A Viola Player Goes Ballroom Dancing

For: Solo Solo Viola + piano
page one of A Viola Player Goes Ballroom Dancing

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Composer
Year of composition
2005
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
3 minutes
Genre
Latin music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

An exciting original solo for Viola & Piano, in a Latin American style; featuring the old Argentinian Tango and the Beguine from Martinique.

This piece is another in my series of ’’solos’’ aimed at the UK & Australian grade examinations syllabi, and at the US state music contests!

Versions for cello, trombone & euphonium(BC & TC), tuba(including Eb & Bb TC) have been posted!

The Tango originates from Argentina in South America, and is a modern urban dance, performed by couples. It had adopted its characteristic features by the first decade of the 20th century in Buenos Aires. Before then it was a hybrid form, combining elements of the Andalusian tango, habanera, and mislonga. It is normally based on syncopated patterns within a 2-4 or 4-4 meter.

The beguine is a dance and music form, similar to a slow rumba. It was popular in the 1930s, coming from the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, where in local Creole Beke or Begue means a White person, and Beguine is the female form. It is a combination of Latin folk dance and French ballroom dance, and is a spirited but slow, close dance with a roll of the hips.[citation needed.

After Cole Porter wrote the song "Begin the Beguine", the dance became more widely known beyond the Caribbean. The song was introduced in Porter's Jubilee (1935). Artie Shaw's extended swing orchestral version was a hit in 1938. After its appearance in the musical Broadway Melody of 1940, it became a big band staple and eventually a pop standard by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

Elvis Presley co-wrote and recorded his 1962 version of the Cole Porter song, and entitled it "You'll Be Gone".

My thanks to Professor Joel Jacklish and Steve Broom (Principal Violist to the ROH Covent Garden), for their invaluable assistance in preparing the Viola part.

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