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 From Tango FAQs Facts ebook.
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What music is played in tango events?
 The whole spectrum of music genres (divided in Tangos, Valses, Milongas) played in organized tango events is structured below; together with a comprehensive hierarchy per era in chronological order from top to bottom and left to right:

Nuevo The music created and named by Àstor Piazzólla after 1956. This genre (his mature pieces mainly) is played rarely in the milongas due to its lack of a comprehensive dancing beat on its structure. Tango Nuevo is usually used for performances due to its rich musical elements. Àstor Piazzólla merged beautifully classical, jazz, and tango music elements in an unparalleled way that made him one of the most revolutionary composers of his time; surpassing all is predecessors. Some people falsely use the word Nuevo to describe the Electronic era/genre.

Electronic The music created and named by Gotan Project after 1999; it includes the Milongas and Tangos (there is no significant effort to produce Valses). It is played numerous times in many milongas around the world and has fanatic followers (dancers and non-dancers too). It merges successfully electronic beats, samples, and breaks with elements from the Classic genre. This genre is responsible for bringing hundreds of thousands of young people closer to tango culture all over the world, and for making millions of sales, due to its vast contemporary and popular sound.

Old Guard 1895 - 1925
1897: A.Menizábal - El entrerriano
1905: E. Saborido - La morocha
1911: V. Greco - Hotel Victoria
1916: G. Rodríguez - La Cumparsita
1920: E. Delfino - MilonguitaOrigins

Early G.A. 1925 - 1935
1926: J. De Caro - Guardia vieja
1928: R. Firpo - El amanecer
1932: E. Donato - El Huraćan
1935: F. Canaro - Casas viejas

Golden Age 1935 - 1950s
harder rhythm

softer rhythm




1935: J. d'Arienzo - Nueve De Julio
1938: E. Donato - Ella Es Así
1939: R. Biagi - Campo Afuera
1942: R. Tanturi - Asi Se Baila Tango
1953: A. Troilo - A Pedro Maffia
Anibal Troilo

Transition Era end of 1940s - late 1950s
1950: A. Troilo - Che bandoneón
1952: O. Pugliese - La yumba
1954: A. Gobbi - Cuatro novios
Osvaldo Pugliese
Àstor Piazzólla 1955: Chau Paris
1965: El Tango
1975: Bandoneón
1986: Tanguedia III
Àstor Piazzólla

Piazzólla's followers:
Fernando OteroFernando OteroWebsite

Marcelo NisinmanMarcelo NisinmanWebsite

Pablo ZieglerPablo ZieglerWebsite

Sergio AssadSergio AssadWebsite

Osvaldo GolijovOsvaldo GolijovWebsite
Gotan ProjectGotan ProjectWebsite


Otros AiresOtros AiresWebsite


Carlos LibedinskyCarlos LibedinskyWebsite


 The music genres played in one-night organized tango events (milongas) depend from the organizer, DJ, and the “kind” of the dancers. They can dramatically alter the success of an event, by controling the floor's atmosphere and energy. Different music genres attract different people in these beautiful dancing gatherings. Tango dancers that prefer to dance mainly with close embraces, tend to go to milongas that play more or exclusively music from the Classic era. At the same time tango dancers that dance with open embraces or both, will likely go to milongas that play a combination of music from the Classic and Electronic eras.

 Experience indicates that the most popular milongas around the world embrace a fine balance from Classic and Electronic eras, and the three types of this music (Tangos, Valses, Milongas).

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What is a milonga?
 The word “milonga” has three meanings:
(1) Music. Milonga is the music genre created originally by the mixture of quick pace (mainly) music genres like the Cuban Habanera, Mazurka, Polka, Brazilian Macumba & Candombé, and Payada. It precedes the classic tango music genre in history.
(2) Dance. Milonga is the dance genre that uses the milonga music genre to function.
(3) Event. Milonga is a one-night organized social event where people gather to dance together with tango related music. Participants pay an amount of money to the organizers to join the event. It is the single most important "cell" of tango culture as a whole.Tango Buebos Aires

What is the tanda?
 A tanda is a turn of dancing in a milonga (one-night tango events), and by association, a set of pieces of music, usually among three or four, that is played for one turn.

 Tandas are normally arranged by feeling, orchestra, lyrics, and/or year of the recording of the music. A traditional order of tandas is: T-T-V-T-T-M (T for a tanda of classic tangos, V for a tanda of classic valses, M for a tanda of classic milongas). A contemporary order of tandas include music genres other than the above, and its structure differs a lot by having many variations: T-V-T-M-T-E or A (E for a tanda of electronic, A for a tanda of alternative.


 Between tandas a cortina (Spanish for “curtain”) is played, a musical pause (not related to tango, ±30sec) to allow dancers to leave the floor and to serve as a short break between tandas. Long cortinas signal the announcements, during which the floor must be cleared from dancers.

What is milonga’s etiquette? (part 1)
 The etiquette is a sum of behaviors, manners, and protocols that exist to help milonga function as an organized social event. Some of them are more serious and basic than others. Participating actively in a milonga means that you have knowledge of the main parts of the etiquette:

• Ensure personal hygiene (bathe, protect your breath, remove odors).
• Dress appropriately.
• Gentleman and lady behavior are always expected.
• If you want to dance do not spend your time talking.
• Understand the code for a polite dance invitation.
• Milongas are not for practicing nor teaching.
• Never correct your partner while dancing.
• Do not talk while dancing.
• In between songs, talking is fine but do not leave the embrace locked.
• If not dancing walk clockwise the dance floor, not through it.

What is milonga’s etiquette? (part 2)
 • Respect the ronda.
• Do apologize if there is a collision with another couple; even if it was not in your fault.
• Never stop dancing during a song.
• If you are sweaty take breaks to keep from overheating; or consider bringing a change of clothes.
• Generally dance the entire tanda, unless the skills are widely varying.
• At the end of a tanda, when you finish dancing, say Thank you.
• If you do not wish to dance further, thank your partner. Thank you, signals an intention to end the dance and the tanda.
• When you finish dancing, leave the floor quickly assuring those on it are given their space.
• The gentleman must escort the lady on and off the floor.
• When entering the dance floor, dancers have a right of way.
• Respect your partner’s body-language regarding the kind and use of the embrace.

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