11 December, 2018
December 11 is National Tango Day: Carlos Gardel, national singer, musician and composer, born December 11, 1890, developed a style of singing tango that brought him wide recognition as the greatest performer: he created the tango song. Julio De Caro, violinist, composer, arranger and director, was born on December 11, 1899, initiator of the evolutionist side of tango music. Ben Molar was the trigger of this initiative: “‘El Día del Tango’ is born in my mind as a child, perhaps. I expected a means of locomotion at the corner of Corrientes and Esmeralda that would take me to the house of Maestro Julio De Caro in Callao and Guido. We were celebrating his birthday. It is a miraculous coincidence that two great aspects of tango, such as music and lyrics, are represented by these two famous Carlos Gardel and Julio De Caro born on the same day. And I began to fight for that date with great expectations in the Secretariat of Culture. Tired of hearing repeatedly “tomorrow, tomorrow is signed”, I threatened that if I didn’t go out, I would ask for support and I would institute that day”. Twelve years had to pass before it was approved by municipal decree on November 29, 1977 and national decree on December 19 of the same year. Ben Molar had the support of several institutions. Since then, every December 11 is celebrated the National Tango Day.
Tango is a complex popular genre that includes dance, music, song, narrative, gesture and drama. It is philosophy and pathos. It is an artistic, musical, poetic, socio-cultural, economic and psychological phenomenon. Countless cultural and aesthetic elements of African, American and European origin converge in tango, which in turn interact and strengthen each other. During the nineteenth century was a vehicle that accelerated integration in the area of the Rio de la Plata. The history of tango is not a conventional history of styles that evolve decade after decade nor of competing national traditions, since innumerable aesthetic elements must be accommodated, as well as ethical and philosophical values. Gauchos, criollos, European immigrants, and Afro-Argentines participated in the formation of the genre. “Tango” is an African term, of Bantu origin, that the slaves brought to America. In tango we find black candombe, Cuban habanera, milonga, Spanish popular music, gypsy violin, Jewish violins, klezmer, Italian nostalgia, German bandoneon, Parisian imprint, jazz, contemporary classical music. It is a complex cultural process that includes the pampa, the city and the port. Tango is an enormous window that allows us to get closer to the socio-cultural history of Argentina. References to tango lyrics and melodies are continuous in everyday speech, advertisements and media. Tango is also an informal institution that allowed the integration of immigrants into the life of the young country. For Argentines, tango continues to be a central cultural reference and an important source of cultural cohesion. We often hear daily references to tango lyrics and also in the work of the great Argentine writers: Roberto Arlt, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Ricardo Güiraldes, Leopoldo Lugones, Eduardo Mallea, Leopoldo Marechal, Ezequiel Martínez Estrada, Ernesto Sábato. Tango is a transcultural event. Music can create a virtual and timeless world, where memories play a preponderant role. The rhythm of tango music reflects its Andalusian and African roots, while the melody is Italian. Tango music has evolved dramatically from the early twentieth century to the avant-garde and innovative music of Astor Piazzolla, whose music synthesized tango, jazz, and contemporary classical music: it was the breaking of a paradigm. In the 21st century, tango does not escape the phenomenon of globalization.
Fuente: Telam / María Susana Azzi