Tango Argentino > Molinete speed variations?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Dave Bailey, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. Me

    Me New Member

    Me too. I think I just had a stroke!

    But, I like how this discussion has turned to rhythms vs. counts vs... oh, hell. Whatever Angel_HI said.
  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    First, let me point out that I started this whole thing as an example of the fact that I believe there is no one "natural" way of doing the steps in the giro/molinete.
    I should know by now where any mention of counts or quicks and slows will lead us.
    Nevertheless, this has led me to pull out my music books, and have discussions with people who have played, and read music for years. Anytime I learn something new, or relearn something I'd forgotten, it's a good thing in my book.
    In spite of all the protests, if dancers think more about how they move expresses what they are hearing, that's a good thing, too.

    Angle is right, we certainly could go in a lot of directions here. I would sure like clarification for much of what he has written. But, for now, I'm finding it difficlut to find the right tone for my inquiries. So I'd better not.
  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    FWIW, I agree with you on that.

    Let me try to explain what I was trying to communicate, and ask. To me, slow step means that you will be taking longer before you make the next step (ie. skipping some of the quick steps). They way you wrote sqq, I wasn't sure how much of a delay (on the slow) you were indicating before you took the two quick steps.

    I'll use bold to indicate which steps on where I am typically stepping in a hypothetical Vals. Most of the time, I am not stepping on the 2 or 3 beat.

    123 123 123 123 123 123 123 123 123 ....
    S-- S-- S-- S-Q S-- S-- S-- S-Q S-- ...

    I'm finding this thread very interesting, so I wish you would continue with your inquiries.
  4. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Understood, and very much agreed.

    More understood, and even more agreed. :)

    Having naught to do with this thread, this is something that I try to live by. I love to learn.

    You have hit the very point that causes much controversy, or less intense, confusion. We have to learn that music is different for musicians and for dancers. There is a difference between beat, rhythm, timing, and melody; and we have to find them all melifluously in order to be the best that we can be.

    Yeah...I know this often bears much discussion.

    I hope "tone" doesn't mean "upset". I don't believe that my post came across as contentious or personal. :cool:
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Don't forget pulse and tempo! :)
  6. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    You are correct. Language is often a mess, isn't it? Pulse is beat, as in checking one's pulse/heartbeat; and tempo, of course 'is' timing.
  7. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Ah, gotta love the differences between dance terminology and musical terminology! :)
  8. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I probably need a class on the dance terminology. I'm always thinking in music terminology (and often get confused).
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Seems to me like you just volunteered to do the crosswalk!
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Naw, not upset at all. I just had to mull things over to figure out how I was going to approach things. And, I just got done with this paragraphs long thing about dancing vals, and I got greedy, and went to do "one more thing", and lost my place, and....
    Now I have to start over again. Darn!
    Rise and fall...
    There's a triangle calculator at this url http://www.csgnetwork.com/righttricalc.html
    I plugged in some numbers,and this is what I found.
    I used 35 for the "leg" of the triangle, (the hypotonuese) because that's the length of the pants I wear.
    First I took a step of 4 inches. In terms of the calculator, and the triangle, this works out to the b side being 2, and the c side being 35. When we are in mid stride we approximate an equilateral triangle. We will solve for one half of that trianlge.

    The calculator finds that the a side, or the vertical component of the triangle is 34.77, a fall of only 0.06 inches.

    Now I take a step of 24". We again divide by 2, so side a, or height, is 32.88, a "fall" of over 2".

    This is a very simple model. Our legs, in fact bend downwards at the knee when we step, complicating this. And if we go up on our toes on the quick, we can more than make up for the tiny loss of height that goes with a tiny step, turning it into more "rise" when compared to the "fall" of the longer step.
  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Vocals for waltz frequently use the following patern for lyrics

    2/8...2/8........ 3/8
    1/4 ..1/4.. dotted 1/4....1/4.... 1/4... 1/2
    His...grip.......... on........the... Gos... pel

    1/4...1/4....1/4....1/4...1/4...followed by a dotted half
    his....one.. claim...to... fame --------------------

    Can you hear it in your head, Brothers and Sisters? (It's from Garth Brooks' Sevens album.)

    All of these vocal phrases begin on the last note in a bar, and carry over into the next bar. I know how I would dance to this lyric.

    So there it is in the "instrument" of the human voice.

    Now, the same qqs vocal pattern isn't repeated throughout the entire song.
    The syncopated 1/4 for "his", which follows a rest, gives "his one claim" a a quick slow slow feel. Also, the notation calls for the word "fame", or whichever instrument has this part, to be sustained for the duration of four quarter notes.

    I hear all of this in vals, too. Musicians don't play the same thing over and over again without variation. If this were not the case, drum machines and synthsizers would have taken over completely, as many musicians feared back in the 60s, 70s, 80s....

    So, sure, you can dance to different things in the music. And sure, you don't have to do the same thing all the time. But, the overall character of a waltz or a vals is ... waltz. When singers sing a waltz, it sounds like a waltz. If your dance doesn't feel or look like you are dancing a vals, you are not really expressing the music. So choose wisely.
    (When dancing a molinete, too.)
  12. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    I officially have a headache reading this thread...:shock::headwall:
  13. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!! :headwall: :headwall: :headwall:

    STEVE, YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! The length of your pants, and the lyrics of Garth Brooks' "...The syncopated 1/4 for "his..." This is a faaaarrrrrr stretch to prove a point.
    I'll concede. [​IMG]

    It is common knowledge that all music, even waltz, is written in 8s. But, nonetheless, again, you are mixing beats (is and 2s) with rhythms (slows and quicks)...2 entirely different things. And, further, understand that standard waltz (1,2,3) and C/W (Brooks) waltz (1, 23) are also entirely different waltzes.
  14. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is very interesting. When dancing, I must think as a dancer; when playing my piano or percussion, I must think as a musician. I learned very early that it is 2 completely different concepts re the same thing.
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    My apologies to anyone who has a headache over the thread. I may have misinterpreted dchester's sentence, "I'm finding this thread very interesting, so I wish you would continue with your inquiries."
    Discussion of waltz is crucial to understanding how you dance to it. If I had sheet music for Argentine Tangos, I would look there, and use those examples. I use the resources that I have.
    And, Vienesse, country western, or Argentine Tango vals, a waltz is a waltz is a waltz.
    And, we are talking about the timing of steps when you do a molinete.
    And I hit upon the example of doing it to vals to support the argument that the timing can vary.
    If there is nothing in the music to indicate otherwise, you could step whenever. But waltz is different than songs in 4/4. I am trying to understand why that is, and how it is related to how you dance to it.
    If you have a substantive argument why any of this is wrong, including rise and fall, please present it.
    Dismissing the whole thing out of hand is not very persuasive.

    Daddy played bass (dotted half notes lasting 3 quarter notes)
    Momma played drum kit (qqs)
    Me and little brother joined right in there

    See, I'm not upset. I'm just developing and presenting my arguments, and expecting people who disagree to do the same.
  16. Me

    Me New Member

    I'm afraid that I am really lost now. We're talking about Vals? Waltz? Molinete? Country music? (Pants?)

    I can make one contribution though. I noticed that you said waltzes are the same, but it is my understanding that Vals is typically faster than V Waltz.
  17. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    The basic structure and "feel" of waltz is the same from genre to genre. There are of course differences. How fast you play or sing a song doesn't change the notes or the relationship of the notes to each other (although you can do that too).
    Are we talking about pants? (chuckle) Here's yet another non tango example

    If you are averse to country music, or rockabilly, skip this latest example.

    Bill Monroe created a waltz called "Blue Moon of Kentucky". It was very popular with hillbilly music fans, and became a standard in by the early 1950s. Listen hear. It's slow as dirt.

    In 1954 along came a very young man named Elvis Presley, who needed another song for his first record. Bill Black, who would play slap bass with Presley until 1958 played some of "Blue Moon..." and out of that beginning came this version of the song.
    It's really fast.

    Same song, different speed, vocals, etc. I think it's so fast that you couldn't dance waltz to it. But it is still a waltz. (Turns out this is not correct. Presley did it in 4/4 time, which is probably the real reason you can't dance waltz to it! Monroe later did his own 4/4 speeded up version. I could delete the whole thing, but I rather do a retraction. I stand by the remainder of the post. Added a few hours after the orignal post. Sorry!)

    If you've got time, and are interested, NPR did a story of the song, different versions, etc.

    Vals IS waltz played by groups that also play Argentine Tango. They use different instruments than a Bluegrass group, or a rockabilly group, or a contemporary country western band, or a small orchestra. Unlying all the variation is the core 3/4 that defines waltz, both the "time signature" and the feel of the music.

    And, yes, it's all related to the timing of the steps in a molinete, and whether or not there is one "right" way to do it.

    P.S. If you want me to stop, just ignore me!
  18. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    I've made similar comments (complaints?) about complex discussions in other threads, but it doesn't mean I want people to stop posting their thoughts ... give people who may be interested a chance to make their own judgment. Anyone who doesn't want to read something here is not being forced to. (This advice is what I tell myself when I write one of my own wordy, formless, rambling, long-winded, aimless posts.)
  19. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Exactly. I've bowed out...but it doesn't mean someone else won't be interested. (Same as I gave up attempting Atlas Shrugged...and yet DH loves it and reads it about once a year.)
  20. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Could you please explain this? Because, really, I've never heard any such thing...not in my (ages ago) training, not from my mother (a musician, ages ago), or from DH (also a musician). Not saying you're wrong...just that possibly something is getting lost in either the medium or in the brevity.

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