The Tango Decades: 1945-1949

2019-11-28 - The Tango Decades 1945-49

Bringing a different perspective to the music of tango, The Tango Decades is an 8-part series focusing on a horizontal slice of what was hot, decade by decade, as tango blossomed over 40 years. This fifth episode is focused on 1945 to 1949, and explores how the role of the singer was linked to developments in recording technologies.  That’s this Sunday on Tango Capital, 7:00pm to 8:00pm:

Image: The history of tango is intertwined with the development of audio technologies and none more so than recording. Tango started to emerge in the mid-19th century  but recording technology was only widely available from 1888. There are fragments of tango recordings from the 1890s but these may not be commercial; use of the technology was not widespread in Argentina and they may be ‘one-off’ as early cylinder players also made recordings. Then a series of technical improvements between 1895 and 1903 gave shellac discs advantages over wax cylinders, but the real impact was that discs were cheaper to make and much more compact for packaging and storage; with a big price differential they effectively displaced cylinders by 1910.

Tango capitalised on this cheap opportunity. Pedro Maffia started recording tangos from 1911, Juan Maglio from 1912, Carlos Gardel from 1917. Key patents covering disc recordings expired around 1919 and the result was an explosion of new companies but it was not until the mid-1920s that the speed of disc recordings was standardised at 78 revolutions per minute (nominal) and domestic sales expanded. From this time popular voices such as Carlos Gardel, Azucena Maizani, and Rosita Quiroga made some recordings with tango orquestas such as Canaro’s but once electric recording using microphones instead of acoustic horns arrived in Argentina in late 1926 singing was also re-introduced by Canaro as an integral element of tango for dancing in the form of the estrabillista. Gradually the balance shifted as during the 1940s and 1950s singers drove record sales.

Recordings also changed the way tango was experienced. Tango DJs playing shellac recordings emerged in the late 1920s. Recordings also offered opportunities to radio stations as early negotiations between the then-nascent technologies of recording and radio recognised that it was to their mutual benefit to co-operate. From the 1920s onwards recordings of tango music were thus piped into every home in Buenos Aires.

PLAYLIST:

2019-12-01 - Playlist

The Tango Decades: 1940-1944

 

2019-11-22 - The Tango Decades 1940-45

Bringing a different perspective to the music of tango, The Tango Decades is an 8-part series focusing on a horizontal slice of what was hot, decade by decade, as tango blossomed over 40 years. This fourth episode introduces the music and singing as the Golden Age of tango for dancing blossomed from 1940 to 1944.   That’s this Sunday on Tango Capital, 7:00pm to 8:00pm:

Image: The evolution of microphone technology profoundly influenced the direction of tango for dancing, shifting the emphasis over the 2 decades from 1923 to 1942 from mainly instrumental music to the exquisite balance of lyric, music, and voice that combined emotional depth with dancability through the early 1940s. Image of Shure 55 microphone by Holger.Ellgaard and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 unported licence. Image of Raúl Berón singing on air at Radio Belgrano in 1943 from http://tandaoftheweek.blogspot.com/2013/09/tanda-of-week-22-2013-lucio-demare-y.html

PLAYLIST:

2019-11-24 - Playlist.JPG

 

The Tango Decades: 1935-1939

2019-11-14 - The Tango Decades 1935-1939

Bringing a different perspective to the music of tango, The Tango Decades is an 8-part series focusing on a horizontal slice of what was hot, decade by decade, as tango blossomed over 40 years. This third episode reviews the transitional period 1935-1939 as the Guardia Nueva segued to the Golden Age of tango for dancing.  That’s this Sunday on Tango Capital, 7:00pm to 8:00pm:

Image: Carlos Gardel sings and dances in ‘Tango Bar’, in one of his last appearances before dying in a plane crash in June 1935. The film was funded by Paramount and the technical quality was much greater than in the early years of tango cinematography—an indicator of the wider success that tango music was achieving as it rode on the back of the growing maturity and penetration of audio technologies in radio, recording, and film. It was at the same time that D’Arienzo capitalised on this success of tango music by adapting some of the earlier, simpler characteristics of tango to reframe tango for dancing.

PLAYLIST:

2019-11-17 - Playlist

 

The Tango Decades: 1930-1934

2019-11-07 - The Tango Decades 1930-34

Bringing a different perspective to the music of tango, The Tango Decades is an 8-part series focusing on a horizontal slice of what was hot, decade by decade, as tango blossomed over 40 years. This week explores some of the factors that came together in the years 1930-1934 to set the scene for the perfect storm that tango became .…… That’s this Sunday on Tango Capital, 7:00pm to 8:00pm:

Image: In 1933 a very young (19 years old) Ánibal Troilo was one of the musicians in the Argentine film, ‘Los Tres Berretines’, only the second Argentine film using the Movietone system for improved sound quality. Tango dance and lifestyle was incorporated into Argentine cinema from 1928, with the silent film ‘Alma En Pena’ named for that tango. The first Argentine film with sound was ‘Adiós Argentina’;  made in 1930, it starred the tango singer Libertad Lamarque. ‘Tango!’ was released with the Movietone sound system in 1933; offering good quality music and properly synchronised dialogue as well as the spectacle of tango dancing, from this point onwards in Argentina the trajectories of tango and cinema were intertwined.

PLAYLIST:

2019-11-10 - Playlist