Tanda of the week: lovable new instrumentals

Tanda of the week: lovable new instrumentals

Tango doesn't have to be all tears and longing for people who don't love you back! :)

This week's tanda features light-footed, easygoing covers of beloved classics that have been stripped down of pathos and delivered as objects of pure enjoyment and fun.

Why I built it this way

Opening the tanda is Buscándote by El Cachivache Quinteto, one of very, very few Fresedo tunes that I love. It comes here decidedly relaxed and down-to-Earth. The key is F-major, normal walking tempo around 60 BPM. I chose it as the opener for two reasons: the melody is universally known and loved, and it sets the tone for things to come.

The production value of this video is stellar! I wish all new bands had the dedication (and budgets!) to do this regularly. After all, YouTube is where it's at!

Felicia as interpreted by Colectivo Tango Esquinas (reviewed before) is a lively, naughty affair. I adore the bass clarinets and saxophones here! They take to a playful ronda in a smoky pub where no dancer takes themselves too seriously. They key is D-minor and the tempo slightly faster at 62 BPM.

The Pavadita by Sexteto Fantasma is slightly more serious, and what connects it musically to the previous tunes is their use of less-traditional instruments such as trumpet and electric guitar, in addition to the required bandoneón, piano, etc. The key is A-minor alternating with C-major and the tempo is back to 60 BPM (not that you'd notice it).

I chose La melodía de nuestro adiós as recorded by Orquesta Caminito to close the tanda. It retains the essential lyrical qualities of the beloved tune while rendering it in a completely new light. Instead of a singer, we are musically led by a trumpet that sings beautifully throughout the song. The key is E-major alternating with E-minor and the tempo is pushed forward slightly to 63 BPM.

I believe it has the right qualities to server as the closer. Besides the merit of being built on a well-known melody, it has a certain quality, hard to put down in words, of providing closure. Make of it what you will.

BTW, if you're perplexed by the references to keys and tempos, you can review my article about why I care about creating harmonic constrast in my tandas. Inside baseball for sure, and not sufficient for making a good tanda, but it is one of the fundamentals of my on-stage work.


Any time I need to lighten the mood. For instance, last week's valses were rather melodramatic. If I felt like the people were getting too melancholic, I would play this tanda or similar.

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