The Argentine tango comes in three varieties, each using most of the same musical instruments and dance steps. Scores for the music typically have four, three, or two beats per measure, written with 4/4, 3/4, or 2/4 time signatures.

The 4/4 version of the music and dance are what most people think of when someone says Argentine tango. You’ll see it on the show Dancing with the Stars and similar programs.

The 2/4 version is bouncy and a bit fast. It’s called the milonga. Some people believe the tango evolved from the milonga, smoothing the steps and slowing their rhythm. Supporting this view, tango dance parties are also called milongas (confusing newcomers to the tango until they get used to the convention).

Here are two examples, a slow then a faster version of the milonga. The performers are two of the foremost teachers and performers: Sebastián Arce and Mariana Montes. Click this YouTube query for more milonga dance performances.


About Laer Carroll

I am an aerospace software and systems engineer recently retired to become a professional writer. My genres include sci fi and fantasy, young adult, and technical books.
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