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Time signature
Posted by twoleftfeet
2/10/2004  6:41:00 AM
Hello,

Can anyone tell me what time signature the Tango is written in please?

Many thanks
Re: Time signature
Posted by Sarcastic Smoothie
2/10/2004  12:09:00 PM
It's not consistent, and hence not important.
Re: Time signature
Posted by tango princess
2/27/2013  12:11:00 PM
if ur r a dancer time signature are important just because of the top number. it tells you how many steps to take
Re: Time signature
Posted by Dronak
2/10/2004  2:14:00 PM
I'm not certain because I don't have the books in front of me, but I think that if you look in the ISTD technique book it says tango is in 2/4. It probably does vary though. Not all songs that sound alike are written in the same time signature.
Re: Time signature
Posted by tango princess
2/22/2013  12:42:00 PM
argentine tango is done in 2/4 time ballroom tango done in 2/4 or 4/4 time
Re: Time signature
Posted by SocialDancer
2/10/2004  4:49:00 PM
What little Tango sheet music I've seen was written in 4/4. Most dance teachers will count in the dance for beginners classes - 1,2,3,4 (or maybe 5,6,7,8) and most people will count four beats.

However! The ISTD in its infinite wisdom defines Tango as having a time signature of 2/4. They then go on to say that a slow is one beat and a quick is half a beat, and count the bar as 1,&,2,&. In the teachers exam you have to demonstrate figures whilst counting in beats and bars, which means the first count of each bar is used to count the bars themselves. This isn't to bad for 4/4 timing, you just count 1 2 3 4 2 2 3 4 3 2 3 4 etc but for Tango they want 1 & 2 & 2 & 2 & 3 & 2 & and it gets confusing which "2" is which.
Re: Time signature
Posted by Dronak
2/17/2004  9:43:00 AM
I don't think they elected to define it that way contrary to facts. I think there are tangos written in 2/4 so it's not an unreasonable choice. I can't remember though. While I have plenty of sheet music and fake books, I don't think they include many tangos. And yes, no matter what the music or technique book says, many people probably still think 1234 and not 1&2&. But as you imply, in an ISTD teaching exam, you have to count 1&2& or you'll be marked wrong. Still, I think there is some justification to counting it in two like that, even if it does get a little weird around bar 2 (see your sequence at the end). It should tend to make your movements more stacatto as they should be for tango. Counting in four can lend itself to movements like foxtrot, smooth and flowing. If you count in two though, it can help to hold you back and not be so smooth. And tango's supposed to be sharp so this is a good thing. Just another thought while looking over the messages.
Re: Time signature
Posted by Don
2/11/2004  10:54:00 PM
Tango is supposed to be 2/4. But some orchestras record 4/4. Being that the orchestra is selling hopefully to others than dancers. They find that it is difficult to have a vocalist singing in 2/4. One exception is Doris Day singing Hernandos Hideway. If you dance two walks and a progressive sidestep and a walk into a link dancing to 4/4 you are now out of phrase with the music . If the music is 2/4 you are not out of phrase.
Re: Time signature
Posted by SocialDancer
2/14/2004  8:12:00 AM
Those figures amount to two bars whether danced in 2/4 with slow = 1 beat or 4/4 with slow = 2 beats which most people default to, so I don't see how you get out of phrase.

I have problems relating 2/4 and 4/4 to the tempo of the music. At 33 bars per minute this give either 66 or 132 beats per minute. These beats are crotchets (quarter notes in US parlance) so what decides the length of each beat?

As I understand it musicians base their timing on beats per minute. If so, and they probably use about 132 for tango, why don't the ISTD define Tango as 66 bars per minute?
Re: Time signature
Posted by Don
2/15/2004  9:10:00 PM
The last time I looked the Progressive side step has three steps and four beats, Q.Q.S. So in 4/4 time. two walks = 1234. Progressive Side Step 1234. one more walk on the mans RF. 1 2 and the Link 3 4. now you are out. If you continue into a Closed Promenade into a Reverse Turn you will be dancing 3412. The same thing will happen on a Four Step unless you do a head flick to use up two beats. Or just stand still. With 2/4 Tango none of the above will happen.
We have teacher here who when travelling through Europe asked one of those top Orchestra leaders why they were recording in 4/4. He was told that they had put out an album and recalled and re-cut because 2/4 was not popular.
I hope this helps.

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