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Key Concepts

Traditional tango

Le Grand Tango

Reception of the tango nuevo

Territorial vs. territorialized: Conclusions

Works Cited


A life-long student of both music and Spanish, I developed a special interest for Argentina and its music while studying abroad for a semester in Buenos Aires in the fall of 2006. Though I did not study the tango in depth as music or dance, I was inevitably exposed to it as a result of the impact such a strong symbol of national identity has upon the city. The tango is unavoidable: posters on sidewalks, music in cafes, even couples dancing in the streets (if you know the right places to go). This study, then, is an exploration of what the tango is, how Piazzolla changed it, and what the difference in reactions between his international and porteño audiences says about the culture and the city of Buenos Aires.


In the end, I hope to answer one main question: is Piazzolla’s tango nuevo territorial or territorialized?