Tango is a genre that exemplifies the mix of African and European music. It was the music of black people whenever they assembled for a social gathering, but it has a tinge of European music, since black people were influenced by European music, and incorporated a few of its components in their music.
Development of Tango Music
Tango was inspired by the music of Cuba, the Habanera, which itself is a mix of African and French music. It gradually became popular in Spain, and was known as Tango Americano. The music and the dance were both more popular among the African-American population. Tango music in the present times is very different from the version that was sung and played in the earlier times, as the instruments used were the flute, guitar, and violin. It started when Italians started entering Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, and brought with them a new and rhythmic method of playing the violin. It released a stream a melody for tango from which emerged its evolved form.
The next milestone in the development of Tango was the inclusion of the bandoneon which is now considered to be the key musical instrument in the genre. It is believed that the bandoneon was a combined discovery of France and Germany. It is an instrument in the family of accordions. It is very difficult to learn to play it, but once it is mastered, the instrument turns out heavenly music.
It is the music for the masses, and sometimes seems like country music. It reaches a climax and tones down which makes your spirits rise and fall with music several times. The climax extracts the other self in you and transports you to the world of rejoicing, fun, and frolic and to those corners of the street and those shacks in history where people tried to be happy in spite of several hardships. It has come a long way from a pastime on the streets of Latin America to now being considered a serious genre of music. It was initially not associated with high-brow taste, since the brothels of Argentina served as the womb of the music, but then gradually the young men from noble families who did frequent these brothels and had mastered the art came to Paris and made both the dance and music appealing and popular.
The decade between 1935 and 1945 and the next few years were considered to be the golden phase for tango music, because it was now being acknowledged as a serious form of music beyond the prejudices of class, race, and social status. At this time both tango music and dance reached a climax of popularity, but then gradually musicians felt they were being pressurized by the need to create music on which a dance could also be composed. Hence, they alienated themselves from the dance form, and thus was created the "neo tango". In "neo-tango" a marked influence of new musical instruments can be observed. Though tango is still a favorite among youngsters, they have still not been able to cut a niche for themselves. They still look towards the musicians of the Golden Age for inspiration and motivation.