For: String quartet
page one of Tango

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Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
3 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
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'Tango' draws on influences from a number of composers; one of the first pieces I listened to in preparation for writing it was by Nancarrow, a piece for piano called �¿Tango?�, which focuses heavily on the rhythmic ideas and gestures which would be heard in a dance but taken out of context and played as a piano study. I have expressed some of these ideas through the aggressive syncopated quaver sections in my piece. I also listened to settings and interpretations of Tango ideas by Kurt Weill, Isaac Albeniz and countless recordings of more traditional performances.nnOne of the main factors I wanted to include was the idea of the liquidation of a theme through a process of augmentation. It is the first violin which takes on the lyrical melody and theme which is idiomatic of this genre. I attempted to achieve this by deriving nearly all of the primary material from two thematic ideas, the syncopated quaver motif at bar 7, and the main theme introduced by the first violin at bar 13. This is mirrored in subsequent lines, and each instrumental part focuses on a single gesture from this theme, for example the cello begins with the same interval as the melody initially drops in the theme.

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