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Mondays, 20:15-21:45 | via Zoom
Topics for January:
Jan 11: Musical Main Theme - How to build a theme? How to play with it?
Jan 18: Accompaniment - What are the most common patterns? How many different versions of marcato in 4 do we have?
Jan 25: Secondary Themes - The Beauty of Contracanto. When is it happening? I don't hear it - how do I substract all the other voices? How does it effect my dance?
Basics in Musical Understanding
A Kitchen Guide for Tango Dancers
by Helmut Höllriegl | Tango Inside Out
The aim of this music seminar is to enable any interested tango dancer to easily identify the musical phrase and perceive the colours of the music more rich in its full spectrum through understanding how tango music is composed and what we might expect and when.
If you “have the feeling” for the phrase everything will be much easier because you will identify the moments when changes in the music most likely are about to happen. The beginning of the new part, the syncopation, the embellishments, the contracanto... If you don’t understand the phrase it seems anything can happen anytime – which sounds pretty stressful. Anytime the music could stop, anytime a mischievous syncopation could bring you out of the save track. But I can assure you, this is not the case. Like in life many things can been foreseen if you are able to read and understand the signs. What seems to be coincidence turns out to be the consequence of a series of preceding events.
Step I – The components of the dish
If you know the ingredients, you’ll also detect subtle flavours because you know they are there
Most tangos consist of 2 (song form) or 3 (trio form) sections that are referred to as A, B & C. Each section consists of 4 phrases usually, each phrase of 8 strong beats.
The 4 core ingredients to create a tango:
• Main theme (MT)– the musical heart of the section. Colloquially often referred to as the melody
• Accompaniment (A) – providing a frame to the MT. There’s harmonic and rhythmical A, for us dancers we focus mostly on the rhythmical dimension.
Most common patterns: Marcato in 4, marcato in 2, chains of syncopation
• Embellishments & bridges (EB) – the links between the phrases as well as fill ups in the gaps the melody leaves free
• Secondary theme/contracanto (ST) – another substantial musical idea that is introduced in addition to the MT. Can be replacing the MT, equally present or woven in between MT and A
Step II – The kit of preparations
The same ingredients will taste quite differently, depending on the way they were prepared
The dimensions of interpretation:
• Articulation – how the musical text (the score) is realised into sound. Softly, accentuated, dry, full bodied, elegantly, roughly. Musicians love Italian expressions for this: staccato, legato, non legato, portato, tenuto, con slancio, con tenerezza…
• Phrasing – the intention of the musician which notes to relate together --> this creates the waves. Can be forward or holding back.
• Tempo – The inner pulse of the music. Can be constant or more flexible --> Rubato (fraseo)
• Arrangement/orchestration – before performing the orchestra agrees to attribute specific parts to a single instrument (section) --> who is playing a solo, who is taking care of the embellishments or bridges AND very important – where do some instruments take a rest
Held in English
Price: 20 Euro per session (reduction on request)
Block of 5: 90 Euro
Please register per mail.