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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

“When the musicians no longer beat, they continue to beat…”

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We all know that “La Noche con Amigos” is an audition that, regardless of Lionel Godoy’s professionalism, has music as its protagonist. And fundamentally to tango.

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In the four hours of the program, a certain number of musical pieces are broadcast, many of them instrumental, which a massive audience –as the letters and phone calls attest- follow with fervor.

And the tango in particular is linked to the birth of a singular musical instrument, the bandoneon, to which I will refer especially later.

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But all musical instruments have -each of them- a voice, their own language and a clear personality, made of sounds.

And each instrument is the expression of something, of a musical form, without which it could not reach its fullness.

What would jazz be, for example, without the trumpet or the saxophone?

What of our folklore without the quena, the charango or the guitar?

But what would a tango orchestra be without the bandoneon!

Curious case of tango.

All popular music arose outside the cities, in rural and peasant environments.

Jazz, for example, was born in the cotton fields of the southern United States; the Brazilian samba in the coffee plantations populated by slaves.

Tango, on the other hand, is the only popular expression that was born in a city. Whether this was Buenos Aires or Montevideo.

But I want to refer specifically to the bandoneon.

Where does its name come from?

It would seem that it was devised in Germany in March 1830 by a Mr. Uhlig. And that a neighboring merchant perfected it and manufactured it on a scale

The tango, which flew from the stream to the sky because it was born pure, has entered a revitalizing stage in these years, fortunately.

Because this music is undoubtedly one of the most original and fruitful samples of our culture.

That is why the triumph –or failure- of tango would mean the triumph or failure of something fully ours.

The same can be said for the bandoneon, invented in Germany, but definitively established in Argentina, having overflowed the Buenos Aires, seeking the interior of the country to join other musical forms.

For example, folklore is slowly including the bandoneon to insert it into its own expression.

And Paraná above, for example, the coastal airs incorporate the accordion and also the bandoneon to make it an unbeatable transmitter of the chamamé.

And also inland, crossing the pampas and mountains, it gradually joins the chacarera.

And there in the north, in beautiful Salta, he goes in the processions where religiosity spills over into the streets.

There the bandoneon is replacing the organ in his approach to God.

Who could tell the German Mr. Band that his 44-key instrument would duplicate the same keys and that 170 years later it would make the hearts of different men beat, in different lands.

I mentioned Maffia, Laurenz, Troilo.

And the memory of these inspired giants of the bandoneon that today look down on us from heaven, but that the magic of the record brings us closer every day brings this year to my mind.

“When musicians no longer beat, they continue to beat.”


Source: Ambito

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