Tango for Musicians at Reed College

A Unique Curriculum

Tango For Composers at Reed College features a rigorous curriculum designed to maximize student learning within and across our many featured activities.

The Program

The program will take place during the same week in which Tango for Musicians at Reed College is held. The daily schedule will consist of two blocks of daily activities designed specifically for composers and arrangers wanting to create new compositions connected with the Argentine musical tradition.

Tango for Composers 2017
Class Schedule

Time Class
9–11 a.m. One-on-One Lessons for Composers
11–11:15 a.m. break
11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Morning Masterclass
12:30–2 p.m. lunch
2–4 p.m. TFC Ensemble Rehearsal
4–4:15 p.m. break
4:15–5:30 p.m. Musical Analysis and Composition
5:30–6:30 p.m. dinner

PART I: Private Lessons

This first part will take place for two hours per day (9:00–11:00 a.m.) and will consist of a total of thiry one-on-one lessons distributed within each of the program's five working days. Each participating composer will be assigned two private lessons of 40 minutes each (one with each artistic faculty member) to work on his/her compositions or concerns.

Complete timetables will be delivered to participants on Sunday, June 25, 2017.

PART II: Morning Masterclasses

Every day (11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m.) composers will be able to participate in the morning masterclasses presented as part of the Tango for Musicians program, which will cover fundamental tools on the writing and appreciation of tango music. For students already familiar with this material, the time can be used to relax or write music.

Part III: Tango for Composers Ensemble Rehearsal and Visit to Tango Ensembles

Composers will be able to work on compositions written for the program both under the guidance of the composition faculty and in collaboration with the members of the ensemble, having the chance to experiment, explore, and broaden new musical ideas to be included in their work.

This part will take place for two hours per day (2:00–4:00 p.m.) on each of the program’s five working days. Composers will be assigned a set amount of time to work on their compositions with the ensemble.

Our dedicated composition faculty will work alongside the composers, making suggestions regarding matters of composition and style. The musicians will work to realize an effective performance of each piece, allowing composers to experiment as needed both with the piece that’s being workshopped and with any other inquiries that may come up.

The TFC Ensemble

The ensemble will feature experienced musicians playing the following instruments:

  • Bandoneon
  • Violin 1
  • Violin 2
  • Cello
  • Piano
  • Double bass
  • Vibraphone or Bandoneon 2

Visit to Typical Tango Ensembles

During the time scheduled for the rehearsal, composers who are not working with their own piece will have the chance to visit the practice of the ensembles formed in the Tango for Musicians program, accompanied by one of the composition faculty members.

On each visit, composers will have the chance to experiment with the ensembles available (woodwind quartet, guitar quartet, orquesta tipica, mixed ensemble with singer) and to get a real approach to the writing and interpretation of the specific instrumental techniques used in tango music for the wide variety of instruments presented.

Composers will also have the chance to write short exercises during the week to be performed by the ensembles.

PART IV: Analysis and Exchange

During the last part of the day, composers and composition faculty members will enjoy a dedicated space for compositional analysis, exchange, and enrichment.

These afternoon sessions (4:15–5:30 p.m.) will cover a variety of topics, including composition tools and orchestration strategies applied to students’ original works and appreciation of the characteristic elements of tango and Argentine music through a broad and detailed analysis of the primary stylistic features of the genre.

Tango for musicians logo

In collaboration with

Sin Fin logo

Contact Us


Email the artistic team

with us

Join our mailing list