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1.a – General tango tempo analysis

It is common knowledge among DJs that there was a marked increase in the tempo of most recorded tangos in the beginning of the fourties. What interests me is to visualise in a more concrete manner the nature and extent of these tempo changes. In order to see better and quantify the extent and nature of these changes I have mapped these out in a graph.

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I — Milonga DJ sound technique

When DJing a successful milonga, there are a number of technical issues that are important to take into account. The main of these are: (1) media quality, (2) equalisation, (3) digital-analogue conversion, and (4) speaker output.

1.d – Shellac record tuning analysis

Research into tango has to a great degree focused on the the aesthetic and social functions of music and dance, both individually and culturally. Little focus has been put on the actual technical underpinnings of the material we have to our disposal; the historical recordings

1.c – Edad d’oro tempo analysis

The 7 main bands of the Edad d’oro, from around 1936 up to 1956, all started recording their most popular music between 1935 and 1943. The images here plot the tempo of the tunes in a timeline running from the beginning of 1926 until the end of 1956.

1.b – Guardia nueva tempo analysis

It is interesting to see how the bands that made the most recordings in the late twenties up to the early thirties, during the High and Late guardia nueva periods, evolved in tempo during their recording career. The images here plot the tempo of the tunes in a timeline running from the beginning of 1926 until the end of 1956,

2 – Pre-tango: before 1895

Tango traces its origins to the popular culture of South America, to the area around the Rio del plata, River Plate, the bay that lies between Argentine and Uruguay, in the merchant cities Buenos Aires in Argentine and Montevideo in Uruguay.

II.a — Media quality

The media we have available, the digital files with tango music, form the basis for a quality DJ performance. There are things you can do later on, in equalisation, to improve a bad file, but that can only tackle smaller problems.

II.b — Transfer comparison

In the previous chapter we noted that the transfer quality of the same song can vary widely. This depends on many factors, the quality of the original shellac records, the technique used for recording the music and transfering it to digital format, and the post-production

III.a – DJ music chain in practice

As we’ve said before, there are many different ways to handle the DJ playing process, with many different software and hardware choices available. It is really comfortable to handle most tasks within the computer itself. One program that is able to do that, on a