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Key Concepts

Traditional tango

Le Grand Tango

Reception of the tango nuevo

Territorial vs. territorialized: Conclusions

Works Cited

If we consider that territorial is something that comes from the land while territorialized is something meant to evoke a particular geographic area, we see that these ideas can be applied to the traditional tango and Piazzolla's tango nuevo. Just as the tango has all the traditional components of the land from which its from, the tango nuevo evokes elements of the tango without actually being a traditional tango. Issues of class and race initially prohibited the tango from being accepted by the entire population of Buenos Aires, but once it was, it came to embody a strong spirit of national identity. It was a national identity that the population of Argentina could identify with because it was made up in such a large part by immigrants. Once the tango was established as a symbol of national identity and pride, to change it was offensive for many porteƱos.

Because Piazzolla changed the tango in so many ways, including rhythmically, melodically, technically, even its instrumentation, his music was rejected by a large portion of Argentinean society. He has yet to be accepted on the same level as his teacher Ginastera as one of the best composers in Argentina. His ability to evoke the tango, however, is undeniable. Because his music includes so many elements of the traditional tango while at the same time being so different, the tango nuevo is a territorialized music rather than a territorial one. Is it not completely native, not completely territorial to Argentina because of the influences of other countries and styles. Piazzolla lived in America and thus jazz found its way into his music, and he also studied with Boulanger in Paris, so though his music evokes the tango it also contains many other elements. Le Grand Tango and countless other compositions by Piazzolla are territorialized because they incorporate elements of the tango without being completely defined by them.