Latin music has made vast contributions to many cultures and societies over time. This multifaceted genre encompasses a wide variety of sounds and styles that have evolved numerous times. The “Latin Craze” has captured many audiences throughout the history of Latin music and dance with its typically lustful and provocative nature, colorful melodies and various dance styles. The tango, in particular, is oftentimes associated with the late Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, one the greatest to ever compose that genre of music on such a large scale. What distinguishes him from his predecessors and contemporaries was his forward thinking and often controversial style of composition. In his later years, he launched an entirely new form of tango called nuevo tango. This was a style of tango that synthesized his two favorite genres of music: classical and jazz. The result was a new genre that was inventive and exotic.
One of Piazzolla’s most well known works, Histoire du Tango, depicts the evolution and transformation of the tango. It begins with the tango’s early days in the late 19 th and early 20th centuries when it was perceived as something that was both dirty and low-class; next, the audience is introduced to its more appropriate version when it became accepted by the majority of the Argentinian people; finally, Piazzolla takes us to the later years when he added his own influence to the tango with hints of classical and jazz music. This thesis will discuss the music, people and events that influenced Piazzolla’s music, the evolution of the tango, take a close look at one of Piazzolla’s premiere works, Histoire du Tango for Flute and Guitar, and will expand to discuss the influences that this genre of music had on Western music and flute repertoire.
Sheila Molazadeh dspace.calstate.edu/.