Tanda of the week: Tanturi instrumentals

Tanda of the week: Tanturi instrumentals

Here's the secret: D'Arienzo was not the only King of the Beat.

Imagine a milonga where the dancers have had one lyrical tanda too many. You've just bid farewell to your tanguera and had a sip of wine. My God, what's coming up? I hope not another Caló!

Mr. Tanturi comes to rescue you.

The whys and hows

I have played Tanturi instrumentals on pretty much every milonga I DJ'ed last year. His beats and energy are irresistible.

Making a tanda that would satisfy me harmonically is not trivial, however. Just have a look at this screenshot from my library:

Have a look at the beginning of the Comment column, which tells you the keys. Notice anything?

Oh yes, Mr. Tanturi was fond of the keys A, B-flat, D, and G. (The "#" sign is my shorthand for either -flat or -sharp, whatever makes more sense. For instance, f# will be "F-sharp-minor", because nobody sensible uses "F-flat", which makes more sense as E; likewise, B-# will be B-flat-major as B-sharp would more readily read as C).

If I can avoid it, I don't play two songs in the same key side-by-side. That places some hard constraints on what I can do here.

I've tried multiple permutations and this is one of them.

Opening the tanda is El buey solo, which starts with a brief piano solo. As such, it's only usable as the intro, unless you want to break the flow mid-tanda - kudos if you can swing it.

Comparsa criolla comes in at a slightly lower pace, which is why it comes second and not third. I feel that if I drop the tempo here, I still have time to make up for it later.

Argañaraz returns the beat back to 70 BPM, and brings about expectations of a forceful ending. Una noche de garufa delivers just that.

I don't always like to play Tanturi's vocals from 1940, be it with Castillo or Campos; I feel like they can be quite heavy-footed, perhaps suitable for the beginner audiences in their slavish accents on the strong beat.

These instrumentals tell a different story. They give Mr. D'Arienzo run for his money, and do it quite nonchalantly.


Whenever I need to charge the ronda with higher voltage.

I would avoid them at the beginning because of the higher tempos. The audience needs to be warmed up for these beats.

They will nicely contrast with whatever lyrical tanda precedes them, and can be used as a lead-up to a milonga or vals tanda.

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