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.

New Music Friday

New Music Friday: Tango Americana

The Tango is a study in syncopation and accent. This original piece uses two themes, one in the key of F major and another in the relative minor. You can augment the overall Tango feel by using the included percussion parts for claves, bongo drums, and maracas.

Read More »
New Music Friday

New Music Friday: Personent Hodie

The tune used in this carol is believed to have originated in Germany, possibly around 1360. This arrangement stays relatively faithful to the melody, which is presented in groups of upper strings and lower strings. All parts can be played in first position, although the cello has several measures of divisi. At the marked tempo, the piece runs about two and a half minutes.

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New Music Friday

New Music Friday: The Changing Timepiece

This work is a set of brief variations based on the theme from the slow movement of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 101. This symphony is nicknamed “The Clock” due to the “tick-tock” effect that you will hear accompanying the theme. This work was created to be a teaching tool. Depending on what the students already were exposed to, this piece offers a chance to deal with changing time signatures, changing key signatures, changing tempi, col legno technique, subito, Grand Pause, tremolo, what are variations, what an old-fashioned mechanical clock sounds like, as well as historical information about Haydn and his symphonies.

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New Music Friday

New Music Friday: Slavonic Dance Op. 46, No. 2

Antonín Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances were originally composed to be played on the piano by two performers. The composer then created orchestrations for full orchestra, bringing him much recognition as a composer. This string orchestra arrangement increases the opportunities for even more performers and audiences to enjoy it.

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