About Me

Music has been a vital and essential part of my life for several decades, ever since I began guitar lesson at ten years of age. I agree very much with Nietzsche:

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

When I first heard tango music, about twenty years ago, it was the emotional music of Piazzolla. I played jazz guitar and thought Piazzolla had some nice “jazzy” sounds so I learned a few of his pieces. That was all I knew about tango and never pursued it further.

I owe my love of “Golden Age” tango music and the dance to my wife. As a birthday present she signed us up for a series of tango lessons at a local dance “school”. I wasn’t very keen on the idea, but of course I went to the class. I was expecting Piazzolla or some sensuous music and showy dance moves, like most people who have only seen so called tango in movies or on TV would expect. Looking back, the classes were terrible; a hodge podge of old and new music, from old scratchy stuff to electronic synthesized noise. And dancing was a bunch of fixed steps to be repeated ad infinitum. But at least they were showy. (I mean, really, ganchos and boleos after a couple of classes!). We quickly found better teachers.

The good news is, without those initial classes I would never have been exposed to the classic Golden Age music. Of all the music I heard during those classes it got my attention. It had heart. It was real. I started researching tango music, listening to everything I could get my hands on and studying the scores, when available. I’ve been doing that for quite a few years now. The blog is my way of sharing what I’ve learned about the music and passing it along.

By the way, I have a musicology degree. I’ve studied everything from Gregorian Chant to Schoenberg, jazz and tango. I outlined my analytical approach, here.

7 Responses to About Me

  1. Lyn says:

    I have been listening to flamenco for over 20 years. And much more recently tango music. I love both. I’m hoping with more listening and understanding of tango, I can listen better and that more emotion and following of the music will result in my dancing

  2. Bill R. Ware says:

    Hi…I am very interested in your work, as I am in the beginning stages of a tango music related project. Do reach out to me if you can…would love to chat with you in general and share my ideas with you. Thanks…

  3. zyzy says:

    hai, finally i found this great website for my research. i want to ask, do you analyze any classical guitar tango music for your tango analysis? thanks!

    • tangomonkey says:

      Hi zyzy

      I play the Piazzolla guitar arrangements by Baltazar Benitez – Verano Porteno, Milonga del Angel, La Muerta del Angel, and Primavera Portena. I always study and analyze music I play, but haven’t anything other than some point form notes and annotations on the sheet music for these arrangements.

      Do you have any specific pieces in mind?

  4. zyzy says:

    cool! i play the Maximo Diego Pujol’s classical guitar composition -Trez Piezas Rioplatenses, and Suite Del Plata. maximo’s composition is strongly influences by piazolla tango. maybe you can try it.

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