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HORACIO SALGÁN

TANGO COURSE

3RD. EDITION


Editing design and musical scores: Pablo J. Polidoro A. Graphic design of cover and editing of the 3rd edition: Susana Salgán All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, or archived, whether by mechanical, optical, chemical, or electronic means, without the express permission of the legal owner.

© 2001 Horacio Salgán. All material included in this edition, whether text or musical scores is property of the author. Translation: Will Genz and Marisa Hurtado ISBN: 987-43-3660-9 Legal Registry: 981846


TANGO COURSE BY HORACIO SALGÁN


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Horacio Salgán His Background Horacio Salgán was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 15, 1916. He began his piano studies early on with Professor Luppo. At age 13 he entered the conservatory Conservatorio Municipal, where he took harmony classes with Maestro Serrallach, music theory and solfege with Professor de Ricci, and piano with Maestro Laffratti and Mrs. Amelia Coq de Weigand. Afterward he furthered his training in harmony with Maestro Pedro Rubbione, in counterpoint with Maestro Marcolli, and in piano with Vicente Scaramuzza, Raúl Spivack, and Alejandro Borovsky. He began his career as a professional musician at 14 years of age, playing piano in the movie theater Cine Universal de Villa Devoto (then a theater for silent movies). Also deserving of mention is his performance as an organist, which got its start in the church Iglesia San Antonio de Villa Devoto, continuing later on the radio station “El Mundo”, where he was a permanent organist, and in the movie theater Gran Cine Florida. As a pianist of popular music, his career was multi-faceted, performing as a soloist or accompanist at numerous radio stations (Belgrano, Excelsior, Prieto, Stentor, etc.), as well as in small ensembles and orchestras, able to perform an abundant and varied repertoire of jazz, folk, tango, tropical rhythms, waltzes, milongas, etc. He formed part of Juan Puey's orchestra, accompanied the Martínez-Ledesma duet, participated in the typical tango orchestra of Roberto Firpo, in that of Alberto Cima, and in the “Tropical” orchestra of Juan Ryera, among others.

The Orchestras He formed his own first typical tango orchestra in 1944, performing in that same group until 1947. With this orchestra he played on the radio station “El Mundo”, in tango bars such as Germinal, Nacional, Marzzotto, Tango-Bar, in neighborhood clubs, music halls, and cabaret halls. Besides having great instrumentalists, his orchestra was noted for it's singers, including Lucio Tabares, Carlos Bermúdez, Edmundo Rivero, Héctor Insúa, Oscar Serpa, y Jorge Durán. Horacio Salgán was the person who “discovered” Edmundo Rivero, whose professional singing career began as soon as he joined the orchestra. The ensemble's repertoire was made up mostly of traditional tango arrangements made by Salgán himself. Through the arrangements, he presented a new concept of style which is original and personal, yet solidly linked to the authentic roots of the genre of tango. His renovating tango style made a big impact at the time. The introduction of his first orchestra marks the beginning of the “Salgán Era” as part of the history of the tango, and leads the way for an avant-garde change within the genre. His second orchestra performed between 1950 and 1957. In 1950 Salgán recorded his first record which had two instrumental tangos: “La Clavada” by Zambonini, y “Recuerdo” by Pugliese. Among the singers who performed with the orchestra were: Héctor Insúa, Angel Díaz, Horacio Deval, and Roberto Goyeneche, who, like Rivero before him, was launched into his professional career thanks to Salgán. That same year, in response to a request made by Agha Khan, High Commisioner for Refugees-U.N., the United Nations included the Salgán orchestra on a record entitled “All Stars“, which was made public at the Expo '70 in Osaka, where musicians of the highest caliber came togeth-


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TANGO COURSE BY HORACIO SALGÁN

er, including Ives Montand, Paul Mauriat and his orchestra, Paco de Lucía, and others. Thanks to the launching of that record, the name Salgán achieved international prestige. In 1973 he leads the orchestra again on an LP recording called “Los Cosos de Buenos Aires”, a work comprised of twelve of his own compositions, with words by Roberto Lambertucci. The piece is a musical caricature of the personages of Buenos Aires who are interpreted by the singer Miguel MonteroIn 1973 he leads the orchestra again on an LP recording called “Los Cosos de Buenos Aires”, a work comprised of twelve of his own compositions, with words by Roberto Lambertucci. The piece is a musical caricature of the personages of Buenos Aires who are interpreted by the singer Miguel Montero. In celebration of Salgán's “50 Years in Music” (1980), the Presidente Alvear Theater invited him to play the piano and conduct the Orquesta de Tango de Buenos Aires, of which he was a founding member. In 1981 he took his orchestra on an extended tour of Japan, traveling some 16,000 kilometers in 65 days, and performing in all the major cities.

Salgán-De Lío Duo In 1957 Salgán created a long-lasting musical bond with the distinguished guitarist Ubaldo De Lío and they performed together in the tango bar “Jamaica”, the same place where they first met. In a short time they began playing in various halls, clubs, and theaters throughout country, as well as on radio stations and on television. Their first record was a 45” on the Philips label and had four pieces. Ella Fitzgerald, upon hearing the duo in 1965 when she happened to be performing in Buenos Aires, showed her admiration for them by coming before Mr. Norman Granz, owner of the Verve recording label, so that the duo from Argentina could record an LP in the U.S.A. Her request was granted, and the LP was recorded with the title “A Buenos Aires de las tres de la mañana” (name of a tango by Adolfo Ábalos, also included on the record). In 1974 the Salgán-De Lío Duo performed for the U.S. President Gerald Ford, Ambassador Orfila, and other high-ranking officials at the “Retorno al Tango” (Return to Tango) event which was held at the Argentine Embassy in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. In 1982 they played in Paris at the Trottoirs de Buenos Aires bar, where Salgán's personal style left a lasting impression on the Parisian public. Music critics responded as follows. The International Herald Tribune from February 17, of that year said, among other things, “…Horacio Salgán is one of the most notable tango pianists… His contemporary sensitivity, delicate touch, lyrical expression, and his harmonic and melodic brilliance include remnants of Ravel, ragtime, and Bill Evans…”. In the prestigious newspaper Le Monde from February 7, the critic Claudio Flouter wrote the following: “…Horacio Salgán creates a new kind of tango, rooted deeply in his music, yet receptive to Bartok, Ravel, jazz, and Brazilian music…” In 1983 the duo returned to the City of Lights, this time incorporating the cast from “Tango Argentino”, a show created by Claudio Segovia and Héctor Orezzolli, where they performed in the Chatelet Theater. On this occasion as well, the critics gave full praise to the work and interpretation of Salgán. With “Tango Argentino”, he and De Lio return to Paris in 1984 to the Chatelet Theater and then embarked on an extended tour throughout France, including the cities of Lyon, Nimes, Grenoble and finishing in the Italian city of Bari. They traveled again in 1985 with “Tango Argentino”, this time to Italy to perform in the Bi-annual show in Venice, Bologna, Milan, and Rome. In 1988 the duo returned to the Trottoirs de Buenos Aires bar, this time filming two videos for French television and performing on the on the most important radio stations. They also recorded their first CD for the French label Circe.


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In March, 1999, they presented a concert in the Segundo Festival Internacional de Tango in Granada, Spain. Between May and June of that same year, they performed in Miami and New Orleans, U.S.A

Quinteto Real In 1960 the Quinteto Real recorded their first LP of the same name and the following year their second album entitled, “Su Majestad el Tango” on the CBS Columbia label. In 1964 the group took its first tour to Japan, taking the opportunity to record two LP's on the CBS label entitled, “Quinteto Real en Japón”, volumes 1 and 2. Thanks to the success of their previous tour, they returned to Japan in 1966 and 1969, performing in major theaters and for the television network “NHK”. The musical activity of the Quinteto Real, whose members included Salgán, De Lio, Francini, Laurenz, and Ferro, replaced later by Quicho Díaz and then by Murtagh, continued uninterrupted between 1960 and 1970. Their repertoire was put together by Salgán himself, using his arrangements of popular tango melodies, milongas, waltzes, and his own pieces, in versions made especially for the group.

Salgán-Amicarelli Duo Dante Amicarelli, distinguished pianist and composer, proposed forming a piano duo to Salgán in 1969. They created their own repertoire, utilizing themes from classical music, popular melodies, jazz, Brazilian music, including tangos, waltzes, and folk rhythms such as zamba, chacarera, malambo, and litoraleña. The results of their work together were two LP's recorded on the Phillips label. The first of them, “Salgán-Amicarelli: Dos Virtuosos del Piano” dates from the year 1970 and the second, “El Bosque Mágico” from the year 1971. They are two testimonies to the range of musical expression that was achieved by this singular piano duo, made up of two talented musicians who gave a noticeable contribution of pianistic and musical art with these interpretations.

The Arrangements At 20 years of age, Horacio Salgán made his first arrangement for the Miguel Caló Orchestra. The piece was a tango by Fransisco Canaro titled, “Los Indios”, wherein, as in following ones, his name does not appear. He took his arranging to a new level when he formed his first orchestra, achieving brilliant successes by presenting versions of renewed and exalted popular themes. To date, Salgán has written close to four hundred musical arrangements. These include versions for solo piano, piano and guitar, two pianos, ensembles (quintet, sextet, and septet), even arrangements for orchestra as well as orchestra and vocal soloist. In addition, his work covers many musical genres: tangos, waltzes, milongas, folk music, etc. His new versions of “classic” popular compositions have had such an impact in the field that many pieces are no longer performed in their original version, but rather in Salgán's, considered to be the definitive one.

His Work Of the vast musical production of Horacio Salgán, a large part remains currently unpublished. Being a well-known tango musician has allowed him to bring forth many noteworthy, fundamental pieces such as: “A Fuego Lento”, “Del 1 al 5”, “A Don Augustín Bardi”, “Grillito”, “La llamo sil-


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bando”, “Aquellos Tangos Camperos”, “Mis Calles Porteñas”, “Tango del Eco”, “Tu Romanza”, “Un Tango en la Madrugada”, “Homenaje a Pedro Laurenz”, “A Plazo Fijo”. His stylistic approach draws on a solid “classical” musical education (piano, harmony, counterpoint, and orchestration classes) furthered by his deep, pronounced love and respect for “popular” music, and a certain “touch” that was identified by the French critic Claude Flouter as a direct, clearly illuminated heritage of his rich, profound rhythmic conception All these elements, in addition to the natural and undoubted talent make up his style, his particular language, his genuine and unique “musical esthetic”. Works that deserve mention from his piano folk music include: “Aire de Vidalita”, “La Dolorida” (zamba), “Cuenta la Zamba un Día…”, “La Navidad del Changuito”(zamba), “El Bosque Mágico” (litoraleña), “Malambo de la Campanas”, “Para siempre Chacarera”, “Zamba de los Luneros”, “La Poesía de la Zamba”, and his “Suite Argentina” (chacarera, zamba, and malambo) for ensemble. Of his compositions with words: “El Pirulero” (zamba with words by Salgán), “Mimí-Fasolfá” (chacarera with words by Salgán, for orchestra and vocal soloist), “Tamborcito de los Coyas” (carnavalito with words by Dalessandro), “Y me quedo aquí” (zamba with words by Lima Quintana). In Brazilian music, he has such pieces as “Chöro en Fa sostenido” (for piano), “Carnaval de Río de Janeiro” (samba for piano), “El Ensueño de Bahía” (bossa-nova), “El Samba tiene razón” (samba), “Mi Conejo” (Chöro for piano), “Simplísimo” (samba for piano).

Oratorio Carlos Gardel The “Oratorio Carlos Gardel” is one of Salgán's great works (with words by Horacio Ferrer) for symphonic orchestra, mixed chorus, vocal soloists, and narrator. The piece has eight movements. Each of them has a theme or main motive which represents different times and stages in the life of Carlos Gardel. The “Oratorio Carlos Gardel” was premiered in December, 1975, in Mar Del Plata, Argentina, accompanied by the Orquesta Sinfónica Mar Del Plata conducted by Maestro Guillermo Scarabino and the choirs of Mar del Plata and Balcarce. In September, 1977, the piece was presented in the SODRE Theater in Montevideo, Uruguay, and in Mendoza, Argentina. In 1985 it was performed in the Colon Theater in Buenos Aires with the Orquesta Filarmónica, conducted by Maestro Calderón. In 1990, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Carlos Gardel, the oratorio was recorded by the Orquesta Sinfónica and the Coro Polifónico Nacional of Argentina under the direction of Maestro Simón Blech. The soloists were: Salgán on piano, De Lío on guitar, Leopoldo Federico on bandoneon, and Ferrer as narrator. The following year the work was edited in Europe and it was recently produced by the “Melopea” label on records, CD's, and cassettes in Argentina.

Awards and Distinctions • Diapasón de Plata, given by the Festival de Coros in San Jorge, Santa Fe, Argentina. • Gold Medal of the Caballero del Bombo Legüero, from the Ábalos Brothers. • International “Carlos Gardel” Award, from Interpress. • Phillips Golden Record. • Obelisco de Plata, from Mariano Marcolla. • “Korn” Press Medal.


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• “Castello Vecchio” Plaque. • Grand Prize of Honor, from the Sociedad Argentina de Autores y Compositores (SADAIC). • SODRA Prize of Merit (Newspaper, Magazine, and Related items Distributor's Society). • Plaque from the “Min-On” Association, Japan. • Carlos Gardel Prize, from the Centro Cultural Argentino de Tango. • Platinum “KONEX” from the Konex Foundation 1985 - 1995 - 2005. • Diamond “KONEX” from the Konex Foundation 2005. • Grand Prize for Best Tango Performer, from SADAIC. • “Los Mejores” Prize awarded by “Casablanca”. • “Distinguished Visitor” Degree from Miami County, Florida, U.S.A. • Foundation Roberto Firpo Cup. • “Quijote” from the Fundación de la Casa del Tango • Medal from the City Government of Granada, Spain. • Medal from the Municipality of Avellaneda, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina • “Movimiento Cultural Tango” Plaque. • Miami Technical College Plaque. • Plaque from the Association and Magazine “Los del Tango”. • RCA Argentina label Plaque. • Designated “Illustrious Citizen of the City Buenos Aires” in 1990 by the Honorable City Council Speaker. • Grand Prize for Best National Author of the SADAIC, Argentina (1992). • “Lobo de Mar a la Cultura” Prize. • Prize from the Octeto Académico de Caracas. • Medal from the Honorable Chamber of Representatives of Argentina. • Rotary Club Plaque. • Distinction from the Secretary of Culture in the City Government of Buenos Aires with the motive “Jornadas Iberoamericanas de Educación Artistíca”, as “Maestro del Arte” (1999) • Recognition from the United Nations for his valuable contribution to Argentine Society. • Grand Prize CAMU-UNESCO (2000). • Proposed for the Latin Grammy (2000). • Received a bust of himself made by the sculptor Coca Ocampo (2002). • Prize from the newspaper Clarín as “La Figura de Tango del año 2002”. • An event in his honor, held at Government House in Argentina, at the initiative of former President Dr. Carlos Saúl Menem. • Clarin Newspaper Award 2008. • Received the Brillant Konex Award. • Parchment tribute from Bergara Leuman. • In 2009 received again the award from Clarin Newspaper. • AADI Plate, Argentina Association of Interpreters. • In 2010 is established the National Award of Tango "Horacio Salgán." • Received the award "Roots". • Award "Statuette of the Effigy of the Republic" delivered by Ms. President of the Nation Cristina Kirchner. • Award Maria Guerrero. • Bicentennial Award - Government of Buenos Aires - August 2010. • Named Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Music Argentina. • In 2011 again received the Grand Award from the National Arts Fundation.


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Horacio Salgán have been added over time awards and accolades almost without interruption. The Secretariat of Culture of the Nation has distinguished him as Emeritus of Culture Argentina.

Opinions and Commentaries •“…He knows everything that needs to be known and creates his work with the prestige of a classical musician.” • “As pianists, we all owe something to Salgán, who I believe is the number one pianist in Argentina and is better than a Bill Evans, and is one of the best pianists in the world.” (Osvaldo Tarantino, tango pianist). •“Salgán is the most valuable pillar to the music of Buenos Aires… He's got it all…and he gave it all to us.” - (Aníbal Troilo) • “…Salgán's work often escapes being classified as specifically 'popular'. There is a tango by him, 'Don Agustín Bardi', in which he exhibits a great pianistic ability, being both difficult and innovating at the same time.”. • “Arthur Rubinstein, who only interpreted classical pieces but whose curiosity attracted him to all music, asked me on one occasion to play 'Don Augustín Bardi' and he loved it and wanted to learn to play it. Another tango lover was Stravinsky. He wrote one and I remember him, already old and in his wheelchair, asking me to play music of Salgán for him.” -Lalo Schiffrin, statements made for the magazine Clásica, December, 1992, in an interview in New York, U.S.A. • When Maestro Ricardo Hegman from the Universidad Maimónides participated in Arthur Rubinstein's master classes, Rubinstein said on various occasions, “ listen to Salgán.” • “Salgán is a genius. I want to bring him to New York so he can play. I only want to see him on stage at Lincoln Center making his music. I love what he does. I dream about that. I would do anything to honor that musician.” - (Winton Marsalis). • In the Colon Theater in Buenos Aires, in an encore ending one of his concerts, the great pianist Jean Yves Thibaudet, dedicated the “Claire du Lune” by Claude Debussy to Horacio Salgán and in another concert the Nocturne in Eb by Chopin. • The great Maestro Daniel Barenboim said, “Horacio Salgán's art is unique. Rhythm, melody, and harmony come together as if they were one. I admire him greatly, I love him a lot, and I envy…a little…his total mastery”. • Jean Yves Tibaudet said: "...Knowing him enriched my life." • There is a film in process for a movie titled "Salgán y Salgán," that has as protagonists Horacio Salgán and his son César Salgán. • Is notable that, Edmundo Rivero and Roberto Goyeneche after performing with the Orchestra of Horacio Salgán, went to perform with the orchestra of Anibal Troilo.


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INDEX TANGO COURSE A PROLOGUE

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -15

SECTION 1 CHAPTER 1: TANGO COURSE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -19 The word “Tango” - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -20 The Use of Different Time Signatures in Tango Writing - - - - - - - -22 An Indisputable Influence - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -22 Special Characteristics of the Tango Accompaniment - - - - - - - - -24 CHAPTER 2: THE EVOLUTION OF THE TANGO - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -26 The Decarean Period - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -26 The Decade of the 1940's - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -26 CHAPTER 3: THE CREATION OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF POPULAR MUSIC - -28 CHAPTER 4: DIFFERENT TYPES OF TANGO - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -32 Melodic Tango - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -32 The Melody - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -33 Exposition of the Theme by the Piano - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -34 The Accompaniment in the Melodic Tango - - - - - - - - - - - - - -35 The Bass in the Harmony and Accompaniment - - - - - - - - - - -36 Rhythmic Tango - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -37 CHAPTER 5: FREQUENTLY-USED ELEMENTS IN THE TANGO - - - - - - - - - -40 The Counterpart or Counter-melody - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -40 The Variation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -40 Phrasing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -41 Percussion effects - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -45 Freestyle Percussion Effects The Percussion Effect of the Double Bass - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -46 Frequently-used Rhythmic Patterns In The Accompaniment - - -46 Variants of the “Four” and the “Syncope” - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -48


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CHAPTER 6: HARMONY - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -52 Closing Chords and Transitional Chords - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -53 Review - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -55

SECTION 2: INSTRUMENTATION

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -57

Accents, Ties, and Typical Tango Phrasing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -59 CHAPTER 7: THE PIANO - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -60 The Piano's Roles in a Tango Orchestra - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -60 Accompaniment - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -60 Accompanying the Staccato Passages - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -60 The Piano in the Slurred Passages of the Orchestra - - - - - - - - -60 Transitional Passages - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -61 Bell Effects - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -61 The Melody in the Piano - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -61 Review - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -64 The Variation played by the Piano - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -65 CHAPTER 8: THE STRING INSTRUMENTS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -66 The Melody - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -66 Violins Alone - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -66 Violins and Viola in Unison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -67 Violins, Viola, and Cello in Unison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -67 The Melody played by the Strings in Two Octaves - - - - - - - - -68 The Melody played by the Strings in Three Octaves - - - - - - - -69 Chord Tones Reinforced by the Strings - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -72 Rhythmic Motives - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -74 The Variation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -75 The Melody in Multiple Instruments - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -77 Harmonic Background played by the Strings - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -79 String Instruments playing Pizzicato - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -82 The Cello - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -84 The Double Bass - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -84 The Accompaniment in the Strings - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -85 CHAPTER 9: THE SLIDE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -86


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The Double Bass - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -87 The Cello - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -87 The “Anticipation” in the Bandoneons - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -88 The “Anticipation” in the Piano - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -88 The “Anticipation” in the Syncope - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -89 CHAPTER 10: THE BANDONEON - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -90 The Melody - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -90 The Melody in all Four Bandoneons - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -90 Harmonic Background - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -94 The Variation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -97 “Canto y Bajo” - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -98 CHAPTER 11: THE GUITAR - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -103 CHAPTER 12: THE BASS CLARINET

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -104

CHAPTER 13: THE ORCHESTRA - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -107 CHAPTER 14: ANALYSIS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -109 Arrangement of the Tango “Sobre el Pucho” - - - - - - - - - - - - - -109 A few important Annotations - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -109 Arrangement of the Tango“Soy del '90”(by Tito Ribero and Waiss)115 “Soy del '90”, Second Fragment (special) - - - - - - - - - - - - - -120 Arrangement of the Tango “Trenzas” - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -128 Arrangement of the Tango “El Motivo” - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -129 Arrangement of the Tango “Chiclana” by De Caro - - - - - - - - - -132 CHAPTER 15: FINAL NOTES - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -133 Incorrect Harmonic Resolutions, accepted in Conventional Practice -133 Some Guidelines for making an Arrangement - - - - - - - - - - - - - -134 APPENDIX ADDITIONAL MUSICAL EXAMPLES - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -137 CD CONTENTS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -146 BIBLIOGRAPHY - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -147


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A PROLOGUE Writing this tango course is both an obligation and a great pleasure for me. It is an obligation because I would like to contribute something (of all the things that I owe) in return as an appreciation of having been fortunate enough to educate myself in the orchestras, where I learned to play tango. The orchestras were a crucible where the ideas of its members and/or other creative musicians experimented, played, and came together to create playing styles, rhythmic forms, etc. These contributions were what took the tango, little by little, to such a high musical level. Nowadays, it is not at all easy to belong to an orchestra, considering the fact that so few can subsist. This makes it more difficult for those who want to have careers in tango music to acquire the vast knowledge necessary for playing and interpreting it. Let us not forget that the orchestras have always been the best schools for such an apprenticeship. It is also a great pleasure to be able to transmit and share that what I have learned, trying always not to leave anything out (that is my real intention) by relying on my memory which fortunately still helps me. I never intended for my conclusions to be taken as the absolute truth, nor wanted to win something over anyone, in anything. This course just shows my position, and the ideas with which I have always worked. We will deal here with the tango in versions which, in my understanding, are genuine manifestations of itself. I love the tango because I love good music, and I got into it to learn to play it, not to change it. If my versions and arrangements have something different about them, it is only because this is my language, and I have expressed myself through it. I will also talk about the incorporation of new contributions and changes, as long as they are authentic within the genre. The many streams of opinion may or may not coincide with what will be said in this course. Considering the broadness of the theme and the flexibility which should govern artistic creation, other concepts may prove constructive as well. I sincerely hope that this course will be useful to someone,

Horacio Salgรกn.


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TANGO COURSE BY HORACIO SALGÁN


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TANGO COURSE CHAPTER 1


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CHAPTER 1

TANGO COURSE Upon making the decision to prepare this tango course, there were two things to consider. I had to choose between merely explaining how to deal with the elements that make up an arrangement, accompaniment, or instrumentation, (without adding too many comments to the examples of each) or elaborating upon those examples in order to give a clear idea of how to properly use such material. I have opted for the latter, considering the fact that the intention of this book is not only to inform but to also fundamentally educate the scholar, and given the need to clarify certain concepts. In other words, to have musical information, for example knowing many chords, is the same as having the pieces of a big puzzle. The puzzle may only be put together correctly with the proper musical training. Thus, with the intent of this course being the performance of the tango rather than an exhaustive study of its history, we will only dwell on those aspects which are useful for its performance. Our learning will be based on clear and definitive concepts. Before getting into the material at hand, I need to touch on the difference between the early tango, accompanied by the Habanera rhythm, and the tango in its more modern version, with a 4/4 accompaniment. The latter rhythm in “four” has since had many varieties of rhythmic figures added to it. The difference between one tango period and the other is such that at times it is difficult to establish a connection between the two, save for the melodies. This is due to evolutionary changes which have had their effect on the genre. Below is a reference to the Habanera rhythm, the earliest accompaniment to the tango. In the ANTOLOGÍA DEL TANGO RIOPLATENSE, an excellent anthology by the INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE MUSICOLOGÍA “CARLOS VEGA”, we find the following information: “Most certainly originating from the English Country Dance, we find it warmly received in France toward the end of the 17th Century; later it heads to America, where it is transformed into the Cuban contradanza in the 19th Century. This produces two sub-species: one of them, the 2/4, later results in the Habanera… The Habanera is taken to Europe and is widely accepted; the stylized version is then converted into a ballroom dance, arriving in Río de La Plata, where it is taken in as one of the celebrated dances… This complex process of coming and going will be repeated several times during the course of the period which our analysis will cover. Alejo Carpentier, known musicologist and Cuban writer, pointed out this mechanism…” That is to say, the tango's first form of accompaniment was the Habanera, stylized in Europe, with the connection between them perhaps being furthered by the Tango Andaluz and the Zarzuela music from Spain. Many fans of the Zarzuela consider it to be among the first genres to have tango composers, for example Don Feliciano Latasa, born in San Sebastian, Spain, who wrote the tango “Gran Hotel Victoria”.


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TANGO COURSE BY HORACIO SALGÁN

The prestigious musicologist Carlos Vega maintains that the Habanera accompaniment used in the early period of the tango comes from the Tango Andaluz. Others claim that the Milonga also had a possible influence on the Habanera. In the end there are many opinions, which is why I refer to the Antología del Tango Rioplatense which states conclusively: “The dances - choreography and music - have a random existence in general. They suffer stylistic modifications, morphologic adjustments, name changes, and they vary in their residence. It would be useless to try and determine a single retrospective path which leads to their origins… The history of the contradanza, which we just saw, gives us an example of these processes…” The Habanera accompaniment remained in the tango for only a short time. When the tango finally established itself in the musical genre that we know today, it abandoned the Habanera rhythm, which now only seldom appears. I think it is very important and necessary to remind the reader that when talking about such topics where it is impossible to obtain exact information we must be very careful not to come to the wrong conclusion. Unfortunately, we find ourselves repeating facts and figures that have not been categorically proven. Also, due to preconceived notions about a certain topic, one may vacillate and totally lose the impartiality needed to observe, analyze, and come to fair and sensible conclusions. It is for this reason that I am determined to consistently base my conclusions on concrete, provable facts whenever I can. I may or may not have a favorable opinion about something, and while I may be right or wrong, it is nonetheless merely an opinion. On the other hand, a fact that can be proven is much more valuable in helping to uncover the truth. Naturally, I am referring to such topics which may be analyzed in such an objective manner according to their characteristics. Within the broad realm of the ideas and speculations of the mind we cannot utilize the same parameters. I make these clarifications because some of the items we are about to deal with have given rise to numerous controversies, which will undoubtedly be put to rest once we take a calm look at the facts.

THE WORD “TANGO” “Tango” is a term used by many different communities and it has many meanings. It has been used to designate a place to dance for the colored people in old Buenos Aires, to denote the Tango Andaluz, as a name of a region in Japan close to Osaka, and even as the name of a Samurai's son in the movie “RAN” by Akiro Kurosawa, etc. However, none of these names have any relationship to our tango music, at least the latter ones. Another point which should be made clear is that the tango, especially in its formative beginnings, has never included a single percussion instrument. We know very well that the groups formed in the early days of the tango generally consisted of flute, clarinet, guitar, etc., to which were later added the bandoneon, piano, etc. Castanets, maracas, tambourine, snare drums, bongo drums, field drums, and bass drums were never present in the early tango groups. For those interested in authenticating this, there is reliable proof from recordings and information from scores which will affirm the previous statements. In the 1930's and 40's, approximately, orchestras such as that of Osvaldo Fresedo and Francisco Canaro added drum sets to their ensembles as a means of reinforcing the four quarter note beats in each measure and the syncopated accompaniment of the piano, double-bass, and/or bandoneons.


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For a long time I have sustained through published articles that it is possible that the percussion intervened in the tango orchestras as a means of giving more freedom to the piano, double-bass, or bandoneons so that they may fulfill other roles within the ensemble. At this point the percussion ceases to be simply reinforcement. Instead, the percussion takes on total independence, giving room for innumerable innovations in the tango which represent an important enrichment in its rhythm. In 1961 I wrote two tangos in order to show this idea. They were based on a new rhythm, which I came up with, and included two components: 1. The lyrics, which I wrote, contain phrases of a certain length, and words which are onomatopoetic in order to further accentuate the rhythm of the percussion. 2. I added a vocal ensemble of three singers who sing the aforementioned rhythmic syllable. The vocal ensemble either alternated with the soloists or the two sang simultaneously. I gave this rhythm the name el balanceo (the rocking) or la gota de agua (the drop of water), depending on whether or not wood blocks were used. I avoided using the drum set, which is strongly linked to jazz, both because it would have perhaps been rejected at the time, and as an effort to maintain a national origin whenever possible. I incorporated an instrument from our folk music called the legüero drum in the tangos “Tango del Balanceo” and “Con Bombo Legüero”. These were recorded on Phillips (Record No. 8305B) and include Adolfo Ávalos playing the legüero drum, and the vocal ensemble made up of Luis Ordóñez, Romana Farrés, and Marta Quintana. • Audio example #1: “Con Bombo Legüero”.

The rhythmic idea is shown as follows, with the numbering of the wood blocks corresponding to their sounds, one being the lowest pitch and five being the highest:

There were many variations made upon this rhythm. After it was established, several years went by before I used it again, though it was utilized by other groups. Then, in 1974 I included this rhythm in the 6th movement of my symphonic work “Oratorio Carlos Gardel”. In this manner, percussion was added to the tango as an independent entity, which nowadays is commonplace within the genre. Of course, the tango may be performed without percussion, and it will not feel like anything is missing. On the other hand, if another rhythm such as tropical music has the percussion taken away, then it loses one of its fundamental elements.

Nota: Los Maestros Daniel Barenboim, el Octeto Académico de Caracas y los 12 Violoncellos de la Filarmónica de Berlín, y otros grandes músicos, me han hecho el honor de grabar obras mías, merced a las excelentes orquestaciones y arreglos del Maestro José Carli.


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In order for me to start referring to tangible facts, let us clarify aspects related to the writing and performance of the tango.

THE USE OF DIFFERENT TIME SIGNATURES IN TANGO COMPOSITIONS The question often arises, in reference to the writing of tango music, which time signature is most appropriate. The time signature of the Habanera is 2/4. This time signature of 2/4 was still being used even after the rhythm of the accompaniment switched to the “four” pattern. Later, considering the fact that the tango was being played using four eighth notes to the measure but counted in 2/4, the time signature was changed to 4/8. Nowadays the tango uses the time signature of 4/4. This came about for reasons of practicality, considering that in passages with fast notes such as in the variation sections the sixteenth-notes are clearer to play and are less laborious for the composer than the thirty-second notes used previously. The most important aspect in this case is the sound, that is to say how it sounds. Is there any difference in the way a tango is played, whether its time signature is 2/4, 4/8, or 4/4? Absolutely not. Obviously we are talking here about the tangos written after those of the Habanera style. We should note that some classical composers use certain notes, such as the whole note, half note, quarter note, etc., in an untraditional manner. For example, Beethoven used quarter notes in his fast movements, such as the Scherzos from Symphonies No. 3 and No. 7, and then used thirty-second notes when writing slow movements, such as the Largo movement from his Piano Sonata No. 7 in D Major, op. 10. The note values that are to be used depend on the tempo indication given at the start of the movement, whether Allegro, Lento, Presto, etc. In practice, the use of a certain time signature in the tango has neither altered nor influenced its performance nor its spirit.

AN INDISPUTABLE INFLUENCE I think it is necessary to highlight a source of influence in the tango which is of transcendental importance and has not received the treatment it deserves when attempting to determine the origin of the elements which came together and made the tango into what it is. I am referring to the music of the people from the interior provinces of Argentina. This influence has been clearly present ever since the first years of the creation of the tango, in the socalled Guardia Vieja period. The mere titles of tangos from this era show the influence of the rural communities and their music. For example, “El Pial” (the lasso), “El Baqueano” (the guide from La Pampa), “El Cuatrero” (the cow thief), “Se han sentado las Carretas”, “ El Buey Solo”, “El Entrerriano” (the man from Entre Rios), “El Jagüel” (the watering hole), “El Palenque” (the hitching post), are only a few of the many compositions having a provincial title and character. On a purely musical and artistic level, a composition's title matters little if it does not contain elements which justify it. Some of the melodic phrases used in the tangos of the Guardia Vieja either come from or are inspired by Estilos, Vidalitas and Canciones Camperas. Songs of this style were written by the most prestigious composers of the era. These melodies, and above all the atmosphere which they carry, clearly show that the rural influence was a fundamental element in the tango. They deserve an extensive study and analysis.


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Now that we have briefly outlined the first period of the tango, we will see how a gradual change in its accompaniment turned out to be a great event, opening the door to a new genre. This change allowed for infinite possibilities which took the genre to a new musical plateau of the highest level. This opinion is shared by great musicians such as Arthur Rubinstein, Igor Stravinsky, Salvatore Accardo, and the famous pianist Jean-Yves Thibault, and is expressed in the world's important journals including “Le Figaro”, “The Herald”, “Le Monde”, etc. Now, in the 21st century, the performances and recordings of eminent musicians such as Daniel Barenboim, Gideon Kramer, Yo-Yo Ma, the Octeto Academic de Caracas, The 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic, and others contribute to its prestige. The transcending change of accompaniment occurred when the accompaniment of four beats (in a 2/4 measure this would mean four eighth notes) alternated with the Habanera rhythm. This “four” pattern remained the definitive one. The Habanera accompaniment now only seldom appears in the tango. Another rhythm which was incorporated into the tango is the “syncope”, though there are other numerous combinations and variants. To illustrate the magnificent contributions of the “four” pattern, one only needs to play the melody of a great tango, for example the trio from “Los Mareados” by Juan Carlos Cobián and with words by Enrique Cadícamo, first using the Habanera rhythm and then using the “four” rhythm. Besides being a dance, the tango has among its important merits a profound emotional content of people's moods in different races and cultures.That explains its success in Finland and in Japan, in France as well as in Norway It is only after the accompaniment was changed from the Habanera to the “four” that the tango's many possibilities were to be realized. In audio examples #2 and #3 from “Los Mareados”, we can appreciate the difference between the two versions of this tango, played first with an accompaniment of the Habanera, and then “in four”. The advent of this transformation can be noted as early as 1910 in “El Pardo Cejas” (example #34 in the Antología del Tango Rioplatense) by Prudencio Aragón and in “Tinta Verde” by Augustín Bardi (1915). By observing at the scores of these pieces, one can clearly deduce that the “four” pattern replaces the Habanera accompaniment. It appears that it was in the orchestra of Eduardo Arolas where this important change was first noticed. From the Antología del Tango Rioplatense: “The analyzed recordings of this orchestra (1913, 1914, 1917, and 1918) present peculiarities in their performance which distinguish it from other orchestras. In the first place, the tempo of their playing is noticeable; this orchestra interpreted the tango slower during this period until 1920. …Besides the aforementioned tempo and the way it sounded, is the unmistakable scheme (of four eighth notes) in its rhythmic foundation, generally played without placing emphasis on it, and the incipient use of dynamics and variations in tempo as a means of expression.” In addition to the fact that the rhythm in “four” began to be used in Arolas' orchestra, it was also present in the other composers and performers of the era mentioned earlier. This fundamental change allowed the tango to reach a musical plateau filled with rhythmic and melodic possibilities, which placed it among the world's great musical creations. In his movie “The Love of Life” (1968, Directed by S.G. Patris and Francois Reichenbach), Arthur Rubinstein plays part of a tango and then says “Think about whether or not this theme is on par with a Beethoven Sonata.”.


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TANGO COURSE BY HORACIO SALGÁN

SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TANGO ACCOMPANIMENT The tango has some very unique characteristics. Its rhythm has no known lineages, unlike other popular genres, and thus it would appear that its creation is totally original. There is no other rhythm that resembles it, and, if by chance there were a similar rhythm (we have yet to know of one), it would most likely not contain such varied rhythm, emotive quality, expression, or words as the tango. Some tangos have lyrics which even may be considered on par with actual poetry. However, one thing that distinguishes the tango among other genres is the relationship between the melody and the accompaniment. I will give a hypothetical example which may prove to be clearer and more eloquent than many theoretical explanations: Suppose I receive a phone call from someone who has composed a waltz and who asks me to prepare an accompaniment for it. The caller tells me that the first measure is in the tonic, the second is in the dominant, the third is in the tonic, the fourth is in the dominant, and then it resolves to the tonic in the fifth measure. Being that it is a typical waltz and has no special requirements, surely the accompaniment which I would prepare would coincide with the proposed melody without my necessarily having to hear it previously. Adding a customary bass line and two accompanying chords per measure (in 3/4) would be a simple matter. However, something very different would turn out if the caller were to request a tango accompaniment, because it would be vital for me to hear the melody in order to arrive at the appropriate accompaniment. This is due to the fact that a tango's accompaniment must be, in one way or another, a consequence of the melody.

We see that the accompaniment alternates between the “four” and the “syncope”, yet, in addition to these rhythms, there are a great many other accompanying rhythmical segments which add a degree of difficulty to their incorporation, both through their abundance (though this can be a big advantage as well) and the manner in which they are to be properly used and combined. The only orchestras which utilized almost exclusively the “four” and the “syncope” were those who performed the tango in a manner that was easy to dance to. This resulted in performances that were too uniform due to the repetition of those few rhythms, especially considering that the genre has so many other resources available. In order to play or arrange a tango, we should interpret the meaning and the emotional content of its music. One should determine whether it has to do with a melodic theme or a rhythmic theme, and try to “feel” what the composer was trying to convey through the piece, in order to then complete it with the most fitting accompaniment. . The culmination of all these elements is what we refer to by “interpretation” and they should all be present in the tango. That is why its performance and arranging ends up being so difficult. I have always been thoroughly convinced that without interpretation, there is no music. Tangos generally have individuality, even those by the same composer. For example, “Tierrita” and “Nunca Tuvo Novio” are dissimilar, even though they are both by Agustín Bardi.


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Just because one can use copious amounts of musical elements does not mean that every arrangement or performance necessarily has to be complicated or overly challenging. Rimsky-Korsakov stated succinctly, “Sometimes one can add a lot of notes, but sometimes it is better not to.” An artistic creation should not confine itself to a prearranged formula, unless it has to do with a musical form such as a Fugue or a Sonata, etc.) The imagination should be allowed to run free without one being determined to make something that is necessarily easy or hard. Everything must arise out of the same piece if it is to be authentic and inspiring. Be well aware that the richer a melody is, the more prudent and measured the accompanying elements should be, in order to not overload the theme. Nothing should distort or obscure its beauty. That way, it may come forth naturally and without any unnecessary additions. On the other hand, the use of the “four” and the “syncope” must never be ignored. These rhythmic schemes function to center the tango, and thereby set and define the genre. They simply must be placed opportunely among the other elements. When used alone, the “four” and the “syncope” work well when accompanying a singer or a solo instrument. They also made possible the use of characteristic lyrics particular to the Guardia Vieja period, which often have a humorous tone, as do the score covers. This new poetic style of words used in the tango would never have been able to express its beauty if the lyrics had been sung in the old Guardia Vieja style and with the Habanera accompaniment and rhythm.

Profile for Horacio Salgán

Tango Course by Horacio Salgán  

The book "Tango Course" by Horace Salgán is the first written from a technical-musical perspective that exposes all his knowledge in the con...

Tango Course by Horacio Salgán  

The book "Tango Course" by Horace Salgán is the first written from a technical-musical perspective that exposes all his knowledge in the con...

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