Tanda of the week: 1960s instrumental milongas

Tanda of the week: 1960s instrumental milongas

I love fast milongas. I also don't play them very often. You could say that I respect my dancers and their well-being, or, alternatively, that I am a coward. Choose either interpretation based on how charitable to me you'd like to be.

Teachers don't generally give equal space to tango, milonga, and vals, and out of the three tango genres, I estimate that milongas receive the least attention. Whatever the reasons are, milongas are decidedly less popular in my community at least.

People who like milongas, however, love them.

I follow the TTVTTM format, and so when I play milongas, I want to make my milonga lovers happy. As a result, I censor myself heavily and don't experiment that much.

This place is different. It's my playground. Here come three fast milongas recorded in the 1960s by three very different orchestras.


1) El firulete (José Basso, G major modulating to C major, 112 BPM, 1961)
2) La paparruchita (Juan D'Arienzo, A major / minor, 127 BPM, 1962)
3) Nocturna (Aníbal Troilo, D major, 124 BPM, 1963)

We had Basso here recently, and I like El firulete as the opener: it's happy, uncomplicated, and the tempo is still manageable.

The other two pull the rug from under the dancers. Only the bravest would stay on the dance floor. The key is to shorten your steps to centimeters, then you'll be fine.

I would never mix D'Arienzo and Troilo from the Golden era, mind you. Here, I reckon the compatibility is greater. Let me know in the comments if you disagree.


This is just for fun. I don't know if I would risk this with a live audience. I am a populist and like to tease them, not make them suffer. Then again, if I had the right people there...

image credit goes to Donny Jiang

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