Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance

The Five Pause Types refers to FIVE of the THIRTEEN types of auditory markers which occur with great frequency in either Tango, Vals, or Milonga music only. Employing the Five Pause Types is one way of starting the process of Interpreting the Music. It is not the only way, but it is one way of cataloguing and sorting the music in our heads to make it less complex for us while at the same time opening us up to greater possibilities. Once one learns the 5 Pause Types and what to do with them, a greater depth of interpretation of the music can begin.

It should be noted that the remaining 8 types, they occur with such infrequency that it’s hardly worth noting. There isn’t enough of them to warrent remarking on them other than to acknowledge that “yes that was one of the eight!”.

What are the 5 Pause Types ?

1.) A Stop or Cessation.
2.) An Instrumental ‘Flourish’.
3.) A Diminished Note*.
4.) The Musical Paragraph.
and 5.) The Singer’s Breath.  

Where can you find examples of the Five Pause Types ? Everywhere! They’re in every song. Studying the Five Pause Types is just one way for us to mark the music, for us to break up what we’re hearing into bite sized chunks, and then to make choices about what to do with what we’re hearing musically in our dance. Think of them as the markers for Musical Phrases because at the beginnings and endings of all musical phrases, you will find a Musical Pause or a rest. That rest has a very specific signature which is noted above.

It should be noted, that a Type 3 Pause, is actually indicative of one of the eight. It is listed herein because it is on the borderline between the 5 and 8. It happens with enough frequency, barely. But it does occur a lot with certain composers and orchestral leads > Biagi, being chief among them.

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