The curriculum of the Reed Tango Music Institute is aimed at musicians with an interest in tango music performance. Those who have previous experience with tango are especially welcome, though it is not required.
A working knowledge of music notation (reading and writing) is expected in order to absorb the material being presented and to be able to participate in ensembles. Music will be provided ahead of time for study.
We encourage existing ensembles to sign up as a group to receive coaching in a Master Class environment, as well as instruction on arrangements, style and repertory.
An optional course load aimed at composers and arrangers who want to learn specific tango techniques will be offered.
Styles cover Golden Age dance tango, Piazzolla’s Nuevo Tango, and Jazz Tango.
Performance Practice - Tango Ensemble
All levels (grouped by ability and experience)
- Daily rehearsals and playing opportunities for players at all levels
- Focus on interpretation and group dynamics
- Finding your role in the tango band texture
- Playing with confidence and restrained passion
- Improvisation and free interpretation of written material
- How to play from a lead sheet (known as “a la parilla”)
- Small and large ensemble arrangements
- Dance styles, concert and show styles
- Nuevo Tango and Jazz Tango
- Learning the basic repertoire from recordings and lead sheets: 25 tangos you should know
Individual Instrumental Instruction
- Tango techniques for all string instruments (including guitar), piano, bandoneón, and nontraditional tango instruments (woodwinds and brass)
- Singers are encouraged to apply as well—we will work on repertory, diction, phrasing and working with ensembles and accompanists
Orchestration and Arrangement
A very important factor in forming a tango ensemble is repertoire and arrangements.
We will work with “stock arrangements” from the Tango-in-a-Box series. We will also analyze other arrangements to develop an understanding of the inner workings of tango.
- How to develop arrangements as a band
- What each instrument contributes to the texture
- Melodic and rhythmic roles
- The role of the arranger in structuring a piece
- How to approach an arrangement
Experienced arrangers and composers will be invited to an advanced seminar on analysis and writing techniques. Score reading and guided listening, advanced writing projects will be critiqued and, when possible, played by faculty and student ensembles.
- Major artists, bands, composers and styles
- Listening sessions
- A historical perspective of tango in the 20th Century, with a particular emphasis on its development in Buenos Aires