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About the Book

Tracing Tangueros offers an inside view of Argentine tango music in the context of the growth and development of the art form’s instrumental and stylistic innovations. The authors trace tango’s historical and stylistic musical trajectory in Argentina, beginning with the guardia nueva’s crystallization of the genre in the 1920s, moving through tango’s Golden Age (1925-1955), and culminating with the “Music of Buenos Aires” today. Through the transmission, discussion, examination, and analysis of scores, manuals of style, archival audio/video recordings, and live video footage of performances and demonstrations, the authors frame and define Argentine tango music as a distinct expression possessing its own musical legacy and characteristic musical elements. Part One establishes parameters for tango studies by describing and defining the art form’s musical elements, historical and stylistic trajectory, and arranging and performance techniques. Part Two provides ten in-depth profiles of representative tangueros within the genre’s historical and stylistic trajectory. The authors trace these tangueros by linking common elements of their compositional techniques and performance practices. For each profile, the authors provide a biographical sketch, define the tanguero’s stylistic traits, and analyze a representative piece including an overview, a listening chart of a specific performance by the tanguero, and a close reading of the score.

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