Instrumental tango idioms in the symphonic works and orchestral arrangements of Astor Piazzolla. Performance and notational problems: A conductor's perspective

Alejandro Marcelo Drago


Tango performance practices and notational conventions included in the orchestral works of Astor Piazzolla belong in two groups. The first is tango performance manner, or the specific way of rendering the written musical text; and the second is tango special effects, which could be defined as a group of non-traditional (for European music) instrumental techniques specific to tango music. Both groups are part of a performance style that has been poorly systematized, if at all, and kept alive only by means of face-to-face transmission. The purpose of this dissertation is to identify and analyze the challenges that Piazzolla faced while including these performance practices into his symphonic compositions, as well as to provide the orchestral conductor with the basic elements for a successful approach to performance.