New Music Friday: Tango Americana

The Tango dance originated in Argentina during the early 1900s. It is a somewhat passionate dance usually performed by a man and woman with stylized and synchronized movements. In recent years it has become popular worldwide and is commonly part of dance competitions. This tango music, although original, is typical of the genre.

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About Tango Americana

The tango is a study in syncopation and accent. This original piece uses two themes, one in the key F major and one in the relative minor. The first violins and cellos have divided parts where notes are beyond first position. Violas and cellos often play duet figures, and the double bass maintains a rhythmic pattern with notes on count one, the second half of count two, and count four. Other parts play this syncopated rhythm in places as well. The overall tango feel can be augmented by using the included percussion parts for claves, bongo or conga drums, and maracas. For performance, the addition of Tango dancers would enhance the visual presentation.

About William E. Moats

William Moats graduated from Kent State University with a Music Education degree and Ball State University with a Master of Arts degree in Music. He was a member of two military bands, playing trombone and euphonium. As a band and orchestra director in Ohio, he taught in the Dayton Public Schools and the Trotwood-Madison City Schools.

Serving in Lutheran churches, he has directed various vocal, instrumental, and handbell choirs in Dayton, Ohio, and Birmingham, Alabama. Currently, he directs an adult vocal choir in Mechanicsville, Virginia. He has published handbell music, band, string orchestra, and brass chamber music with several publishers.

During his professional career, he has been a member of the Music Educator’s National Conference, Ohio Music Educators Association, Handbell Musicians of America (formerly AGEHR), and the American Federation of Musicians.

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