt much better (in part because the 1st time, unbeknownest to newbie me, a few of my partners were backleading me almost constantly, making me very awkward).

    I've noticed there's not many young people at tango and the number of people is significantly less than salsa or bachata. It's a little bit worrisome that it might be difficult to find people to dance it with. I like the dance though...

    Unfortunately, I've noticed a lot of the "traditional tango music" sounds rather awful to my ears. However, I've found a few pieces of tango music I like searching the internet. Some might be considered alternative tango I believe.

    Here's some of the one's I've found so far that I like:

    Adio Kerida (by Yasmine Levy)
    Tango to Evora
    Tango para Abel
    Tango (by Kenny G)

    Libretango is my favorite. I like the speed and energy of it.

    Correct me if some of these are unacceptable (undancable) tango music, seeing as I'm new.

    Do guys have suggests on any great sounding tango music you know of?

    Also, any suggestions regarding me being new or the potential problem of tango not seeming as popular or young as the other dances?

    Thanks for your time. :D
  2. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Your taste for the Golden Age (50s-60s) music will develop if you listen to it often and absorb the intricacies. It's very different from most musical genres and foreigners usually have a period of learning to accustom the ear. However, once the music is in your ear, you'll probably find it much more pleasurable. I did not like Golden Age tango when I first heard it but now I prefer listening to it.

    The music that you listed is not really danceable. They were written primarily to be heard, not danced to. I still encourage you to try so that you can learn about tango for dancing and tango for listening.
  3. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Here's a site for some tango that is danceable. These are good musical choices for learning how to dance tango and you can practice without any partner. Just get up and move as you listen to them.

    Listen, Hear, and when you Feel, let it Move You.
  4. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    If you are looking for more young people, I'd suggest a college (or university) tango club. Also, the odds are higher that they may play more alternative music, as younger people do seem to prefer that (at least early on in their tango development) to the more traditional tango music.

    Certainly, the songs you listed are danceable, even if a couple of them probably wouldn't inspire me to dance.

    While it's possible you may never really love the traditional music as much as I do, it's also possible that you haven't been exposed to the best stuff yet, so give it some time.
    Subliminal likes this.
  5. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Welcome to dance forums Dren! This forum has a strong traditional music bias, so best to understand that when you read people's posts. But it is true, in most milongas there is a lot of traditional (30s-50s) tango music played. If you're having trouble getting into it, there is also a modern genre of electric tango. Search on YouTube for Tanghetto, Otros Aires, or Goten Project. That might seem more familiar to you, and can act as a gateway to other music.

    Depending on where you live, you might be able to find alternative milongas that play this music. Or you can give the traditional stuff another shot and see if it grows on you.
  6. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Libretango is also totally danceable. ;)
  7. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Subliminal likes this.
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi Dren, welcome to DF. Seems as if you are a DJ-to-be, too! Perhaps you can get more young people to tango if you organize your own series of little events: may be the second half of a traditional evening, or a mixed party at your former salsa venue, or perhaps a more or less private kitchen-milonga at home. Think that will be very attractive for your clientele. I for one organize spontaneous parties in mild summer nights on the beach, in cozy parks, or by chance in a subway. All I need is the phone list of my mobile. Also you will find out that networking and cross-linking is the major part of learning tango.

    Concerning your play list:

    Besides dancing and social learning, nevertheless learning the historically important dance orchestras, styles and composers also belongs to the tango curriculum. But take your time. Here come some more modern style suggestions from my own playlists: Feel free to ask per PM, if you like one of this pieces.

    Alas De Tango (2006)
    Lo Hermoso Que Fue (1998)
    Zamba argentina:
    Paris, Texas (2006)
    tango extranjero:
    Cinema Paradiso (2007)
    Stairway To Heaven (2005)
    Milonga Campera:
    El violín de Becho (1982)
    trip-hop, down-beat:
    Roads (1998)
    The book of Love (2004)
  9. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    That doesn´t count for Sentimientos. It was danced to right from it´s release and the composer still is part of the vibrant argentine tango scene, playing either traditional and modern tangos for dancing. The problem is, that in BsAs the different tango scenes are as separated as hardly elsewhere in the world. So die-hard traditionalist will never meet the neo-tango crowd.
  10. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Sentimientos, is a song that I occasionally will play, along with a couple of the other ones the OP listed (Tango to Evora, and Libertango). I also use the Zitarrosa piece you mentioned too, El Violin de Becho.

    When I DJ, my "default" is to play around 20% alternative music. However, I'll vary that (play as little as none or as much as 40%), depending on the expectation of the local milonga, and how the crowd reacts.
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    i love violin de Becho, have a couple of versions
  12. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

  13. Xenophon

    Xenophon Member

    LKSO, Golden Age music is the music of the 40's, or sometimes the period between the mid/late 30's and the early/mid 50's. Despite a few great Pugliese tracks, it was certainly over by the 60's.
  14. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Dren.

    I didn't like the Golden Oldies either in the beginning. I think for many people, they are an "acquired taste". For some people the lack of a drum kit providing the rhythm line is strange. I didn't mind that, but I had a terrible time getting past my dislike of the generally poor quality of the recordings. I'm a lot older than you, and even I was used to FAR better audio quality despite having listened to my parents 78's (do you know what they are?) when I was little.

    Eventually, the music really grew on me. I know some people who actually find the scratchy bad sound to be charming and fun. Personally, I have learned to just ignore that aspect of it as a way to make my peace with the old recordings. I never got to the point of liking the "old" sound quality as part of the experience.

    So give the oldies time... they may grow on you too, once you get accustomed to the very different orchestration and the feeling that you are listening to a really cheap pair of speakers with the woofers blown out.

  15. Dren

    Dren New Member

    Hey everyone, thanks for all the great replies! I'll look into it all more at a later date, because my college semester starts in two days and I'll be busy preparing.

    I will be attending my 3rd argentine tango class/"milonga" on tuesday though.

    I've been watching a bunch of tango videos, looking through music, and just generally researching it more.

    I also found two interesting looking books I bought online too, so that I can fill in the more wordy details in my knowledge that are often lacking in the terse setting of videos and classes (terse for obvious reasons).
  16. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member


    Persistence is a key to success.

    Eventually you will be on social tango track.
    When you'll be ready for it. :D
  17. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    I was once like you. I once found the old stuff "sctratchy" and annoying, preferring the new (Gotan, Bajofondo, Narcotango, etc) genre. Having said that, and knowing what I know now, I learned to appreciate the classic "old stuff" better, and dance exclusively to it. Why? The modern stuff is one dimensional... Like a salsa. There is one consistent rhythm to it (for the most part).

    If you listen to the classical tango (vals and milonga), you'll discover that there are many layers and rhythm changes to the music that will empower you to dance AT in so many different ways to one song. It takes time...
  18. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    I can listen to pop music for only a short while before it gets old because it's shallow music. But tango is classic music and I can listen to it without getting bored of it. It has subtleties that the inexperienced ear will easily miss and these subtleties, when felt, can be expressed in the dance. You'll likely not find these subtleties in electronic tango (or salsa, for that matter.)
  19. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi Ampster, behind that is a the question of good or bad, rather than of new or old !
  20. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Well, there is a trend to a modern music to be shallow and one dimensional so it can be easy consumable.
    I don't say that all new music is shallow, but the shallow ones generally are sold more i.e. more money is made.

    There are various patterns for making shallow hit music and music is generally made this way nowadays.

    As somebody noted that tango is a classic music.
    I was at some classical concerts and now after dancing tango I am able to listen to even some demanding classical pieces.
    I wasn't able to do it before.

    Golden era Tango is to demanding for ordinary listener.
    I know a trained singer who at first thought that all tango is the same,
    but eventually changed her mind. :D
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.

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