Tango Argentino > El Choclo: A Musical Analysis

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by tangomonkey, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. ant

    ant Member

    With your avatar I would be a bit careful on that score.
  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Hopefully, one from out of left field remark won't derail what has been a very informative thread.
  3. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    Oh no. That isn't the reason I'm hesitating. I very much would like to share some of the things I've learned and the process I use. I owe many people in this forum some payback. I sense there is a prevalent belief that detailed study of the music is not required. I will gladly continue, shifting focus to specific performances of Section A, how each band does something different and how their uniqueness is achieved. And then, most importantly, how we might use our newly gained analytically found knowledge, on the dance floor.

    I'd like to see lots of discussion, which hasn't happened much so far.
  4. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    I see there have been over 1150 views in three days. Must be some interest out there...

    By the way Steve, what constitutes a "view"? Is is just a count of the number of times the thread has been clicked on?
  5. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Required? No. Interesting? Useful? Informative? Yes to all three.
  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    OT: I've wondered about that myself. If you do the division you find that only a very small percentage of viewers ever comment, which I find hard to believe. I wonder if every time a page is clicked every comment in the page ticks another viewing.
  7. ant

    ant Member

    I think you should just do what you want. I feel their is a lot of interest in what you have to say.
    As regards discussion, at the moment you giving facts and I suspect it will not be until this part of your posts that opinions are going to differ and so discussion will be more relevant
  8. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I'll have to check with the admin/tech people.
    Will let you know what I find.
  9. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    Steve, or anyone else, is there a way to embed mp3 files into a post? It is going to very difficult to talk about the performances without people being able to simply click and hear the exact section I'm describing. I have software to extract sections from an audio file but I need to be able to put that clip somewhere accessible.

    I could create a personal website - free with my ISP - and put the files there but that sounds like too much work...

    Anyone know a better way?
  10. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I'm certain that you will have to load those files up to the internet one way or another. There are file sharing sites, but I don't know how they work. Loading them up to your free website and providing a link should work just fine.
  11. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Well, i think the problem is that your analysis is too good - at least for me there is very little to add. I find it incredibly valuable to see a lot of the things that i have slowly discovered while dancing and that float around half-consciously in my mind made explicit. For me the experience of reading your essay is "aha, now i understand better what is happening", and there is little i can add besides "i felt this before, but now i know".

    To extend mosca negras metaphor - a little bit of knowledge of anatomy can helps a lot in understanding what works and why :).

  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I have again contacted admin/tech.

    In the meantime, have you considered adding to the article in wikipedia?


    Anyone would then be able to find this information quickly. And they allow samples.(ogg files, I think)

    There are some possible drawbacks to that approach, but still...
  13. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    T-Monk, this is a good suggestion.

    Steve, what would be the draw-backs?
  14. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Possible vandalism and the fact that everything is supposed to be "verifiable", meaning tied to a written source. I very much doubt, though, that anyone would seriously challenge the veracity of what tm has already written.

    Bottom line is, anyone can edit your work, and anyone can put anything in there. If it is of very poor quality, it might not last very long though, since there are people who care about the quality of certain subjects.

    I'd be willing to help out by putting in links that explain some of the music terms, since there are already articles (some good, others not) on those terms.

    Anyone wishing to learn to work in a colaborative on line environment might want to check it out. I've been trying to get people I work with to make use of wiki like tools, but am not having much success. (like - zero!)

    Start by clicking on the edit tab in the article!
  15. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    T-Monk, you've got a free website, how about hosting your explanation yourself? You could include all the partial recordings you wanted to. Graphics also.

    I am a web developer and I would be pleased to help you with any advice or assistance you may want.

    I think your explanation would be very valuable to many dancers of all styles, if only they were able to understand the phrasing of most dance tunes.
  16. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    Thanks. I hope that is has been the result for others too.

    Sure wish I had thought of that comeback instead of the knee-jerk response I wrote...:(
  17. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    Thanks for the offer AndaBien. I know I have some number of GB available to create a site on my ISPs server but I haven't had the need to do so. Will check out the details. And thanks Steve for the offer to help with some Wiki links.

    I'll think about the pros and cons of Wikipedia versus keeping content directly under my control. Maybe I'll start my own tango blog, there's a real shortage of those. :)

    In the mean time I'm listening and making notes.
  18. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    I found a nice clean copy of the piano music here http://www.free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=26078# in a pdf. Looks like the editor took the music we’ve been using and cleaned it up with some music editing software.

    Some comments about how I intend to proceed with the analysis:

    Since the introduction is never played I am renumbering the bars, so Section A will now start with bar 1 (was bar 9). Make the changes on your copy too, if you’re using the sheet music.

    In my posts over the next while I’ll be looking at Section A of El Choclo, as performed by three tango bands of the Golden Age, Roberto Firpo, Carlos Di Sarli, and Juan D’Arienzo. I chose Firpo because his recoding is older and simpler. He plays the music pretty close to what Villoldo wrote but with some distinctions. And the other two - because I really like them, and their styles are quite different. And I’ll start calling the bands Orquesta típica or simply Orquesta. Has a better ring to it than “band”.

    But first, I’ll briefly talk about a couple non-traditional ensembles, in the tango Orquesta sense, that play the music almost exactly the way Villoldo wrote it. (Except for the intro). I am doing so to lay the groundwork for what is to come. These versions are El Choclo as Villoldo wrote it, in terms of the music if not the orchestration (the instruments used), and the skeleton or framework the others built upon.

    I’m going to standardize my discussion by focusing on how each ensemble/Orquesta makes use of the following:
    • Tempo: the speed, beats per minute
    • Instrumentation: how and when different instruments are used and the resulting effects
    • Texture: does the music sound "thin" or "full"? does it change? how is the character changed as a result?
    • Phrasing: how the phrases and melodies are shaped, smoothly, accented, or clipped (staccato)
    • Melodic elaboration: is the melody altered? what is the effect?
    • Dynamics: does the music get louder or softer? how does that change the character?
    • Rhythm: are there any distinguishing patterns?
    • Counterpoint (counter melodies): are there any? why are they there? how do they change the character?
    • Other Unique Features: anything else I find of interest that is not covered above

    Some of these things are closely related and I might discuss a few of them at the same time, but I’d like to separate out the discussion as much as possible into these distinct topics. It will be easier to follow along, and help focus consistently on the different performances.

    Next time I’ll get into the Garden Quartet and Havana Society Dance Orchestra performances. Until then, have a(nother) listen to them and see what impressions they make. (Links posted previously).
  19. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    If you use the link above, you'll need to locate the "Download PDF sheet music" link within the page and click on it.

    This link is the direct one (I hope):
  20. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    That link just opens a page saying the score can only be downloaded from free-scores.com, yet if I copy/paste the link into a new browser tab it works.

    Simpler just to click the link I used then click the Adobe PDF logo [​IMG]

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