Popularity of Tango

popularity-of-tangoBetween 1906 and 1920, tango started moving from the margins of society to the center; this stage is known as “The old guard”. Tango started being recognized outside Buenos Aires, especially in Paris. Of course, this acceptance meant a vindication in the southern countries, and as a result got more and more people interested in this music.

Tango was now accepted by the mainstream music market and moved from the outskirts of the scene to the center. Many dance halls and clubs (milongas) opened, where men and women could gather and dance. These were also spaces for socialization amongst the different social classes. Finally, the working people and the rich people had found something that united them and a lot of unexpected romances and affairs took place.

Live music was played almost every night and this fact led to the professionalization of tango and, of course, the establishment of orchestras that begun to record music and sell them in Argentina, Uruguay and Europe. Orchestras included bandoneon, violin, piano and double bass. New composers appeared, with a more professional approach and more refined technical skills; they were now recognized by theatres and started touring to play all over the world.

The biggest representatives of this cultural movement that included musicians, poets and dancers were Gabino Ezeiza, Alfredo Gobbi, Flora Gobbi, Vicente Greco, Linda Thelma, Juan Maglio (Pacho), Lola Membrives, Rosendo Mendizábal, Enrique Saborido, among others.

Around this time, writers began to sing their songs, and even the spirit of the music evolved, showing more cheerful and lively feelings, and even the melodies were brighter, leaving behind at some point the melancholic spirit of the tango. A clear example of this is the song “La morocha”, a famous tango composed in 1905 by Argentine musician Angel Villoldo and Uruguayan musician Enrique Saborido, recorded in 1906 by Alfredo and Flora Gobbi.