Music and Discographies

 

Tanda of the Week

Tanda of the week

Very interesting and useful Web site for DJs or anyone interested in how tandas are structured. Every week the blog is updated with a new tanda by the author, DJ Antti Suniala. There are links to various sources where the music in the tanda can be listened to or purchased. The site contains discussions of the music in the tandas and contributions from guest DJs. Tandas are built around primarily Golden Age composers and lyricists. The site is updated on a regular basis.</>


Tango Musicology

Tango musicology

Tango Musicology is perhaps the most serious, in-depth site I know of providing musical analyses of Argentine tango music. The author, a musician, has done extensive research on tango genres and styles, and analyzed a number of melodies. There are graphic illustrations of scores and melodies and how they have changed over time. Detailed discussions of particular songs and their various interpretations, definitions of musical terminology, melody, syncopation, and so on are provided. A very welcome addition to the body of information on tango music. Note that some of the discussions are highly detailed and a background in music or musicology would probably help.


ToTango

ToTango

I mentioned this site under the main resources page because of the extensive information on tango provided by the author, Keith Elshaw. However, Mr. Elshaw is in the business of providing high-quality digital restorations of early tango music. He explains his restoration method in considerable detail and explains why it differs from commercially available CDs. If you’re a DJ or a collector or just a serious listener, I imagine this would be the “go-to” site for tango music. Keith is also an outstanding DJ, well known not only for the clarity of his recordings but the range and diversity of the music he plays, including many tangos that are rarely heard today.


Tango Music for Social Dancing

Tango for social dancing

A wonderful Web site on how to build a collection of tango music for a milonga by Stephen and Susan Brown. The site is very well laid out and easy to follow and provides useful information on how to build a collection, essential elements of that collection, and where to find music. Catalogs composers and orchestras by period and style (“old guard,” “early golden age,” “golden age,” etc.) are provided. Contains interesting and useful information on fidelity and availability. Excellent if you want to build a collection for home use or even as a starter guide for a DJ.


Traditional Tango Playlist

Traditional tango playlist

A Web site by Anton Sukhanov. Excellent resource providing a discography of most of the important composers of Argentine tango, along with brief samples of their music. The site is very nicely organized and easy to navigate. Each composer is given a separate page and recordings are broken down by year or orchestra. If their is a singer, the singer is listed alongside the composer. There are separate pages for milongas and vals rhythms.


Poesía de gotán: The Poetry of the Tango

Poesia de gotán

Not a discography but a collection of tango lyrics together with English translations by Derrick del Pilar. The song titles are organized alphabetically by their original Spanish title. The translations are by the author and there are sections on translation and word choice that are worth perusing.


BibleTango

Bible Tango

In French but for those who read the language, a useful compendium of orchestra leaders and their discographies, singers, dancers, film directors, etc. Entries are alphabetical and the site has a wealth of useful and obscure information about the people who made tango what it is today. Entries range from short biographical statements to lengthy biographies and discographies.


Tango Info

Tango Info

A Web site not limited to music but one that provides extensive information on composers and recordings. The site makes use of an interesting organizational scheme. The author lists individual songs by title, together with the composer, lyricist, genre, and so on. Clicking on a song title links to a page listing every orchestra that has played that song, the vocalist, the year, the orchestra, and information about the recording. For example, the author lists 140 performances of El Choclo by various orchestras, several by Juan D’Arienzo. Clicking on the “info” link next to the title and composer brings you to a discography of D’Arienzo’s recordings of that song and where they were recorded, together with track information, duration, and so on. Very detailed and, I would imagine, highly useful for DJs. In addition to songs and albums, the site contains extensive information on composers, singers, lyricists, musicians, DJs, and dance teachers.


Tango Tunes

Tango Tunes

Something of a heritage site dedicated to digitzing and archiving traditional tango music. From their Web site:

TangoTunes is an Austrian-Argentine project with the aim to preserve the music of Tango Argentino. This way, we also preserve and support a piece of Argentine culture, which was declared World Heritage several years ago.

In cooperation with TangoVia Buenos Aires we promote the project “Tango Digital Archive” with the goal to archive the recordings and documents of Tango Argentino in their entirety.

A commercial site, but they appear to be serious about making high-quality digital recordings of older work available to the public.


Discography of Francisco Canaro

Canaro Discography

In English and Spanish. As the title states, the site is devoted to the work of Francisco Canaro. It contains what it claims to be the most reliable and up-to-date discography of Canaro’s recordings and links to other resources and discographies. The site is maintained by Christoph Lanner. The information, broken down by period, includes title, genre, creator (composer), version, label, catalog number, matrix number, recording date, and remarks. The site is nicely laid out and easy to use.


Tango Decoder

Tango Decoder

Another Web site that has translated the lyrics to a number of Golden Age tangos. The site includes translations of the lyrics together with the original Spanish, discussions of the text, and links to the music itself. Tango Decoder currently offers  English-language versions of 70 tangos and new translations are added weekly. The site was started in January 2014 but already contains a considerable amount of useful information. So, if you’re curious about a particular song or just want to get a better idea of what those lyrics are actually about, this is a good place to start.


El Recodo

El Recodo

A very useful database of tango music. Contains information on song titles, orchestras, composers, singers, dates, and more. Provides samples of all songs and information about their history. El Recodo also provides a very useful search feature, allowing you to search for a song title and providing a list of every recording of that song. Song information includes lyrics, dates, and some wonderful suggestions for building a tanda around a particular song. Also includes a fun tango quiz for anyone who would like to test their musical knowledge.


Tango Voice

Tango DJ Fundamentals: Part 1

I’ve added this link to a page at Tango Voice because it provides one of the fullest descriptions of how tandas are generally put together in milongas in Buenos Aires. It includes a detailed breakdown of orchestras, periods, and songs, together with extensive links to examples of the music and to other Web sites for understanding tango music and creating tandas. An invaluable resource for a DJ.

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