Musical Interpretation – Traveling Ochos
Musical Interpretation. Another aspect of Musical Interpretation is what happens when you start to apply very specific pieces of Tango Vocabulary to fit with the music. It is through this specificity of the vocabulary choice, and really the granular control of that specificity, not to mention the variation (and the variable control of the variation) that musical interpretation starts to take on its true purpose
There are 4 pieces of vocabulary that embody the idea of musical interpretation that we use frequently: 1.) Walking. 2.) Ochos. 3.) Turns. and 4.) Crosses. However, those descriptives are at the 50,000 ft level. It’s more likely that we’ll use the 4 types of vocabulary or their variations: 1.) Parallel System Walking. 2.) Traveling Ochos. 3.) The Follower’s Molinete Turn. And 4.) The Argentine Cross. In Today’s Tango Topic on Musical Interpretation, we look at number two on this list: The Traveling Ocho. Tango Topics recognizes that there are 8 types of Ochos. The Ocho that you usually think of is as a common Ocho is what we call a “Traveling Ocho”, so named because it ‘travels’ down the line of dance, hence it’s proper descriptive name! The distinction is required here because of the seven other varieties such as Milonguero Ocho (sometimes called “Lazy” Ochos), Linear Ochos, or Circular Ochos just to name a few, and as you’ll see in a few sessions, that distinction is an absolute necessity to what we want to do, which is creating variety and lots of variation as well as structure in our dance.
To be clear the Traveling Ocho is a staple of the dance, it’s one of the primary tools or pieces of vocabylary (as noted above) that we use constantly to express our musical intents. We use it so often, so unceremoniously (not like it needs ceremony), but without care, it’s just what we do: Ochos, Turns, Crosses, and Walking. We default to these ideas without thinking about the larger picture of what we’re doing, without structure, without any thought as to how it looks, or more importantly, why we do what we do. Most often we respond out of habit, and very infrequently out of conscious thought. For most Leads they respond out of not knowing what else to do (there are other ideas that you just haven’t considered), and for most Followers its a limited palette of options, so what else could there be (quite a bit actually, but you don’t know that yet) ?
From a Musical perspective, most people respond to just the beat and trying to be on beat. There are other options, even though this video doesn’t show those options, they’re implied from previous videos on the topic of Music Interpretation. For a greater portion of you reading this, in one respect you can walk on beat without thinking about it, it’s easy for you. And for some of you, being on beat is a challenge, and what’s worse is that you don’t know it. Now we add to this Musical perspective the Traveling Ocho! From a Follower’s perspective, they feel pressed into immediate service, especially with the applied disassociation, and thereby can’t keep up with what’s being led. More specifically their execution of their technique goes right out the window, and as a result their execution looks sloppy because they’re being rushed into service. And then there’s the other side of the equation: the Lead (the person) implies a lot of their ‘lead’ (the action) to do said Traveling Ocho, and the result looks haphazard, and off-time or offbeat and/or not even close to the beat.
This is the state of executing a Traveling Ocho in time to the music.
Today’s Tango Topic deals with Section 5a of our continuing series one Musical Interpretation. Section 5 deals with 3 common pieces of vocabulary that we use frequently and how to make them musical, and how to practice them. It is broken up into 4 sub-sections this month: Section 5a (this post) is on the use of the Traveling Ocho as a tool to Interpret the Music. Section 5b is on the use of the Argentine Cross (sans the 255 OTHER Cross variations). Section 5c is on the ‘Turn’. And Section 5d puts it all together. That said, let’s get started on the Traveling Ocho in Musical Interpretation.
There’s a lot more to this Article! There’s the extensive Lead’s Perspective, the deeper Follower’s Technique Perspective, and sometimes we throw in a complete Dancing Perspective part, all of which are only visible to Tango Topics Freemium Registered Users, Gold Subscribers, Diamond Level Users, and Milonga Madness Users. To become a Freemium user, Registration is absolutely 100% FREE, click the button below, and you get access to this article, and over 400 videos, hundreds of articles on a wide range of Tango Topics. So what are you waiting for, go register, then login to your Tango Topics Library page and then select the “ARTICLES” button and you’ll see this article with all that good stuff in there. Easy. No ? 🙂
Why You Need This! Music is the foundation of the dance. Without it, duh, there is no dance. However, when it comes to Tango, things get complicated very quickly because unlike other social dances where you can fool around with the beat, you can do that in Tango too by the way, what you can’t do, and so many people do, is fool around with 5 Musical Pause Types! This is the holy grail of tango music. And unless you hear them, you’re going to have an awful nasty time social dancing. Most people just throw in any piece of vocabulary to a piece of music, moment after moment and after moment. But the 5 Pauses Types dictate very clearly what you want to do. Unfortunately, almost no one listens to that and we end up with ‘haphazard’ dancing that looks shall we say questionable and haphazard at best. So yeah, you need this, a lot. And because this particular musical topic deals with Walking, Milonguero Ochos, Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete, Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross, then it’s applied very differently, and you need to start applying that stuff to your musical interpretation to thereby clarify what it is that you are interpreting in the music. This is very different than just following a beat, this is using the pause with a piece of vocabulary that makes that music stand out! So yeah, you need this.
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About The Video. This video package comes in at 28m:38s in length in 4 Sections.
Section 5a – Introduction – 00:02:51
Section 5a1 – Traveling Ochos – Musical Technique/Rules – 00:09:27
Section 5a2 – Traveling Ochos – With a Metronome – 00:10:47
Section 5a3 – Traveling Ochos – With a Sliver of Music – 00:05:33
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