Tango in New Zealand Tango in New Zealand

Step to Step - IV

Page 1 - Tango Page 2 - Vals Page 3 - Milonga Page 4 - Summary


Basically, the idea is that if you can recognise and tune in to the main beat of the music, whether it's tango, vals, or milonga, you'll find it easier to connect with your partner (who's also tuned in to it) through the music - i.e. the music is what brings you together.

What goes on between the main beats is part of what makes each of these three styles of music different - tango and milonga have one "half-beat" or "weak beat" between each main beat, while vals has two.  Milonga differs from tango in that it's generally faster, but also has it's characteristic base-line.

More graphically:


We can use changes in the main-beat as opportunities for pauses and adornments, and we can use the in-between beats for adorning or for stepping.

Of course there's much more to the music of tango than main-beats and half beats, but they're the building-blocks of the music and the dance.

text: robert©fromont.net.nz August 2008

special thanks to Ceci for providing feet

The following music was harmed in the production of this article:

(you can buy the CD from amazon.com by clicking the picture of the album)

Traditional Tango:

Buy this on CD Buy this on CD Buy this on CD Buy this on CD Buy this on CD Buy this on CD Buy this on CD Buy this on CD

Other Music:

Buy this on CD Atahualpa Yupanqui - Tierra Querida Buy this on CD But this on CD Buy this on CD

... without the evenings and nights of Buenos Aires a tango cannot be made.

Jorge Luis Borges