Posts Tagged ‘Argentina’



1. TRASNOCHE, Sexteto Tango
2. SI TE VIERA GARAY, Eladia Blasquez
4. LA CLAVADA, Gran Quinteto Real
5. MI NOCHE TRISTE, Sexteto Tango with Raul Lavie
6. GUAPO Y VARON, Edmundo Rivero


Although the dance known as the tango originated in Argentina, the word didn’t. In 1786, a full century before the emergence of the tango dance in Argentina, the word was being equated with dancing the bamboula in New Orleans. This is the first time the word ‘tango’ appeared in print. Reacting to a complain from Bishop Cyrillo about Africans dancing the bamboula on Sabath, Governor Miro ordered that “los tangos o bailes de negros (the tango, that is, the black’s dance) be delayed until after vespers.

In 1803 the dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy used tango as a variant of tangano , the stone that is used in the game of the same name.

In 1835, Esteban Pichardo, in his dictionary of Cuban voices defined tango as a meeting of blacks born in Africa to dance to the sound of drums.

In Buenos Aires they called tango to the houses where the black performed their dances.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the town hall of Montevideo certified the presence of candombes to which it called indistinctly tambos or tangos, prohibiting them for the sake of public morality, and severely, punishing its practitioners.

By 1899 the dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy added a second definition, celebration and dance of blacks or town folks in America.

The use of the word tango also has origins in some African towns. The slave driver called tango the rendezvous points of slaves in Africa and America.

The Argentine society remained relatively unchanged until 1860 as far as great transformations of the population. It was averse to changes and it had inherited from Spain its conservative nature. The traditional idea was that the nobles couldn’t engage in manual labor, and besides leisure, they ought to dedicate themselves to religious or military activities.

When the children of these native Spaniards took over the governmental functions after the revolution of 1810, they could not change the deep ideology of the dominant class and they only could produce to the social structure lawyers, doctors, clergymen or businessmen.

This brought upon the idea of seeking the arrival of European contingents who could sustain the Argentine development.

The constitutional text of 1853 indicated, “the federal government would foment European immigration and may not restrict, limit nor burden with taxes the entrance in the Argentine territory of foreigners who come to work the land, improve the industries and introduce the sciences and the arts.”

That ingenuous vision of immigration faced reality real soon. The idyllic Europeans that incarnated the values of the civilization did not choose the path of immigration. Those who risked a trip of such magnitude to look for a better destiny were those because of their enormous misery left extremely poor places like Galicia in Spain, Naples, Genoa and the island of Sicily in Italy.

Instead of cult Florentines able to enjoy the works of the Dante, or Spaniards readers of Don Quijote, the souls who arrived in Buenos Aires were generally illiterates, without profession nor trade, who had not had any contact with the millenarian cultures of their countries.

They were men for whom the museums were places prohibited like they were for the gauchos of the Pampas, men who faced a feudal social structure where the land was already distributed among the hands of a few landowners.

The reaction of the oligarchy to the potential political effect of these popular masses was to persecute them. Many displeased immigrants returned to their countries. Others, in spite of being the targets of ridicule and tirades stayed. They did not have another option. They became Argentines and built the country.

They also gave the tango their enormous contribution. They made it nostalgic and melancholic, as the uprooting always is.

Thus, as the Spaniards brought to Argentina their taste for the theater, the Italians contributed their musical passion, their good ear and theirs love for singing.




2. SINFONIA DE ARRABAL, Francisco Canaro with Ernesto Fama
4. NINO BIEN, Francisco Canaro with Tita Merello
5. EL CACHAFAZ, Carlos Di Sarli
6. TINTA ROJA, Anibal Troilo with Francisco Fiorentino


The name Argentina derives from a Latin translation of the Spanish word silver, used by Spanish poets from the Renaissance on. What attracted the Spaniards to the new world in the Southern hemisphere was the lure of the precious metal or of an empire that competed with the Aztecs or the Incas. They found neither because the name of the region had been wrongly chosen. Its only workable, exploitable resource was the active indigenous, native population.

Shortly after the second foundation of Buenos Aires, the population had become a society different from the ones from the interior. The founders gathered a few dozens of docile native indigenous and a small amount of slaves bought from Portuguese merchants, to organize livestock farming and the export of furs. Since cattle activities required less work, they were quickly preferred over agriculture. Nevertheless the hopes for prosperity ended in frustration and many inhabitants of Buenos Aires lived in extreme hardship and poverty like poor devils. Without a shirt on their backs. Their toes showing through their shoes. Living in straw and adobe cabins. Using cattle fur to cover their bodies.

Three centuries later, the honorable descendants of the founders continued looking for a solution to populate the virgin land that like a rebellious maid dared to be conquered with manliness audacity as well as loyalty and respect. Useless by heritage to work the land by themselves, the Patricians and oligarchs continued dreaming about presenting to their British masters an Argentina worthy of becoming a gem of the English crown. Once again they resorted to immigration thinking that the millenarian cultures of Europe rooted in old towns would transfer to a land populated, as they described, by barbarians and savages.

Those who arrived were as “barbarians” as those that were already there. That is how the ruling elite called those who came with a desire to adopt the new motherland. Who wanted a right to work, free education and the opportunity to build a prosperous future for their children and the children of their children.

The literature and symphonies that the Europeans were supposed to infuse in the new Argentina at the end of the 19th century ended up being a humble example of artistic expression that was born out of the necessity of the men of Buenos Aires to express their uprooting, their solitude, and their pain by the rejection they experienced. To express their nostalgia for a mother country that belonged to them. To be accepted as one accepts the prodigal son.

The symphony that was born out of the hybrid population of Criollos, Tanos, Gallegos, Judios, and the mixture of native and foreign rhythms is the symphony that today generates respect and admiration for the Argentinean brand around the world. The symphony of the suburb.