Tanda of the week: Canaro, Maida, 1935

Tanda of the week: Canaro, Maida, 1935

It's time to get back to basics.

Wandering through the tango desert, you will find renewed appreciation for basic steps when you meet for an illicit tanda in the middle of the night with someone who, too, cannot resist the temptation and gambles with her personal safety in exchange for a fleeting sensation of movement in embrace guided by a regular walking beat.

That was a mouthful, wasn't it?

It's hard to deny the straightforward appeal of 1930's Canaro music. Your feet move effortlessly and there's no temptation to do fancy figures; the ronda practically drives itself.

These four pieces come from 1935. You can use them for your home practice of the tango walk. Possibly with a broom.


  • Cambalache (E-flat major)
  • Noches de Buenos Aires (B-minor/major)
  • El que a hierro mata... (C-major/A-minor)
  • Milonguita | Esthercita (F-minor/major)

All tunes run at approx 60 BPM.

The tanda runs in waves. Cambalache kicks it off with decisive, happy beats. I like to use simple and happy tunes to start a 1930s Canaro tanda.

Noches de Buenos Aires and El que a hierro mata combine lyrical and happy themes - the former is predominantly lyrical, the latter mostly upbeat.

Milonguita is a beloved and very memorable theme and will please the couples as they finish the tanda. Its character is primarily lyrical.


DJs like to use early Canaro as warm-up. It's a cliché, really. You come to a milonga and hear Canaro's beats (or Donato, or OTV). It's an easy default that won't offend anyone.

Recently, I have started using Canaro later in the evening after a demanding lyrical phase. It's great for a major reset. You can use it to gradually build a second (or third, or fourth) stage of your evening.

Simple walkable tango. What's not to like about it?

image credit goes to Julian Tong